Did You Just Say Some Weeds Are Edible?


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Categories: Food

I learned that so many of the common plants growing freely in my own yard are not only edible, but delicious, and there is a whole world of edible plants available for free at our local parks and beaches. Melany's classes focus on the edibility of invasive plants. Although many native plants are also edible, it actually benefits our local ecosystem to harvest invasives.

Personally, her classes have given me a new perspective on my own yard. Weeds become a different entity when you consider how nutritious they are! Check out her blog for more info. Here's what we saw today:

Bedstraw or Cleaver (Galleum). While it has velcro-like leaves and stems that stick to each other and to clothing, the young leaves & stems are surprisingly tender and can be eaten fresh or used in salads.

Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata). This is a particularly ugly example. You wouldn't want to harvest it, as it's obviously been stepped on. Better examples are most likely all around you! They are similar looking to dandelion greens, only very fuzzy and less bitter. Add young leaves to salads, or roast & brew the root for a coffee-like drink.

Chickweed (Stellaria). Entire plant is edible raw in early spring. Very tender and mild.

Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)Edible flowers and young leaves.

Horsetail (Equisetum). This time of year the inedible dead stalks are still standing from last year. Soon though, new asparagus-like shoots will grow in this marshy woodland, and can be eaten raw or sauteed. Peel off outer layer of young shoots to expose the tender middle.

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