Amazing List Of Edible Weeds
Instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we could potentially achieve true food security and optimal health.
Sounds strange, I know. Interesting enough, it’s so very true. There are many edible weeds in your backyard and nearby woods.
My grandson Kenny and I had lunch in the backyard last week. Our food selection was entirely weeds. We also had some ripe Cherry Tomatoes and Kale from the garden to add to the delicious bounty.
Foods we ate. Plantain, purslane, clover and dandelion. All while sitting in the backyard waiting for Sadie, our Rott, to romp and play.
Let me explain the benefits of eating these weeds and the nutritional value of these hated weeds. Just to let you know, the weeds you are pulling from your garden may very well have more nutritional and medicinal value than the plant you are protecting.
Awareness Is The Key
This article is for awareness of the wonderful plants that nature put here for you and maybe when you pull them next year, you can put them on your lunch or dinner menu instead of in the garbage. We constantly munch on the weeds we pull from the garden.
Plantain is a considered a pesky weed to most people. I am hoping to change your mind.
It’s time to fall in love with Plantain.
The medicinal qualities are enormous. From bee stings to infections in the skin, this plant is more medicinal than Neosporin. Plantain soothes & cools & heals burns/sunburns. Plantain will amazingly draw out the toxins & the stingers from bug bites, bee, wasp & hornet stings and also relieves the swelling & pain. Plantain is fantastic for so many skin issues like eczema, impetigo, rashes and any reactions to poison ivy/oak. Plantain will work great as an astringent for your face.
Nutritional Value When Eaten
Eating the leaves is like eating vitamin pills, containing generous amounts of vitamins A, C and K along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
Surprisingly, more nutrients than tomatoes.
The central stems have little seeds that can be removed and ground into Gluten Free flour. Amazing right?
Eat raw, cooked, in salads. Use as any leaf plant you would grow. Sauteed with onions and butter in any dish is delicious. In stews, greens, and stir-fries are absolutely delicious.
Plantain is very medicinal as a tea. Boil the leaves and drink the water with a little honey or sugar. This can be added to other teas as well. This tea is wonderful for colds and flu, soothing sore throats, and stomach upsets. Try it, you will be amazed at the soothing qualities of Plantain.
Only preparation needed is. pick the leaves, new shoots are more tender and tastier, place rinsed leaves in a bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar, let sit for 10 minutes. Or eat raw. I personally love the taste and munch on them daily.
You can cut them up to add to dishes or cook like spinach.
Dandelion is a delicious plant that has many many health benefits. It can heal your body and rid your tissues of disease-causing organisms.
The entire plant including the roots can be eaten. Raw or cooked. Dandelion roots for amazing healing tea. Ingesting the plant itself is also medicinal, and nutritional. You can also make a great wine with Dandelion.
Dandelion has many nutritional and medicinal benefits. It has the same vitamin packed goodness of Plantain and has been linked to the Mayo Clinic discoveries of the possibilities of curing and preventing cancer.
Eat it raw, cooked, sauteed with butter, onions, garlic. In stews, salads or stir fries. The flowers are edible and taste great sauteed.
I can’t say enough about this truly delightful plant.
While you think the clover is not tasty, clover is very good for you. It is high in protein, has beta carotene, vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, biotin, choline, inositol, and bioflavonoids. Word of caution. Some people are unknowingly allergic to clover, so taste a few to be sure first before you dive in and start eating it regularly.
Personally, I eat it raw, my mother ate it, my grandmother ate, now I have my grandson, Kenny eating it.
I don’t eat the leaves although you can saute them too. You can fry the flowers battered or unbattered. Any dish will benefit from adding these flowers.
Another tasty weed, I don’t call them weeds. But most people do, sadly.
This plant, Lambsquarter is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. For example, 3.5 ounces of raw lambs quarters, which is about 1 cup of greens, contains 73 percent vitamin A and 96 percent vitamin C of your recommended daily allowances suggested by the USDA. It is also a fantastic source of the B vitamins complex including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
Use this plant like spinach, raw or cooked. The leaf has a powdery dust on it, and can taste salty, so use caution with salting foods with Lambs Quarters. They have a great salt substitute already in them from the soil. So hence, use less salt.
The seeds can be ground into a flour for biscuits, tortillas or used to thicken stews.
Pick the young leaves when harvesting.
The roots can be harvested, crushed and used for cleaning. It will produce a soapy quality when added to water. Chemical free, that’s my motto.
Also known as duckweed, fatweed, pursley, pussley, verdolagas and wild portulaca — is the most frequently reported “weed” species in the world.
This tasty plant has many benefits. Other than the taste, slightly crunchy with a hint of lemon. Most people compare the taste to watercress or spinach. The young tender leaves are delicious in any meal prepared by cooking, sauteeing, frying, or use as a salad, or in a sandwich like any leafy plant as lettuce.
Purslane may be a common plant, but it is uncommonly good for you. It tops the list of plants high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.
Omega-3s are a class of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. Your body cannot manufacture essential fatty acids, so you must get them from food. Unfortunately, the typical American diet contains too few omega-3s, a shortage that is linked to a barrage of illnesses including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
ALA is most commonly found in plants and grass-fed meat and eggs. Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet, says purslane is one of the richest known plant sources of ALA: It contains 15 times the amount found in most iceberg lettuce.
In addition to ALA, other omega-3s include eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids mostly found in aquatic plants and animals, especially oily fish. Nutritionists now think all forms of omega-3s need to be plentiful in our diets p lants such as purslane may be part of the missing link to better nutrition. Ethnobiologists — scientists who study the relation between primitive human societies and the plants in their environment — believe that the plants humans ate long ago provided a greater proportion of nutrients than the plants we consume today. They estimate, for instance, that humans 40,000 to 10,000 years ago consumed an average of 390 milligrams per day of vitamin C from wild plants and fruits. In contrast, the average American today consumes just 88 milligrams of vitamin C per day. One cup of cooked purslane has 25 milligrams (20 percent of the recommended daily intake) of vitamin C.
Purslane can be used in pestos with much success. The juices in this plant make it easier to use less oil.
Eat this plant raw, cooked or boiled.
The seeds can be harvested, and grown to use tender young shoots for many dishes. Germination is very fast. So you can harvest tender shoots in no time for salads or for juicing.
This article only touches a small side of these wonderful plants
There are so much more to learn, and so many more benefits than described here. So many other edible weeds to eat.
Get out there and try some today. If you enjoy what you tasted, please let me know what you thought. I know you will be delighted.
Hopefully, you will enjoy a hearty lunch of free wild food. So next time you see these in your garden, if you must pull them out, save them in a basket and eat them for dinner….You will love the health benefits.
I know once you try them you will continue to eat them. For that reason, I accomplished my reason for writing this.
If you want to learn more about edible weeds, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you many resources on edible weeds. Also, your local library will have many publications on this subject.
I’d like to leave you with a smile
Have A Bountiful Day
Mom and Grandma