Leaves - cooked as a spinach. The mild-flavored leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. Seed - very small but easy to harvest and very nutritious. They are eaten cooked or ground into a powder and used for making cakes etc. They can also be sprouted and used in salads.
The seed can be cooked whole and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated. The flowers are used as a food coloring in ceremonial maize bread.
Seed Propagation - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.