A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. – Doug Larson
Wild Greens are a gift from Mother Nature’s garden. They provide free, organic, highly nutritious options to summer cooking. As a girl, I was sent out to pick lambsquarter, poke salat, dandelion and wild violet leaves for family dinner. Wild greens are still one of my favorite vegetables, lambsquarter being the first on my list.
Young plants offer the most tender taste, but even the end tips of mature plants, with their more pungent summer flavor, can add interest, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Before picking any wild green, do your research and get the facts to assure you don’t eat something poisonous!!!!
I will post more articles to introduce recipes and photos to inspire you toward wild foraging (if you aren’t already a fanatic about it…)
This green smoothie includes lambsquarter, broccoli, banana, almonds, coconut oil, a chunk of ginger root, and warm water (ginger and warm/hot water aids in digesting raw foods). You can add raisins, dates, or honey to sweeten, but with the banana it’s plenty sweet already.
Options for Cooking with Wild Greens
- Puree with any combo of fruit, veggies, nuts, seaweed, and oil for a nutritious smoothie.
- Sauté alone or with other veggies.
- Serve sautéed on rice or wrap them in a tortilla with beans, cheese, avocado and any other desired vegetable or meat.
- Chop and add to soups.
- Toss with cooked pasta, olive oil and vinegar for pasta salad.
- Add to a mixed greens salad.
- Substitute for spinach in any recipe.
- Puree and add to muffins and breads.
- Use your imagination!
- Try this recipe for Wild Green Muffins
- Or this recipe for Dandelion Pancakes
Whenever we move to a new home, I look for young lambsquarter plants in the spring. To keep them tender, I water them occasionally and harvest the tops, which encourages branching for harvesting new leaflets in the upcoming weeks. I allow a few to grow and go to seed, which assures my garden for the next year. It also survives well in dry conditions. Lambsquarter is an amazingly tough plant! It is one of the few plants that grows readily in shade as well as sun, so I am encouraging it to fill in space under this fur tree. With regular trimming and watering, it will eventually be an excellent ground cover. See the photo of a large lambsquarter patch under our huge fruitless mulberry tree in Albuquerque. I trimmed it with our weed eater, and friends were invited to come by to pick their own.
(A fun fact – Walter White’s home (he was the wacky father and drug dealer from the series “Breaking Bad”) was located right down the street on our block. He never came by to pick our weeds. Maybe if we had been growing marijuana he would have been more neighborly?)
Now Available! My book, Nature’s Garden: Edible Wild Plants in a City Yard, includes information on harvesting and preparation, along with colorful photos! Learn more or order here.
Take life in hand and make it happen. It’s your life. Lead it!