I lovingly joke that I encourage my family to eat weeds. The “s” is important here and, for those who knew me twenty years ago, I feel compelled to stress the S in weedS 😉
But seriously, today I want to highlight two incredibly important foods that many people don’t eat (you might even be pulling them out of your garden!)
Dandelion greens are one of the healthiest foods. If you object to their bitter taste, you can blanche them in boiling water 1 minute before sautéing. I won’t pretend that they’re my children’s favorite but they’re loaded with calcium and vitamin K (both incredibly important for building strong bones among other things), they are a vegetarian source of protein and they naturally support the liver in detoxification.
Needless to say, we’ve been eating them more frequently. I enjoy dandelion greens sautéd with some crispy bacon and caramelized onions and it also helps to combine them with other greens. When I put them into a smoothie I add them with something sweet like a banana or pineapple.
If you don’t use pesticides or chemical fertilizers on your lawn (and I really, really hope you don’t, but that’s for another newsletter) you can pick the dandelions right from your yard. They’re also available at farmer’s market or health-focused stores.
Purslane is also a weed that I used to pull out of my garden in fistfuls, until I learned how wonderful (and actually tasty) it is. Purslane has more omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant food and is also a wonderful source of minerals as well as vitamin K. Now, instead of tossing it in the compost, I use the tender succulent leaves in salads. I love to pair it with watercress and baby greens. It’s also delicious in a sandwich or on top of a burger. You may find it growing wild in your yard and I’ve started seeing it more at farmer’s markets too.
So…If you’re feeling wild enough to try some weeds, I’d love to hear how it goes. Tell me what you thought!