As many of you already know, our ecosystems are under attack by invasive species of plants and animals. Plants like mustard–garlic and goutweed are slowly taking over our native plants. They are spreading and changing the landscape as well as the fragile interconnections and relationships that make up the biodiversity within these ecosystems.
But you can do your part! Many of these invasive species were brought here as a food source by our fore-parents. Without some of these plants, they might have starved by not knowing what to eat. But with today’s information technology, clear pictures and identification notes can be readily at hand to help ensure the safety and edibility of the weed in front of you. Also, recipes can easily be found for the edible plants, such as mustard-garlic pesto. The next you are having trouble controlling a weed in your garden or forest, look it up. It might just be a tasty green or herbal that the trendy health food stores might be charging over of $100 per kg, like Dandelion Root.
I have personally tasted the seeds of mustard-garlic (boiled with quinoa), salad from dandelions and wood sorrel greens, teas from dandelions roots and flowers, burdock roots stir-fried, coffee from chicory (amazing!), to name a few.
As a safety note, always make sure of the plant’s identification and preparation before consuming. For the most part, a majority of the plants out there are fairly safe to eat, but there are a few plants that are deadly in all parts of the world or at least will give a good “bio-cleanse” for a few days. The plants I listed above generally do not have poisonous look-a-likes, unlike the carrot family; poison hemlock (highly poisonous) and wild carrots / Queen Anne’s Lace (edible) look too close for my comfort.
This link has a few mustard – garlic recipes: http://www.fosc.org/GM-Recipe.htm
We look forward to hearing your comments about the plants and weeds growing in your garden that you have cooked up?
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Happy eating the weeding.
Beyond The POST