Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lambs Quarter

Potatoes and onions growing!
Spring is gardening time!

 Any self respecting gardener knows though you plant before spring gets here!  Potatoes and onions are always planted in late February to early March. These are both root crops (which means they grow--their fruit below the ground) so they can take a little more cold than tender veggies that are more sun loving! 

But today's crop is known as Lambs Quarter.

Lambs Quarter up close and personal.
This little known plant is rated #1 as the most nutricious plant with the USDA! It is well known in naturalists' circles. It packs a powerful dose of antioxidants and vitamins that we need in our bodies.  It is a natural blood enhancer too. The funny thing about this little weed, I mean healthy plant, is it comes up anywhere and is usually mistaken for a weed.

Just pinch-off the top 
 It springs up around the edges of my family's garden. One family member remembers picking it out of the ditch as a child! You just pinch-off the young tender leaves. You leave the plant for regrowth. (Its cousin is spinach.)
And then you wash it, wash it, wash it.
You might check for bugs or worms at this point too--just saying!

Pick a heaping amount because it cooks down. Although you can eat it raw in salads and sandwiches, I have not tried that yet. 
Too cook, get your water boiling and drop the greens right into the boiling water. They will turn the most luscious shade of green rather quickly. (I know I should have thought to take pictures of the cooking process but I did not--please forgive.) 
Only leave the leaves in the water for a few minutes and then remove.  The cooking water is loaded with powerful vitamins too so feel free to drink up! This step tenderizes the plant and brings out the nutrients. (It also kills anything you might have missed earlier--see picture--lol)

 Now switch over to your skillet and saute these little greens with the seasonings of your delight. We used bacon drippings, butter, olive oil, garlic, onion, garlic pepper and a smidge of salt. Also vinegar or Tabasco as a topper if you like. Simply delicious!  

Take a minute at your next meal and thank the good Lord for the farmer who raised the food you are about to eat! 

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