Tags: Amaranth, Outdoor, Indoor, All-Grades, Fall
Time : 30 mins (Time to complete the task) (10-15 min group activities, rotated)
Author: Lynda Boudreault
Intro: This is a great class if you’re noticing amaranth weeds in the garden. They are edible and their history and cultural significance to our neighbors to the sound is in interesting. This is largely a tasting class. Smoothie, amaranth cereal, and any other recipes you can come up with.
This can be done all as one group with three ten-minute activities. Or the class can divide into three and rotate.
|Greeting and Review||● Greet kids at usual meeting spot.
● Walk over to garden and point out amaranth plants.
● Go over nutritional benefits of amaranth.
|Main Lesson||● Talk about history and nutritional benefits of amaranth.
● Talk about weeds that are nutritional (like dandelion).
|Activity 1 (group 1)||● Harvest amaranth and make smoothie. Mix with fruits (banana, blueberries, frozen cherries, etc.) and liquid of choice (milk (dairy, almond, oat, etc.).|
|Activity 2 (group 2)
|● Look at puffed amaranth. Serve as cereal (see recipe).
● Materials Needed: None
|Activity 3 (group 3)||· Color worksheet. Go over nutritional benefits of amaranth while kids color.|
|Cleanup||● Wipe down surfaces, throw away cups and napkins, etc.
(Allow 5-8 mins for any cleanup)
|Goodbye||● 1-2 minutes to say goodbye|
|External References||See attached. There’s a handout for kids to take home and there’s a recipe for a popular Mexican treat that you can make for class. Alegria_Amaranth_Candy|
|Worksheets(Please email the worksheet separately)||Handouts and Texas Observer Article.|
Amaranth is indigenous to the Americas. It was once a staple in the food cultures of pre-Colombian people from Mexico to Peru. It’s use started to fade 500 years ago, the plant has been regaining attention in the past 30 years.
It is gluten-free, rich in protein, and its leaves contain iron levels greater than spinach. The leaves are used in salads, soups, as cereal, and as spice when dried. Amaranth seeds are toasted and used in traditional sweets like the Mexican alegría. And when mixed with corn flour, amaranth flour is used to make tortillas, cakes, and biscuits.
There are more than sixty species of amaranth (forty-seven in the United States), not counting the hybrids, and all are edible.