Who knew that a morning of weeding would morph into an obsession about the plant that's trying to crowd out our dahlias. I pulled a huge pile of what is said to be a nutritional powerhouse. Purslane.
I didn't know about the health benefits of purslane until, coincidentally, I texted a friend while taking a break from yanking the stuff out of my garden. We chatted about food for an upcoming get-together and she said she'd been eating a lot of purslane lately because of its health benefits and there's tons of it in her yard. I Googled it and realized I was about to throw away nutritional gold.
A study in The Scientific World Journal describes purslane as "a common weed that has uncommon nutritional value." Their analysis shows purslane has a super high amount omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent cardiovascular diseases and support the immune system. They note that purslane has five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as spinach and it's high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
But, how does it taste and how do you eat it? I think it tastes a little like watercress, which may be why there are tons of salad recipes using it online. You can eat it raw or cooked. When I searched for recipes, I noticed a lot from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
My friend sautés her purslane with olive oil. I'll try out some recipes and share them with you soon. In the meantime, if you decide to go pull some purslane for dinner make sure you know what you are foraging and eating. Some plants that look like purslane are poisonous. Don't take chances. Consult an expert, which I am not, before you indulge in this nutritional powerhouse of a plant.
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