Edible Wild Foods

Imagine this? There are edible wild foods most likely growing in your very own backyard! There are some plants commonly categorized as weeds that are actually highly nutritious greens to harvest and eat...

Now I know that sounded a bit hippie, but if the birkenstocks fit.... there are wild foods everywhere for the picking.   And for all the wild urban foragers out there this page is to tout the benefits of three edible wild foods you can easily find, and sometimes where you least expect it-in your backyard.

I just recently discovered these foods in my own backyard through a herbalist friend and I was so surprised as he plucked and ate these foods out of my garden.  All these years I have been hand pulling these little gems out because I just thought they were weeds.  Now you can see me happily snipping these nutritious "weeds" to use in the kitchen for my daily green smoothies!


  • This yellow flowering edible wild food is ranked 4th in nutrition out of all green vegetables! They are the richest plant source in beta carotene and vitamin A of all plant foods. They are rich in fiber, calcium, iron, protein and magnesium.  

The dandelion has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes such as a liver tonic, blood purifier, and a overall cleanser of your system.  They have been used to treat skin disorders such as acne or psorasis; intestinal disorders, indigestion, and improves bowel function; They lower cholesterol, dissolves kidney stones, and much more. Most of the healing properties is simply through the high nutritive values found in this little plant found in most of our lawns. 

The dandelion leaves can be added to salads, smoothies, recipes or drink as a tea.  Since this a "weed" that we tend to not like in our lawn, I say..let the flowers bloom, the bees pollinate them, and harvest these wonder greens from your lawn to munch on!


  • This herb has five times the omega-3's than spinach and is very high in vitamin C.  Why buy expensive fish oils when you can find this green in your garden for free? With little effort to grow, after all, it does grow like a "weed", you can harvest this wonderful green in the morning or in the evening.  This herb is recently being used as a gourmet addition to recipes in some of the finest restaurants.

You can add it to your salads, smoothies, or recipes to add super powered nutrition to your diet. The taste is similar to watercress or spinach.  The seeds of the plant, once it flowers and they drop, can remain viable in the soil for up to forty years. That can either be exciting, or depressing depending on your view if it is weed or food. I say, if you can't beat them, eat them!

Lambs Quarters

  • Lambsquarters - This foreign invader shows up in spring in parks, lawns, gardens and just about any open sunny spot.  Higher in nutrients than spinach.  Much like quinoa, this superfood is high in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, niacin, and iron.

The plant is edible until winters first frost. Pick the leaves from the top to ensure others can enjoy the plant as well.  Add to salads, smoothies, and recipes.  And here is the thing...it tastes even better than my beloved spinach.  Get out, harvest, and enjoy your first bite!  It is eye-opening to know these gems are edible. 

Harvesting Edible Wild Foods

When wild crafting, always follow these important tips:

-Harvest only plants you know are organic and have not been sprayed with pesticides.

-Only harvest part of the plant to ensure the growth of the plant and eliminate over harvesting which can cause endangered or extinction of species.

-Make sure you REALLY know that you are gathering the plant you want....some species look very similar...one can be your superfood green, and the other one poisonous.

SO go outdoors and be the wildman or wildwoman forager extraordinaire-and be all the more healthier for it!!! 

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