Saturday, August 06, 2016

Local Superfood Spotlight: Purslane

We love wild foods here, currently harvesting the last dandelion greens, lambs quarters, plantain, and loads of wild grape leaves.  Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is another wild food that is abundant, but many people are not so familiar with.  It grows wild on the edges of our garden and once it arrives it is plentiful (though not entirely invasive as it's easy enough to pull up by the shallow roots).  But it is delicious (like a rich spinach or chard) and needs to be used - plus, the health benefits of this local superfood are abundant:  it is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and contains a huge amount of omega-3 (some say more than any other leafy plant!).  It is good for our skin, urinary and digestive systems. It also has a perfect combination between antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, calcium, magnesium and carotene.  

A friend shared her purslane lemonade suggestion with us.  Since we love making herbal lemonades, and herbal-rich smoothies, this made a great addition to our summer drink selections.  Here is our variation on the purslane elixir.  If you can't find wild purslane it can also be grown indoors or in a greenhouse/garden bed as a microgreen. 

Purslane Elixir

You will need:
1-2 lemons
honey or maple syrup to taste
large handful fresh purslane
2 cups water
2-4 ice cubes

1) Put 2 cups water into blended.  Add juice of lemons and handful purslane, and ice.  Blend on high until smooth (about 1 minute).
2) Strain drink for lemonade consistency, or don't strain and drink as a rich green smoothie.  
3) Sweeten to taste.

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