A weed - that constant source of annoyance to gardeners and homeowners alike - is, if claims are to be believed, possibly the most nutritious food on the planet.
But let me backtrack -
Last weekend I was at the farmer's market. I knew I was going to have to unexpectedly head out of town for a few days (which is why you're not getting beets and kale this week either), so there wasn't much I needed. I was just wandering as my daughter shopped.
I was scanning the greens on the table when I overheard a conversation behind me. A woman was asking her friends if they'd ever eaten purslane. She said she had learned about it from some cooking show and that it was one of the healthiest foods in the world. It looked to me like a mini Jade plant.
I took a closer look. The label said it was the richest plant source of omegas. So I bought some.
Now, I think reading Shakespeare may be the only other time I've heard of purslane. Or it may have been in a Shakespeare garden I visited.
Since I'd be at my mother's house and not really able to cook, I thought I'd explore a little more for today's post.
The results gave me words like "Exceptionally nutritious," "Edible supergreen,"
Yes, purslane is a common weed.
But somewhere in my researching I came across a discussion about how most research done on weeds is how to eradicate them, but the best way to do that is to simply eat them!
Why would you want to eat a weed?
Well, according to Nutrition and You,
According to Mother Earth News:"Soft, succulent purslane leaves have more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of the fish oils."
Purslane may be a common plant, but it is uncommonly good for you. It tops the list of plants high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.
An interesting quote from the site Heal With Food:
Studies investigating the remarkable longevity and low rate of cardiovascular diseases among people living on the Greek island of Crete suggest that the high dietary intake of ALA from foods like purslane, walnuts, figs, and stamnagathi might be a key contributor to Cretans' exceptionally good health.(If you're wondering, stamnagathi is a wild green that grows on Crete.)
I love this video because he's playing ball with the dog while he talks about purslane.
I found this video that I thought was fascinating – especially for us as writers wanting to understand different lives people choose
The Woman who eats weeds https://vimeo.com/54412653
She also has a website: Julia's Edible Weeds
I don't really recommend picking purslane in the wild because there is a look-alike that's actually poisonous. This video does a really good job of showing the difference between the two.
So, how do you feel about eating weeds? Are you ready to give purlane a try? Or do you already eat it?
Let's talk about weeds. :)