Did You Know You Can Eat This Weed That Grows In Your Crack?
Come on now! I'm talking about the crack in the sidewalk. You've probably stepped on and over this weedy plant as it grows pretty much anywhere. It's called Common Purslane. It has a very shallow root system, so if you have a paved driveway or sidewalk, you've probably been pulling it out of the cracks and throwing it away. Well you can stop throwing it away. Eat it instead!
Now I'm not saying that you should pull it up and start snacking on it. Yes, you obviously need to wash it off, but every part of this plant is edible and it's full of nutrition. It's got Omega-3 fatty acids, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamins A & C, and antioxidants. Who knew that this irritating weedy plant could be so good for you?
I asked Bill Cook, Master Gardener with the University of Minnesota Extension office, how he prepares it, and what it tastes like? He said you can run it under water, and pick off the leaves, pick the stems off, and put it on a salad. Some people actually pickle it. he says it has a very pleasant neutral flavor. They also create beautiful little yellow flowers with black seeds, which all are edible as well.
I just realized this is the plant I brought from my parents farm to my flower garden. It is pretty. Now I can go water my flowers and have a snack at the same time.
There is one thing that you need to know. There are a few plants that LOOK like Common Purslane, but are poisonous. Common Purslane has shiny leaves, stems that are like a magenta, reddish pink color, oval shaped shiny little green leaves in clusters.
SPURGE IS POISONOUS
Spurge looks a bit like Purslane, and is very poisonous. You will know that it is Spurge if you break open the thinner stem, as it will ooze white icky stuff all over. Don't eat this plant. Spurge leaves are super super thin, and the leaves will always be directly opposite of each other on the stem, as opposed to the full, oval spoon shaped clusters of leaves of Purslane.