Nowadays you will see superfood trends everywhere from the acai berry to the goji berry and beyond – but the reality is that these berries, roots, and herbs have been around since the dawn of time and so aren’t as original as you may think. In this list I want to share with you the wonder of weeds which are just as great, if not better, than some superfoods currently taking the world by storm. Intrigued? Then get down with these Weeds: 5 Unknown Superfood Varieties You Must Try!
Ever heard of nettle soup? Perhaps not since it was a staple food dating back to the bronze age and beyond. However, once cooked or brewed in tea – that distinctive stinging quality is no longer present, and nettles can be used in a dish to aid allergies and joint ailments. I’m no historian but I can vouch for the power nettles have when it comes to adding additional nutrients such as calcium, potassium and iron to your dishes. Tempted? Check out this modern recipe for Nettle Pesto!
You heard right. Pigweed, better known Purslane is an ancient weed that has been used as a remedy in several cultures for centuries. Plentiful particularly in winter, this super plant is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Alongside this vitamin punch, the plant contains dopamine and has the highest amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids by weight of any green in the world. With a lemony citrus tang, it is delicious raw in salads, smoothies, and in cooking.
Chickweed is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and much more. It can be digested fresh or dried and even used as an ointment. The leaves can help with all kinds of ailments from mouth ulcers to arthritis and the root provides nutrients that aid common illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid disease and IBS. A robust all-rounder in our eyes.
Lambsquarter is another green worth adding to your weed repertoire. The black seeds it produces are closely related to quinoa and are high in protein as well as being a source of omega 3, calcium, potassium, and iron. The leaves, like those of spinach, are best used while they are still young when their flavour is delicate and not bitter which tends to happen as the plant matures.
The most recognisable weed on this list unbeknownst is bursting with multiple vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Every part of the weed is edible, from the roots to the blossoms. The leaves alone contain more beta carotene than carrots and are a perfect addition to sandwiches or stir fries when harvested while the plant is still young in the early spring. Roots can be made into a herbal tea and the sweet flower heads can be used to make wines or even a vegan-friendly honey which we have included a recipe for below.