Eating Weeds: Recipes & Information

Sustainable Living & Housing — Rob @ 3:51 am

Another Non-Edible WeedI came across a post the other day on Get Rich Slowly and the author there has a garden full of Raspberry bushes. Instead of pruning them and throwing away all the weeds, she managed to cook up a Raspberry leaf tea. Further in her article she event mentioned that you could EAT WEEDS! Wow…

Cooking Weeds and Tasty Recipes

This really intrigued me, so I decided to look into it myself. I came across a number of interesting sites that all discuss cooking with weeds from your garden. Some look kind of tasty but for the most part they look … err… interesting. Here’s a list of links that I found helpful:

Eating Weeds for Health – How weeds are good for your health

Edible Weeds and Recipes – A great article about weeds that are healthy and tasty

Species of Weed and Cooking Instructions – Types of weeds, recipes and how to cook them.

These sites were really very helpful in my search for weeds to eat. They provided hope for me that I could find a veritable farm in my backyard. Not so…

Not an Edible Weed but a Weed nonethelessDon’t Eat Weeds You Can’t Verify

I did a bit of looking around and I couldn’t find a single website around weeds in my backyard. The weeds I found on these sites were all vastly different to what I have encountered before. So naturally, when I ventured into my backyard, all I found were the usual bunches of crows feet and other not-so-tasty looking plants. Since I couldn’t find any information about what Australian plants to eat, or positively identify the plants from websites, I decided to do something intelligent.

Not Eat Them. If I did, I could end up quite sick.

Eating Australian Weeds

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any websites out there that specifically dealt with Australian Weeds. That’s a pity for me as the Australian environment hosts a lot of poisonous plants and animals. Particularly those that have been introduced by European settlers.

Forward Australian Weed Eating Articles Onto Me

I realise this is a bit of a weird call to arms, but if you happen to find any information about eating weeds, please let me know via my contact page. I’ll happily post about it and give you credit for your help.

Your Local, Native Weed Eater

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  1. Excellent post, thanks!
    I love love love to eat weeds! I like the photo of the sunburnt sow thistle a weed often stolen by aphids!
    My favorite way to eat dandelion leaves is in a quesadilla, a sandwich or mixed wild and tame salad. My favorite way to eat the roots is cooked and served with some chopped tomato and olive oil and black eyed peas with rice.

    I have a bunch of recipes for weeds and work on them daily. SOmeone in my neighborhood just cut back a prickly pear cactus, so I am working on how to best enjoy the prickly pear. Such a tricky vegetable!

    Also be warned, every time I have gone on a garlic mustard binge I have landed a bad case of injured tummy, maybe ulcers?

    Burdock blows my mind, and I wouldn’t recommend allowing the roots to boil. Cook long on low, or even if tea in a pot, simmer without boiling. It is said to destroy some lovely volatile super powers of the plant.

    I have been eating chickweed for years, and lamb’s quarters and amaranth and purslane. The last three all have the common name pigweed. One interesting thing in the Susun Weed article you posted link to is the mention of smartweed and the allusion to the fact that it isn’t edible.

    I didn’t think it was either, and when a friend assured me repeatedly that it was, I still made him provide at least two concrete publications which stated it was. He did, even though we were camping, and I tried it.

    Yummy surprise! It is also known as lady’s thumb and had been a harassment in my big gardening endeavour. Now I just love finding it. It can be thrown in salads or snacked on. I haven’t heard smartweed or lady’s thumb as a common name for any other plant.

    Well blessings and thanks!
    May the wild spirits be embraced!
    In every unique taste!

    Initcirc Gaia

    Comment by initcirc — May 2, 2009 @ 1:27 am
  2. btw I love Susun Weed’s pioneering work in the rediscovery of weedeating, and the repopularization of herbal medicine.

    Comment by initcirc — May 2, 2009 @ 1:29 am
  3. Thanks for the comment Initcirc.

    You made a smart move getting reassurance on Smartweed being edible.

    I’m yet to find something edible here in Australia – we have different weeds to the rest of the world. All the weeds mentioned on the sites seem completely foreign to me with the exception of Pigweed which seems vaguely familiar. When I come across it next time I’ll check it out and do some Google’ing!

    Comment by Rob — May 2, 2009 @ 2:03 am
  4. By the way Initcirc, you might find this Wikipedia article helpful:

    Comment by Rob — May 2, 2009 @ 2:06 am
  5. hello, so nice to know there are others who want to eat weeds to. I have not personally tried it but am looking to start, when I feel it is safe to do so. still trying to find sorces. will let you know how it works out.

    Comment by chuck maltbie sr. — September 21, 2009 @ 8:27 pm
  6. I’m in the UK so can’t help with Oz weeds, but the great good news in the UK is that the appalling garden pest Ground Elder is not only edible, but good. Cook the leaves like spinach. You can’t get rid of it, so enjoy it as free food.

    Comment by Arabella — November 24, 2009 @ 6:47 am
  7. What kind of weed is the second picture?

    Comment by insins — March 17, 2010 @ 8:13 pm
  8. I took the eat a weed workshop at Bernheim Forest, Clermont, Ky. U.S.A. We ate Daylilies, Flowers and tubers and they were delicious, Queen Anne’s Lace was good too, just don’t confuse it with Water Hemlock, that would be deadly.

    Comment by dee — July 8, 2010 @ 5:34 pm
  9. check out green for life, book & webpage by victoria boutenko….if you love weeds, you’ll love her green smoothies! (the only way to eat them, I think) Also in Australia we don’t have thecommon plantain, I looked it up in my herbal encyclopaedia. Ours is very drying – 3-4 leaves in a teapot makesa tea that will stop a runny nose for an hour or two. I take the tea chilled in a drink bottle when i have to go out during a sniffle.I have heard(but not confirmed) that if you drink enough of it it will also ‘dry’ up your menstrual cyle too.

    Comment by Megan Brinsmead — July 22, 2010 @ 12:35 am
  10. You can usually get local booklets about edible plants anywhere in Australia. Weeds are just any plants, native or not, growing where they weren’t planted. Definitely don’t eat or brew tea from something you don’t know. Ask some local aboriginies, maybe they know the plants…

    Comment by robert rawson — September 12, 2011 @ 7:48 am

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