wild spring greens

Wild Spring Greens

Go Wild With Salads

Springtime is the right time to gather some wild greens for some salad pick-me-ups!

“Green” doesn’t completely describe wild salads very well, because you shouldn’t limit yourself to greens. Many of the wild flowers blooming in spring are edible and quite tasty, not to mention very healthy salad additions!

wild green salads

 

Make sure you pick any wild spring greens from a meadow or wild space where they have not been subjected to chemical or animal contamination. Gather your wild salad fixings early in the morning, while the dew is still on. They will be much fresher. Rinse them well in two changes of cold filtered water. Refrigerated, they will keep for several days.

7 Wild Spring Greens

Caution must be advised, however – always know what you are gathering. Here are seven good suggestions to start with:

  • Both the leaves and flowers of violets are edible, added to salads. The leaves have a bland taste, but the flowers are sweet.
  • Dandelion leaves, picked when still young, can be used as salad greens, although a little bitter tasting. They can be steamed or used in stir-fries. This common ‘weed’ contains more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables. The entire plant is an incredible source of both food and medicine.
  • Chickweed grows almost everywhere, and is very nutritious, being high in vitamins and minerals. Use the greens in salads or cooked like spinach.
  • Ground ivy, or creeping Charlie can be added to salads. It makes a great spring tonic, and as a tea, can help relieve congestion from colds and allergies.
  • The young leaves of common plantain (not to be confused with the tropical banana like fruit) are also edible raw or cooked. Like spinach, plantain is high in vitamin C, iron, and calcium and is milder tasting when the leaves are small. It has many used as a medicinal herb as well.
  • Watercress is exceptionally rich in both vitamins and minerals, and makes a great ‘spicy’ addition to salads or in sandwiches.
  • Nettles don’t just sting – they are chock-full of goodness, especially the tender top leaves. Cooking or steaming nettle leaves removes the sting, or use them to make a tea or infusion. Nettles are one of the most nutritionally dense plants available.

 

It may not be spring yet where you live, but if you’re still in the deep freeze of winter, bookmark this and when the first wild spring greens start popping up, get out there, and make a delicious and colorful salad from what Mother Nature has to offer.

 

 

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