Weeds are actively growing right now in Rhode Island…I’m talking about the legal ones people. Conscious Cuisine http://consciouscuisineri.com foraged a bunch of wild greens and discussed with myself and 9 others the reasons we would want to include weeds in our usual diets.
This is what we know: 95-97% of Americans are deficient in FIBER and POTASSIUM. We eat processed food that is high in calories and low in micronutrients. On top of that, if you take anti-reflux medications(not to mention pharmaceuticals), drink alcohol, have leg cramps, muscle weakness, poor night vision or restless leg syndrome, you need more WEEDS in your diet! Get excited and re-educate your tastebuds to enjoy good wholesome food rather than the same ole’ shiz you grew up on…sorry Mom.
More reasons we want to add weeds to the same old ‘hillbilly’ recipes we eat day after day is the multitude of micronutrients. Common weeds have the potential to offset deficiencies in vitamins A , B and C, as well as zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Not to mention the powerful antioxidants that help boost our immune systems keeping us hardy enough to fight invaders, including auto immune diseases, cancer and viruses. Another reason is more plants keep the bowels working too!
As an old friend once told me, ‘Pam there’s nothing like a good void in the morning’… plants have fiber and that helps keep us ‘regular’ with more energy too kids.
The ‘weeds’ cooking demo included a group of 10 adventurous students and we definitely enjoyed the new and improved appetizers, salads and stir fry and were simply amazed at how delicious our ‘mega’ nutritious meal was!
Our salad consisted of dandelion flower petals, wild violet flowers, violet leaves, wood sorrel, sheep’s sorrel, bishop’s weed, dandelion leaves, yarrow, garlic mustard, red veined sorrel, wild onion, wild lettuce, and romaine lettuce for familiarity…hahahaha!
Next came the pesto, which was made with common dock and yellow dock leaves, dandelion, plantain, and comfrey(all leaves). We ate the pesto on fresh bread or rice crackers as an appetizer. The pasta dish had the same plants as the pesto but stir fried. Also a few spruce tree tips sauteed with EVOO and butter. Deliciouso
So the only problem is where the H-E-double hockey sticks to you get the edible weeds? If you live in the ‘burbs’ and have a yard or access to your neighbor’s yard and no one uses pesticides…learn what the weeds look like from a master like our teacher on a local weed walk or a book like Invasive Plant Medicine by Timothy Lee Scott and forage in your own area right now in the spring season experimenting and adding a few edibles to your usual ‘run of the mill’ salads, soups and entrees. So you ‘ain’t got time for that’, buy the weeds all clean and bagged at your local farmer’s market; phew that’s easier. Here’s a link to see what some weeds look like and their common names: https://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/eat-dandelions-9-edible-garden-weeds.html
The weeds are bitter for sure, ask Mike, but you could hire someone with experience for a home based ‘weed’ cooking workshop like we did (Mikey liked Brett’s recipes) or maybe you’d rather go out and be served…the only place I know is 3000 miles WEST in the Fremont section of Seattle… Art of the Table http://artofthetable.net/category/menu/ they know what’s up when it comes to foraging and preparing delicious and nutritious food…tell Mary I said ‘Hi’!
Just get healthy EAST to WEST!