Eat Your Weeds! The Best Edible Weeds

Easy-growing weeds are surprisingly tasty and packed with nutrients.


| May/June 2011



dandelions

With high levels of iron, potassium and beta-carotene, dandelion stimulates digestion and aids the liver.


Long used as cleansing tonics, easy-to-find spring weeds are rich in vitamins and minerals. Local weeds’ leaves, flowers and roots make yummy additions to salads, soups and other dishes. If you’re collecting weeds in the wild, be certain you are foraging from a location free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Proper identification is essential; invest in a great guide like A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants or seek out a local herbalist or botanist to take you on a “weed walk.” Otherwise, you can grow weeds with virtually no maintenance in a container or your yard. You’ll be eating up the free harvest in no time!

Chickweed (Stellaria media): Delicate and high in vitamin C, chickweed leaves taste like spinach. Steam young leaves, or use leaves and flowers in soups, salads and stir-fries.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Best harvested in early spring before the plant flowers, young dandelion leaves have a tasty, mildly bitter flavor. With high levels of iron, potassium and beta-carotene, dandelion stimulates digestion and aids the liver. You can also eat the roots—scrub and slice them, then sauté in sesame oil and soy sauce.

Lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album): The leaves taste like spinach and are supernutritious—they’re loaded with calcium, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Eat them raw or cook them into casseroles, grain salads and egg dishes.

Nettles (Urtica dioica): This classic spring green, known for its stinging hairs, sounds intimidating to eat (and gloves are necessary when collecting), but the leaves lose their sting when cooked. Usually added to soups or steamed like spinach, nettles are high in immune-boosting iron, beta-carotene and vitamin C, and help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea): High in alpha-linolenic acid, a brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamin C, purslane leaves, stems, flowers and roots are all edible. Purslane can be added to cold soups or blended into pesto.

hkjaye
4/8/2015 10:19:24 PM

I see some comments about frying the yellow flowers (battered) and want to know more about that, IF anyone knows what the batter is, what oil is good to use and how hot to fry them??






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