Posted by Deerbusters on May 20, 2014
At Deer Busters, we know that when you work hard to keep a healthy garden, one of the last things you want to do is weed it all the time – but did you know that many weeds are edible? The next time you start pulling out unwanted plants, check to see if they’re any of the ones we’ve listed below. If so, don’t throw them out – eat them!
Our ancestors were able to use cattails to make many things including mats, torches, baskets, clothing insulation, and more. Fresh stalks contain shoots that can be eaten raw, sauteed, or baked.
Dandelion greens are often sold in stores to be used for salads, but you can find dandelions nearly anywhere. Tender leaves that grow in spring or fall are the sweetest and you can also eat the flower, which is rich in beta-carotene.
Red clover is another weed you can find nearly anywhere, and is actually considered medicinal by the traditional Chinese culture. In addition to treating whooping cough and psoriasis, you can also toss red clover blossoms in a salad or steep them in hot water to make tea.
Queen Anne’s lace is known as the wild carrot and is actually very high in sugar. You can eat the flower head raw or fry it up with a light batter. You can also eat the seeds, roots, and leaves (just be sure to eat the roots before the flowers bloom for the best taste).
This powdery plant has a very earthy taste, similar to chard or kale. You can eat the leaves, shoots, flowers, and seeds. Try them raw in a salad or saute them in olive oil.
Stinging nettle is a plant with irritating, sharp hairs, so you may not immediately think to eat it. However, the leaves can be dried or cooked (don’t eat them raw!) and added to soups or stews. You can also eat the stems.
*Photos courtesy of ediblewildfood.com*