Harvesting Amaranth grain for eating. The seed being so small, most people don’t want to spend the time to harvest it. I almost gave up before trying. However, I found that it isn’t so difficult on a home scale. I harvested grain from about 8-10 plants and got about 2-1/3 cups. I eat about 1/4 to 1/3 cup at a time.
Step 1: Set a colander into a larger bowl. Use amaranth that is dry and mature. Strip seed and fluff from amaranth stems in downward motion, stalk to tip. No problem if stems snap off into the colander. Let it go.
Step 2. Massage with fingers, rub between hands, scrub along bottom of colander to separate the seed material from chaff and stalk. (Note: my hands get a little itchy with this process but it’s minor and I get used to it. You may want to do a test run to make sure no rashes or reaction…try gloves?) Seed and small chaff go through the colander holes. Gather larger leftover material in colander, and give a final rub and massage. When there is not much seed coming from of the material, discard. Discard smaller remains from colander when you feel you’ve done a fairly thorough job. You are wise if you don’t set out to get every last seed.
Step 3. Pour seed and chaff from large bowl to a paper plate that has a pretty good sized lip. Shake slightly toward you and blow slightly away from you. Seed rolls toward you. The chaff blows over the edge…and on to your dog.
This is my first try with video demonstration. The amount of amaranth I chose to use in the demo made it easy for recording. During the first step; I, usually, fill the colander up about three quarters of the way. Larger batches make things go more quickly but do what is most comfortable and successful for you.
I cooked a 1/4 cup of amaranth. I usually put about three times the amount of water into it, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. I found that fresh grain does not require the same amount of water…needed a bit less…maybe should have used only 1/2 cup of water or so. Amaranth that I get from the store is, probably, older and drier and takes in more water. Store-bought amaranth can have a kind of gummy texture. Not so with this grain. It was light and had a wonderful texture and flavor. A bit darker in color. I wouldn’t doubt that there were bits of chaff in the mix as I didn’t work, terribly, hard at getting rid of every last bit. However, I never noticed the extra fiber while eating the grain.