Red Spinach - Super Food

In Nigeria, we are all aware of the amaranth greens, locally called tete. Green tete is the most common one, found/sold  in every vegetable market and loosely referred to as greens or spinach. Read more about Amaranth Greens here.

The other day, I went to get some fresh seafood at the Under-bridge Fish Market, just off Ozumba Mbadiwe road in Victoria Island Lagos, and I was delighted to see red spinach on display.

But before actually seeing and cooking with them, I had read a lot about them online in the past. I discovered that they are one of the super foods coming out of Africa!

So finally, I was able to purchase some and experiment with them. I blanched them and cooked them just like the more familiar green variety and I was really pleased with eating them. They tasted just the same, that you could not tell the different in taste and flavour, other than, the red variety was a tad more earthy.

So why Red Spinach.....?

My first response is why not...? They are available and they offer one more option for those who look for variety in their diet.

More importantly, in addition to all the nutrients and goodness offered by green amaranths, the red variety brings a lot more to the table, literally. The red intense color indicates its high content of Vitamin A and also anthocyanins which are very important nutrients that work against free radicals in the body.

Different uses:
  • The young tender shoots of the red spinach are great in salads for their earthy taste and flavour as well a the beautifly color thye add
  • They also make excellent garnishes, again providing some really pretty color and appeal to food
  • As expeceted, they are great in soups and stews to accompany other dishes
  • They are great for making side vegetable dishes.
  • They can be cooked along with fish or meat

Why you should eat more Red Spinach
  • They are more nutritious than the common green variety; and have incredibly high levels of vitamin A, Calcium, iron and fibre
  • They will add variety to your diet
  • They are believed to possess a lot of medicinal properties ranging from aiding digestion to relieving constipation, and can be used to combat anemia.
  • On a more superficial front, red spinach is believed to help strengthen hair, great for skin and also thought to help with weight loss.


  1. Amaranths have beet coloors like betalaine, not anthocyanins. However they are also considered antioxidants. Excessive consumption may alarmingly but harmlessly discolor urine (turning it pink or red). Be sure you have amaranth, not Celosia, (lagos spinach, which is also a related edible green, but must be boiled and the bitter black water discarded, whereas amaranth is less tannic and can simply be steamed. Both are fine, just know which is which and prepare them accordingly.

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