Amaranth seeds were the staple food of the Aztecs and have been used for centuries to make many dishes. It has since spread worldwide to climates ranging from temperate to tropical. Amaranth greens are more readily eaten as a vegetable, as opposed to being cultivated as a grain (similar to quinoa), in Southeast Asia, Africa and India. Amaranth leaves vary in color with a range of striking pigments from the spectrum of maroon to crimson.
Amaranth greens may be eaten raw or cooked. The young leaves are nutty and mild, like spinach whereas larger, more mature leaves are best for stewing or braising.