Many people say that the difference between a plant and a weed is judgement. This is especially true for these amazing plants that are often dismissed as weeds to be sent to the compost! This article will give you a brief description for the benefits of 6 common weeds that you can add to your diet.
This is a common garden weed that has tons of benefits! Purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin C, iron, and calcium. You can eat the whole plant, which is crunchy and has a slight lemony taste. It adds a great crunch to salads and can be cooked in many different ways!
Check out these yummy ways to use purslane!
Dandelions are one of my favorite weeds; you can eat the whole plant, roots and all! The yellow flower portion of the plant has more beta-carotene than carrots, which is great for your eyesight! Additionally, Dandelions have vitamins A, B, C and D on top of having iron, potassium, and zinc!
Here are some great recipes for every part of the plant!
Amaranth is a traditional foraged food in the Southwest by many Indigenous Americans. The seeds have high quality oil content called tocotrienols, which is a rare form of vitamin E. The seeds also have a significantly higher protein content than other grains. The leaves contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate as well as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and manganese.
Mallow is frequently used in herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, demulcent, emollient, laxative and expectorant. The leaves have vitamins A and C as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium. The whole plant is edible! The leaves, fruit, and flowers are good added to salads. The leaves produce a sticky substance when cooked that is similar to okra, so Mallow is also a great thickener for soups!
Here is a great recipe for Mallow Leaf and White Bean Burgers!
This weed is related to Quinoa, which you can see later in the season when it begins to go to seed. Often called wild spinach, Lamb’s Quarters is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, protein, and many other minerals!
You can use Lamb’s Quarters as a replacement for spinach or chard in your cooking!
This is an invasive species originating from Japan, found all over the Southern United States. Kudzu has been used in Chinese medicine to treat alcoholism, heart and circulatory problems, symptoms of menopause, as well as upper respiratory problems. Almost the whole plant is edible, from the root to the leaves. Do not eat the pods and seeds!
Here is more information and recipes for this amazing plant!
Knowing how to use these amazing plants can transform your weeding day into a fun harvest day! Give these plants a chance and enjoy your new tasty garden treats!
*** Make sure you wash every plant carefully, especially if you use pesticides and/or chemical fertilizers in your garden!