￼Have you ever thought about the weeds in your backyard? Enough to eat weeds from your backyard? Did you know you could? The best grocery store is often in your own backyard, either growing in a garden, or as the “weeds” that most people want to eradicate. You can easily forage for these urban edibles in your own backyard, or at your local walking trail.
Here are the top 5 urban edibles you can find easily, and learn to eat weeds instead of getting rid of them.
#1. Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelions contain a plethora of micronutrients that are essential to your body. The dandelion greens in particular make one nutritious salad. For good reason: vitamins such as A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B6 and minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium are jam packed into this plant.
Dandelions are diuretic, laxative, nutritive, and dandelion tea can act as a digestive stimulant. Dandelions are also a great source of fiber which is great against constipation.
#2. Clovers (Trifolium pratense)
You can add them to your bean soup or baked beans or you can just pick them up, wash them and eat them raw. By far, the micronutrient that’s most abundant inside clovers is manganese, and you also get decent quantities of magnesium, calcium and iron. Clovers can be effective against arthritis and respiratory infection. They may also help to improve digestion.
#3. The Common Mallow (Malva Sylvestris)
Mallow is yet another urban edible that you can throw into your salad. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It can also be used to treat bronchitis, throat infections and even asthma. It’s a good laxative and anti-inflammatory. Potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A can be found in the common mallow.
#4. Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Chickweed boasts in being a source of zinc, potassium, copper, magnesium, and vitamin C. It’s great as a pesto, in a smoothie, or topping a salad. A common weed, easily found all over the world. Externally, it is used for wounds, even on open skin, for drawing out toxins and increasing the permeability of bacterial cell walls. It’s also a fantastic lotion to treat joint pain, and various skin conditions OR, if you want, you can just tie it inside a thin cloth and place it on your bathtub.
#5. Wild Ramps (Allium tricoccum)
Wild ramps, also known as wild onions are found early to mid-summer along forest edges, meadows, open fields and roadsides. Both the stalk and bulb are edible, and have a very pungent flavor. Ramps can be used in scrambled egg dishes, stir fry dishes and in soups. They boast being a source of Vitamins A and C, as well as iron and Calcium. While harvesting, only take what you need at that time, or just a bit to preserve for later. Wild ramps are being over harvested in some areas and in some places in Canada, they are on the protected list.
Foraging for urban edibles can be as simple as heading out to your backyard. If you live in an apartment, or do not have a backyard, you can also find many of these in a local park, or along walking trails. Just be sure to be safe when foraging in other areas. To see what you need when foraging, read the post here.