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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