Amaranth – Healthy, Easy and Delicious

Amaranth; locally known as wild spinach or zepina

In the Caribbean, you may have noticed that if you burn the bush and dried grass in your yard, what you usually see after a few weeks is a wild weed. Often this weed is actually a commonly available vegetable – wild spinach.

Wild spinach can be found almost anywhere because it is extremely adaptable to adverse growing conditions. It is a great addition to have in your vegetable plot as it will even grow just from sticking a branch into the soil, I know because I have tried it. I myself have become very fond of this vegetable because it is so easy to grow, needs very little care, and has so many ways in which it can be cooked.

Amaranth; locally known as wild spinach or zepina, is a weed that has been eaten by mankind for thousands of years and can be found growing wild and/or cultivated worldwide. The young leaves and stems of the amaranth plant are consumed as a vegetable in many countries and cultures. The leaves are eaten in salads, soups, stews, stir-frys, and a wide variety of other savoury dishes. In the Caribbean this plant is often the spinach used in callalou soup.

Amaranth leaves are a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1(thiamine), vitamin B2( riboflavin), vitamin B6(pyrodoxine), vitamin B9(folate), vitamin B3(niancin), vitamin k, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. The leaves have been used for their diuretic, and blood building properties. For anyone suffering from low iron, wild spinach would be the recommended vegetable to eat. And before I leave you, here is my favourite recipe with wild spinach.

Emily Spinach Pie

8 Irish Potatoes
1 Parcel Of Wild Spinach
1 Whole Seasoning Pepper
1 Can of Sweet Corn
2 Onions
4 Garlic gloves
6 Okras
Tomato Paste
1 chicken cube
Cheese
Chives
Basil
Olive Oil

1. Wash and dice your potatoes and put to boil with 1 chicken cube and a teaspoon of olive oil or any oil you have.
2. Steam your wild spinach with half of an onion.
3. Sautee the remaining onions with garlic, sweet pepper, okras, chives, basil and any other fresh garden seasoning that you might want to add.
4. Mash the potatoes and spinach together and place in a buttered pan.
5. Spread the tomato paste onto the spinach and potato mix.
6. Then you spread your sautéed onions, garlic, sweet pepper, okras, chives and basil, along with the corn.
7. And finally top everything with a layer of grated cheese, as much as you like.
8. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, and your spinach pie is ready.

Eat your pie with some fresh vegetables like carrots and steamed string beans and you have got a
complete healthy meal.

Written by Emily Elizee

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