Photo: Four edible

Nutritious and delicious Miner's lettuce salad (Photo Credit: Brendan Harris)

As spring blooms, people often rid their yards and gardens of "weeds" in preparation for a fresh start. But a "weed" is a valueless or undesirable plant. And that's a matter of perspective!

Enrich your diet with these four edibles that are as delicious as they are common. (You'll also avoid harmful herbicides and support beneficial insects.)

Chickweed
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This spade-leafed plant has small white flowers. Tastes like spinach. High in beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Look for it at the edges of pavement, garden beds and gravel areas. At night, it "sleeps" by folding its leaves over the buds and new shoots. Use it to make delicious chickweed pakoras!

Dandelion
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Find these bright yellow flowers in fields, lawns and garden edges. They're high in Vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as iron, potassium and zinc. Every part of the plant is edible, from the roots to the blossom! Add blossoms to brighten up any salad. Try this recipe for dandy tempura.

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Miner's lettuce (a.k.a winter purslane)
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Find this satellite-shaped plant in most backyards and parks, in shady areas near fences, gardens and at the base of trees. Named for the nutrition it gave early miners struggling to find food, it contains high levels of chlorophyll and vitamin C. Try this healthy spin on egg salad.

Wood sorrel
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This dainty plant resembles clover. Look for it along garden edges, fences or your home's exterior walls. Its heart-shaped petals have a bright, citrus flavour and are high in vitamin C. Try this sorrel smoothie recipe and make enough to share.

Share your favorite recipes for "weeds" in the comments and I'll compile them for a future blog. Happy harvesting!

Sincerely,

Nikki Sanchez, a fellow Queen of Green

May 15, 2017
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2017/05/four-edible-weeds/

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11 Comments

Jun 18, 2017
6:12 AM

Lambs Quarters are also very nutritious and commonly found. Great addition to salad or steam for a veg ‘side’. is very bland so I like with some salad dressing or salsa etc.

Jun 17, 2017
7:15 AM

Thoroughly enjoyed this article and would like to know more!!!!

Jun 14, 2017
2:57 PM

Me and my brother eat Dandelion all the time in the summer! Just be for you eat it check to make sure there is no bugs on it.

Jun 14, 2017
12:10 PM

I too eat Lamb’s Quarters with relish and in past purslane and amaranth. Working up courage to try young Poke. Guyruden meruleoidies ( sp) blue when cut mushrooms..are good. . ( student of Euell Gibbons) Don’t like squishy texture of puff balls. 🙂

Jun 13, 2017
8:05 PM

What parts of the miners lettuce can you eat? I think it blossoms at some point. Also are the chickweed and sorrel safe enough without having any sneaky look-a-likes that are less safe to eat? I’m always nervous about my plant identifying skills!

Jun 13, 2017
5:40 PM

Please, especially for edible plants write the Latin name…. And sorrel is not a clover but a plant with clover like leaves….and sorrel contains oxalates that can be precipitated in the bladder….so go easy!!!!?

Jun 13, 2017
2:27 PM

I appreciate your sharing information about edible weeds. I’d love to try something like this but, I worry about ingesting plants that looks similar to the ones described here, but are poisonous. Can you please comment on the possible dangers?

Jun 13, 2017
1:22 PM

Love your posts. Winter over here in Aotearoa but will look out for these goodies when our spring arrives 😀😀

Jun 13, 2017
1:18 PM

Be careful with wood sorrel. http://bushcraftskills.blogspot.ca/2010/07/wild-edibles-delicious-lemony-medicinal.html

Jun 13, 2017
1:01 PM

Chickweed also has remarkable properties for skin. I have crushed it between my hands to use the juice for eczema and found it more effective than any other remedy. It’s used in skin salves but I find it works better for eczema fresh. It also keeps my hands supple when I’m gardening without gloves. My young kids foraged for Wood Sorrel when they had no interest in other greens. I’ve seen babies enjoy the leaves. I always leave some in my garden for that reason.

May 16, 2017
2:19 PM

We eat pigweed in the summer…we use it in place of spinach!

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