Urban Foraging while walking the Labs, I ran across a familiar sight in urban areas, an edible green, a type of amaranth that farmers refer to as pigweed.
Amaranth comes in several versions, the one pictured here is not one of the more floral ones, but it is an urban edible green that you’ll see in tree pits , parks, and weedy lots and roadsides.
The more visually striking amaranth varieties have names like Golden or Elephant. Golden Amaranth has a huge head of small flowers that lean over from the top of a tall stalk. Elephant Amaranth is purple pink and looks like an elephant trunk.
You can eat the leaves of all these amaranth varieties, and harvest the seed/grain of those that have substantial flower heads. The weedy version I found in the city doesn’t have much of a flower.
You can eat the leaves raw, but most cultures cook the leaves. In New York I’ve heard amaranth also called calaloo, which in Jamiaca is the name of the plant and the name of a dish made with amaranth.
Depending on who you ask, amaranth is a weed or a healthy source of vitamins. Pigweed amaranth fills up farmer’s fields yet cooks use amaranth.
Do you grow or cook with amaranth? Let us know below: