I have found that wildcrafted weeds make a nice addition to salads.
When I was growing up on the farm my mom and I would collect dandelion leaves to add to salad. I must give Mom credit, since she is the person who influenced me in this direction.
Now, living in the city, I still continue the tradition. Please bear in mind, we don’t use pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers in our yard or garden. So, if you use products like “Weed ‘n Feed” on your lawn, bear in mind that any surviving weeds will be toxic.
Each spring when the leaves are small and tender, I carefully collect from the backyard small, clean leaves of dandelion. I avoid plants that grow along-side the streets, as they would be contaminated with traffic fumes. Wildcrafted dandelion leaves added to my favorite green salad are a wonderful source of anti-oxidant, disease-preventing, and health-promoting nutrients.
Dandelion is much more than a weed; it is an excellent herbal remedy for many health issues. Please do your own research, as I’m no expert.
Besides a plentiful supply of Dandelions in my yard, I have a prolific source of Plantain, as well. Their tender leaves are just right for adding to salad. This morning I picked enough to add to a green salad. I started with a base of what I had in my fridge: leaf lettuce, radishes, cucumber, green pepper, onion, then added the freshly picked plantain leaves and dandelion leaves. I like to cut the lettuce and dandelion leaves in to bite-size. All base ingredients are organically sourced.
After I mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, I re-locate the salad to meal-size portions in storage containers and keep them in the fridge. I find that the fresh vegetables keep well when washed and prepared for eating. Salad ingredients keep fresh and crisp in the fridge for a few days if they are prepared with love. It is so convenient to pull out a salad for lunch at work. Looking at the image below, I can see a plantain leaf and a dandelion leaf sitting on top.
I add my favorite dressing when I eat. Other ingredients I might like to add could be: chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, raisins, slivered almonds, etc. I try to have a variety of dried seeds and fruit on hand, to keep my meals fun and interesting.
Another “weed” that my mom liked to collect was wild horse-radish. She added it to her home-made beet pickles. Once in awhile I think I’d like to try that sometime. I’ll let you know when that happens. I’d be curious to hear what adventures you might have when it comes to gardening and wild-crafting.
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