Chickweed: Foraged Greens
You know what’s even better than fresh, homegrown veggies? Fresh, edible WEEDS you didn’t have to plant. Like chickweed: foraged greens from the backyard.
And if eating weeds feels too extreme, just call them wildcrafted edibles.
See also: Four easy-to-find foraged greens.
Chickweed: foraged greens
Chickweed grows like CRAZY on our property. It even grows in the bare spots of my raised beds in the kitchen garden. Instead of weeding these boxes, I say let it grow!
I’m not using that space for anything else when chickweed grows in late winter and early spring. Therefore, I just keep trimming the chickweed to keep it fresh and to harvest it for our salads.
By the way, my 7-year-old actually loves to grab a handful and chow down! He did tell me that he avoids wet chickweed, because you just never know what made it wet. Word to the wise!
In the picture below, you can see him chomping on a mouthful of chickweed.
What does chickweed taste like?
Chickweed is delicious, with a taste reminiscent of spinach but with even more nutrients.
Believe me, there were moments during the worst parts of the pandemic when I thought to myself, if all else fails, we shall survive on fresh eggs and chickweed.
Chickweed is one nutritious weed, possibly packing in more nutrients than spinach. Chickweed foraged greens are known to contain vitamins A, B, C, D, as well as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, manganese, iron and more.
Chickweed even provides a bit of protein and of course fiber. It’s a great way to eat your greens, especially in spring when it grows so abundantly.
When to look for chickweed
Chickweed grows during late winter and early spring, when temperatures are just barely starting to warm up but not much is happening in the spring garden yet. This delicious, nutritious weed makes the perfect transition to fresh spring greens!
How to use chickweed
- Tossed with greens in a salad
- Tucked into a sandwich or wrap
- Added to a smoothie
- Chopped and tossed into soup
- Wilted or sautéed as a side dish
- Puréed into chickweed pesto (substitute for basil in this pesto recipe)
My family mostly enjoys the first three ways listed above, and I’ve experimented just a bit with the fifth way. I absolutely love including chickweed in a spring salad to round out the flavors.
Have you tried chickweed?
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