I told a friend a few days ago about how when I’m weeding, I bring the dandelion and morning glory in and throw them in my fridge or blender.I don’t love the weedy taste of morning glory, so I use it in minimal amounts.Did you know the ENTIRE dandelion plant is edible?Roots, flowers, anything.And wild plants have higher nutrient content than cultivated ones!
This year I’m going to try to learn to identify several new weeds to eat as part of my learning how to be prepared for emergencies.(When we can’t obtain cultivated greens, it will be nice to be one of the few who can gather non-cultivated greens.)I have the U.S. Army’s The Illustrated Guide to Edible Wild Plants.It’s an okay book–doesn’t include some plants I know to be edible, and doesn’t always say the greens are edible for a certain plant, when I know they are.But it has a checklist for how to test a new plant you want to eat but don’t know if it’s poisonous, to find out with very low risk if you will tolerate it.
Many of the plants in that very inexpensive book aren’t in my climate–some of you who might want to eat cactus or learn what grows in humid climates near water.
Here are some, from my studies, that grow commonly in my climate and are easy to find.The first three I already see in Utah and pick for my smoothies on a regular basis:
Purslane (this one tastes the best of all the weeds, I think)
Pine needles (yep, you can eat pine needles)
Oak leaves (yep, the leaves from oak trees–this should be easy for you)
Wild dock and wild sorrel
Grape leaves (wild or cultivated)
Strawberry leaves (I need to thin mine anyway)
The way you test a new green is to first rub it inside your elbow or wrist, then you put it in your mouth (don’t chew), then you taste a tiny piece of it, then eat ¼ cup . . . all the while seeing if you have any negative reaction.
Hope you enjoy some wild plants this summer.They’re free, and they’re wildly nutritious.Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint.