Spreading the Word on Weeds

leaves

I couldn’t resist buying the book entitled Foraged Flavor after hearing the author, Tama Matsuoka Wong, interviewed (see The Foragers posted April 10, 2013).

foraged-flavor

Since it arrived, weeds have been popping up in all sorts of places.

What better way to start the day than with some beautiful common blue violet flowers sprinkled on your breakfast?

blue-violet-in-breakfast

And what better way to finish the day than with one added to your favourite cocktail?

blue-violet-in-drinks

In her book Tama details a wide range of backyard plants that are not only edible but also flavourful. Identification is pretty straightforward with the aid of illustrations and photographs.

identifying-plants

Consequently, Dan and I have a host of unfamiliar Spring ingredients to work with in our kitchen. These include: common blue violet, cardamine, creeping jenny, garlic mustard, henbit, wild garlic, broadleaf dock, dandelion (described in the book Holistic Herbal as “a most valuable general tonic and perhaps the best widely applicable diuretic and liver tonic”), and dead nettle (said to strengthen and support the whole body and to be beneficial in all varieties of eczema).

collecting-leaves

Our favourite new dish to date is the dead nettle soup I cooked on Sunday.

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I was a little wary of cooking a nettle soup as, growing up, I had only ever heard mention of it in a non-favourable way. Well, the one I made (I adapted a recipe I found online) was quite delicious. In one sitting Dan and I managed to devour a quantity said to provide 4 – 6 servings.

Keen to share the benefits of eating these tasty and very locally grown foods (a.k.a. weeds), I recently showed a friend how to forage in her garden. I also took a bag of pre-washed garlic mustard leaves to someone in the city who I thought might appreciate them.

john-with-garlic-mustard-leaves

I’m hoping that word about the benefits of these weeds will spread as quickly as dead nettle in an untended community garden plot.

plants

live. enjoy. repeat.

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