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Look What’s Blooming Now!

imageLets talk about Chickweed today. You know the weed that grows in your garden, planted pots or yard. It blooms tiny white flowers in the spring and goes unnoticed in the summer. But did you know it’s a very beneficial plant that can be used medicinally for many applications? It’s an energizing tonic, has more iron than spinach, helps with skin conditions and tumors, an expectorant, helps with allergies and is natures fat metabolizer and weight reduction medicine? People use chickweed for constipation, to help with asthma and obesity, or skin conditions such as psoriasis.

It can be eaten raw, used in salads, make a pesto or humus with it, make a tea with the leaves, or create a salve or poultice. Yep the unassuming chickweed is mighty so don’t kill it!

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Chickweed can be transplanted very easily and is a great companion plant in the garden. Because it is a ground cover chickweed will help keep out harmful weeds and adds nutrients to the soil as it dies back. I planted some around my lettuce and strawberries last year plan to add more to other areas of the garden this year.

Adding my disclaimer: please do not consume anything you are not sure about. Always ask a botanist, herbalist or experienced forager for help in identifying plants. Never eat anything that has come from a treated lawn, is near the roadside, flood plain, or the foundation of any building. No known side effects are shown from using chickweed but as a precaution avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Chickweed Pesto

Ingredients

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  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups chickweed loosely packed
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Place all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor. Slowly drizzle oil into processor as you mix ingredients. Continue until desired consistency. If too thick add more olive oil. Refrigerate, and eat or freeze within 3-4 days.