Weeds are the enemies of gardeners. They are the leafy pests that make maintaining a garden tedious. While all weeds may look dubious, not all are evil. In fact, there are quite a few edible weeds that you might want to let flourish among your vegetables. Here are just a few to keep an eye out for that you can add to your next salad.
Cook it up or eat it raw, dandelions are good in a stir-fry, fried alone, or simply eaten as a snack. Eat them in spring and fall when their leaves are still tender and sweet. These weeds are also rich in beta-carotene, a natural form of vitamin A. You can even use this weed to make dandelion wine.
Bearing a spiky purple flower, this edible weed can be stripped of its outer layers and, once boiled, tastes a bit like artichoke.
Tangy and tart, this edible weed can add unique flavor to a variety of dishes.
4. Red Clover
Felling lucky? Clover can be eaten raw or added to a salad and can even be dried for tea.
This succulent grows everywhere and is more nutritious than you think. Purslane has more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy green and will add a peppery flavor to any dish.
All parts of the chickweed plant can be consumed and can be used as a topical medicine for cuts or burns. Don’t eat too much though, as this weed may have a laxative effect in large quantities.
Not the yummy banana kind but still good to eat, plantain weed grows most frequently in your lawn and is best eaten when its leaves are young, as older leaves grow tough. The flower spike that this weed produces can also be ground into a flour.
8. Lambs Quarter
This weed will mix perfectly into your salad, and for those who detest spinach, lambs quarter can substitute it well. It is sometimes even referred to as “wild spinach.” The seeds are also edible and, like quinoa, full of protein.
An already popular salad ingredient, watercress is indeed an edible weed. Stop buying it at the store and harvest it yourself.
10. Wild Garlic
This weed produces a beautiful purple flower and can be used in salads, vinaigrettes or pesto.
Growing edible weeds on purpose, why not? Remember, only pick and eat weeds that you are sure have not been sprayed with any unsafe chemicals or treated with any sort of pesticide or fungicide and wash all weeds just as thoroughly as you would your other produce.