Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today's green focus on the importance of eating your weeds! Yep, that's right! Read what Victoria Boutenko has to say in an excerpt from her book Green For Life:
WHY EAT WILD EDIBLES? "Wild edibles often contain more vitamins and minerals than commercially marketed plants. Weeds have not been “spoiled” with farmers’ care in contrast to the “good” plants of the garden. In order to survive in spite of constant weeding, pulling, and spraying, weeds had to develop strong survival properties. For example, in order to stay alive without being watered, most weeds have developed unbelievably long roots. -- Alfalfa’s roots grow up to 20 feet long reaching for the most fertile layers of the soil. As a result, all wild plants possess more nutrients than commercially grown plants. I feel so silly now when I remember how I used to always pull out the “nasty” lambsquarters from my garden to let my “precious” iceberg lettuce grow. --
Once in a while I read in the news or receive an e-mail about kale or spinach or parsley or any other green having a toxic ingredient and therefore being dangerous for human consumption. This is all true but not to a degree as to exclude any particular green from our diet.
…Plants “allow” humans and animals to eat all of their fruits, but only part of their leaves, because plants need to have leaves for their own use - which is manufacturing chlorophyll.
However, plants depend on moving creatures for many different reasons, like pollination, fertilizing the soil, and hanging around to help eat the ripe fruit. For this reason, plants accumulate a lot of highly nutritious elements in their leaves, but mix these nourishing ingredients with either bitterness or very small amounts of alkaloids (poisons). That is how animals are forced to rotate their menu and that is why all wild animals are browsers.
There are several other ways in which plants protect themselves from being destroyed. Some plants have thorns instead of alkaloids and one type of acacia tree in Africa is inhabited by colonies of very aggressive ants with a painful sting.
Thorny plants, like cactuses and stinging nettles, contain very little alkaloids which makes them a valuable addition to our diet. Of course, we need to first figure out how to eat them. For example, adding stinging nettles to green smoothies totally eliminates the stinging effect of its leaves.
…Let us learn to increase the variety of greens in our diet and to constantly rotate them for better nutritional results.
The best way to learn which weeds are edible is to sign up for an herb walk with an experienced guide in your local area. This way you can learn to recognize particular edible plants by actually touching, smelling, and tasting them so that you can gather your “wild produce” on your own. Also, there are lots of articles and photos of edible weeds on the internet. You may also find many books that help identify edible plants in your area."
The following is a list of the most well-known, nutrient dense & delicious weeds. Clover (greens and flowers) Dandelion (greens and flowers) Lambsquarters (greens) Malva (greens) Miner’s lettuce (greens and flowers)
Stinging Nettles (greens)
To continue our March Madness & Celebration of Green Week today I am offering 2 more exciting prizes from the first family of Greens -The Boutenkos! These DVD will be released on April 1st and they will be an awesome addition to your raw food education collection!
In addition to demonstrating how easy it is to blend up exotic concoctions, Valya shares many timesaving tips and answers the most frequently asked questions about making delicious green smoothies. This DVD is a must see for anyone interested in becoming a green smoothie pro!
During part 2 of this DVD, Sergei introduces the importance of eating more wild edibles foods. He then takes the viewer on a virtual wild edible walk in which he demonstrates how easy it is to stay safe while harvesting nature’s FREE superfood.
Also, Congratulations to our two winner's from yesterday's prize offering. To enter today's drawing just add your name and where you're from into the comments!