Board index Primitive Living & Survival Skills Edible Plants 5 weeds for food and health

5 weeds for food and health

Besides broccoli ...

Post Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:01 pm
IdahoHerbalist User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 1110 ... -Weeds.htm

Among the wild leaves, flowers, berries, nuts, fruit, roots, and bulbs that can be foraged as food, you'll find that some weeds that are edible, easily identified, and easy to forage. Take a look at the list below. Recognize anyone from your yard or homestead?

This article is for informational use only. Harvesting and eating foraged plants is always at the discretion and the responsibility of the reader.

Dandelions are a popular edible weed found in every garden and lawn everywhere!. Peter
1. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Previously hated (and eradicated) by suburbanites everywhere, dandelions are currently making a comeback. These perennial weeds are once again enjoying their rightful throne both as a medicinal and culinary herb.

Dandelion greens are reminiscent of arugula and can be steamed or sauteed. Harvest the leaves while they're young if you're going to use them in a salad or sandwich, as that's when they are the least bitter.

Chickweed favors the cool weather of spring and fall. John Tann
2. Chickweed (Stellaria media)

You might find annual chickweed year round, but it favors the cool weather of spring and fall. Chickweed makes a mild and tasty salad green. Use this common and crunchy weed in sandwiches the same way that you would sprouts.

Vitamin-loaded chickweed can be cooked, but it's also easily over-cooked. It's just as tasty when it's added to soups and stews.

Natural edible landscaping from the cracks in your driveway. Forest and Kim Starr
3. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane is a sprawling, heat-loving, annual succulent that shows up on just about everywhere (including your garden). You're most likely to notice them on the roadside or between sidewalk and cement cracks. Just think of this as the ultimate in natural edible landscaping.

Use purslane like you would lettuce in a sandwich; toss them into soups and stews; and steam or stir-fry them.

Miner's lettuce is one of the first delicious greens to show up in early spring. Dawn Endico
4. Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia prefoliata)

Miner's lettuce is plentiful here in the California gold country. In fact, this round-leafy succulent was named for the miners that came to the west in search of gold. During those tough times many a miner's diet was supplemented with this woodland green.

Use Miner's lettuce in baked dishes; steamed as you would spinach; or raw and fresh in salads.

Once cooked, stinging nettles lose their bite. J. Brew
5. Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Now this perennial weed doesn't sound like a pleasant edible, right? I'm not going to lie to you -- if you attempt to harvest this weed without gloves, you're going to be very unhappy. Those little hairs can cause anything from light itching to downright burning once they connect with your skin.

That said, once they are cooked they lose that stinging ability. Nettles are loaded with vitamins and has been used for hundreds of years as a health tonic.

The Number One Foraging Rule
It bears repeating, so I'm going to remind you about our Number One Safety Rule when harvesting wild foods: Be able to properly identify every plant that you harvest and know whether it's safe for human consumption (edible). If you can't 100% positively ID the plant you're harvesting (and know it to be an edible) -- then do not put it in your mouth, period.

Post Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:31 pm

Posts: 14
Location: Central Florida, Gulf 9b
You do not have to cook your nettles, you can blend them into a smoothie.. the point is that the chemical on the inside of the leaf dissolves the stingers on the outside of the leaf :P

A friend once told me that the cure for the nettle sting was the nettle itself! Cool, right!?!
~Jeni, a.k.a. Lady Solidago

Finish every day and be done with it... This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Post Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:02 pm
Doc Jones User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 1004
You can also eat fresh nettles in the early spring before they get stingy. :)

Return to Edible Plants