This traditional food plant of Africa and the Americas is a great staple with gluten-free easy to harvest edible seeds and succulent leaves that can be eaten fresh or cooked. Amaranth is an ancient gluten-free grain. Originally grown as a dye plant by the southwestern Hopi Nation.The pink to magenta-colored flower bracts of Komo are soaked in water overnight and mixed into cornmeal the following day to color dough for making Hopi piki bread. Piki is a thin wafer bread that resembles tissue paper. It is cooked on a thin stone slab, oiled with ground seeds of squash or watermelon. After cooking the batter the piki is rolled up. Zuni peoples also use the pink bracts to dye he’ we or maize wafer bread. The black seeds of komo can be popped, and the leaves of this amaranth are eaten and used similar to spinach. Amaranth grain possesses large amounts of protein, beneficial fats and minerals, and is easily digestible. The leaves contain calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamins A and C in high levels. Dye mae from this variety of amaranth can also be used on fabric and other fibers. However, a type of mordant should be used so the color does not wash out.
Depth: Barely cover 1/16″ Sprout Time: 3-14 days Starting Indoors: Six weeks before the last frost, start in pots with vermiculite. Keep at 65-75°F with evenly moist conditions by placing a humidity dome over the containers until germination occurs. Starting Outdoors: Direct sow after last frost.