After a long bleak winter, it is sometimes hard to believe that life will ever return to the landscape. Then, in what seems like a blink of the eye, signs of spring start to pop all over. Our attention is drawn to the blossoms of trees and the early blooms of seasonal flowers. If you look a little more closely, you can find not just beauty but also an abundance of food and nutrition for yourself. You just have to know what to look for.
What might be considered a “weed” to many could actually be a healthful, delicious, and free addition to your pantry. Springtime brings dandelions, chickweed, stinging nettle, violets, ramps, and purslane to name but a few. They are easy to identify with the right guidance and are usually in abundance. One’s lawn alone might host some, if not all, of the above-mentioned “superweeds.”
Once you have gathered your basket of foraged goodies, there are countless ways in which you can include them in your meals. Sure, you can whip up a pretty special salad with an array of colors and textures, but things can get really creative, too. Check out these One Green Planet recipes for foraged food inspiration.
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy!
1. Dandelion Greens Dressing
This recipe for a Dandelion Greens Dressing by Karielyn Tillman is a great way to use dandelions in your salads without just simply tossing them in with the other leaves. This creamy dressing will provide an incredibly nutrient-dense dimension to your meal. The bitterness of the dandelion leaves is somewhat hidden by the variety of the other ingredients.
2. Dandelion Detox Juice
Claire Ragozzino promotes adding dandelion leaves along with a bunch of other greens to this Dandelion Detox Juice. This refreshing drink will help to cleanse your system while providing a huge nutrient boost.
3. Ramp and Spinach Pesto Pasta
Rachael Campbell came up with this Ramp and Spinach Pesto Pasta after getting her hands on a bunch of ramps. Being highly aware of their incredibly intense garlicky/oniony flavor, she blends the ramps with spinach leaves to smooth out the bite. Stir this flavor-packed pesto into your favorite pasta dish.
4. Quinoa Pilaf with Ramps, Artichokes and Peas
In Cathy Elton’s recipe for Quinoa Pilaf with Ramps, Artichokes and Peas, she suggests using your own discretion when it comes to how many or how few ramps you use. Experiment a little, and you can make this beautiful springtime rice dish perfect for you.
5. Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf with Peanuts
Purslane is a little succulent-like plant that pops up everywhere. Its leaves are fresh and juicy and are an incredible source of plant-based omega 3. Rather than using the leaves raw in a salad, this recipe for Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf with Peanuts by Rinku Bhattacharya calls for the purslane leaves to be wilted by the warm golden rice and eggplant.
6. Quinoa Salad with Figs, Purslane and Goji Berries
Another quinoa salad, but it’s one with a fruity twist. The bounty of colors and textures in this Quinoa Salad with Figs, Purslane and Goji Berries is beautiful to behold. Melody Chong’s ‘Super Salad’ is a powerhouse of health with its nutrient-rich purslane and antioxidant dense goji berries.
7. Foraged Nettle Soup
Anyone who has been sung by a stinging nettle might not be ready to forgive. However, Josephine Watmore wants to help heal the relationship with this rich and creamy Foraged Nettle Soup. Its spinach-like flavor pairs well with carrots and potatoes to make a hearty and healthful dish.
8. Wholegrain Nettle Bread
9. Spring Salad with Carrots, Beets and Flowers
This stunning Spring Salad with Carrots, Beets and Flowers by Lilia Jankowska is the epitome of the season. It uses vibrant veg and includes herbs and greens that we have longed for all winter. For the foraged part of the salad toss in some wild edible flowers, such as dandelions or violets. It’ll be the prettiest salad you’ve made.
10. Pansy Shortbread
Foraging for food might seem scary or too difficult at first, but with a little research, you can start to create some really impressive meals that are full of the joy of spring.
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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