Hello readers. This morning I’m writing as I sip a homemade smoothie. My wife Raederle turned me on to smoothies and it helped me get back to the waist size I had when I was in college – I dropped about 3 inches in only a month or two, and am very pleased.
Today’s smoothie was brought to me by my back-yard garden. And not actually by anything that I planted on purpose, but by the weeds that are growing in my pepper patch.
- Step 1 – remove weeds
- Step 2 – wash off stray dirt
- Step 3 – blend1 (with some added water and a little “green powder” if you’d like)
- Step 4 – enjoy while writing to you about this discovery
Now maybe I’m just lucky to have a really good seed-bank, but I’m pretty amazed at how many of the weeds I’ve got growing in this patch are edible. Principle among them is purslane (Portulaca oleracea) but we also have kale (Brassica oleracea, although only certain cultivars are grown as kale), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), and amaranth (probably Amaranthus retroflexus, but hard to tell) in the patch. Of these, I’d recommend keeping the amaranth for salads or cooking – in smoothies it seems to leave an unpleasant astringent sensation. You should probably toss the dandelion if, when you pluck the leaves off, there is much visible white latex sap, as they’ll be unpleasantly bitter. Look for these in your garden and consider whether you might make a meal of them rather than simply tossing them in the compost pile.
Between them are some not-very-edibles: quackgrass (Elymus repens) – which fortunately is no longer prevalent; ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) – a mint-family member which some consider edible but which others consider toxic; and something that is probably Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) or wild carrot (Daucus pusillus) or parsley (Petroselinum crispum) but which is to easily confused with more toxic things such as wild parsnip (if I give you the binomial Pastinaca sativa wikipedia will lead you to common garden parsnip, which is confusing because USDA seems to agree that Pastinaca sativa is a noxious weed and not a food plant) or even poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). If you were me, you’d just weed these out and not bother trying to figure out whether they were edible, because your blender would easily fill up with the known goodies above.
- This step is a lot easier with good high-speed blender like our BlendTec or a Vitamix. ↩