I'd snagged a few sprigs of chickweed earlier this year when I first spied a small patch snuggled up against the foundation of my house in the northeast United States, but only enough to gussie up a few salads of store bought organic lettuce. My tiny chickweed patch was soon buried under a few feet of snow, and I figured it would be another month before I saw it again.
Lucky me, today the snow had receded enough from in front of my house to uncover a now much larger patch, and I could grab quite a large bunch!
Above is a photo of an undisturbed patch of the stuff. It's very pretty, and super welcome in the dead of winter. I wonder if it looks this fresh and green when it's under a lot of snow.
I've zoomed in on that little sprig that seems to have poked through the concrete just to pose for this post. Note that there is a sprig of gill-over-the-ground on the lower left of the photo - that stuff does not taste good. But the rest is chickweed, and delicious!
If you look closely you can see my chickweed is just about to bloom. This is prime time for nutritive potency for many plants, but I can tell you that with chickweed, this is also prime time for eating. The stuff is tender with a mild herb taste that goes with just about anything.
Chickweed has one unmistakable characteristic that makes it very easy to identify - there is a single row of tiny hairs along the length of the stem, not visible in my photos, but oh so very much there.
Today's snap preparation was to first quickly sauté a zucchini in olive oil, then toss in turmeric, black pepper and a smidge of water. I let it simmer for a minute or two, just until the zucchini was tender, and turned off the heat. Finally, I tossed in a large handful of lightly chopped chickweed, stems and all.
Truth be told, I didn't cook this for myself, although I did end up eating it.
I cooked it for my dog!!!
I've heard it said that the plants we need turn up in our environment when we need them, so my intent was to give this to my very sick dog.
My dachshund Jimmy has an inflammatory condition - more on that in another post. Chickweed, turmeric and black pepper are all said to be good for inflammation, it was time to cook dinner for all the creatures in my house, and out of necessity came a dish that was dinner for both humans and canine. Had I been cooking it only for humans, there would have been a variety of onion, or two, in there. The cats would have nothing to do with it.
Dr. Axe says that chickweed has all sorts of nutritive and medicinal benefits. Besides being anti-inflammatory, it is loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, among other good things.
I especially like this bit Dr. Axe has to say about the powerhouse plant:
Because it’s a great source of vitamin C and zinc, it can support overall immune system health and protect against a number of conditions, such as coughs, asthma, allergies and bronchitis.
Go out and get yours today!!!