Written and edited by: Breanne Hughes
Recently, I was weeding my fall-planted garlic bed, and it was full of chickweed. Chickweed is really easy to identify (by the row of small hairs on the stem growing in alternating directions, white star shaped blossoms etc.) and is highly nutritious. It has value as both food and medicine.
*Below is a photo of the star-shaped blossoms.
Nutritionally, chickweed is high in Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Vitamin A. So, instead of throwing away things with food value, I picked a bunch of chickweed.
*Pictured below is the handful I used for the pesto, about two cups, loosely packed.
Although it is considered a common weed, because it is something that grows freely and abundantly in fields, gardens, and empty flower pots, don’t throw chickweed away because it is edible and delicious!
Chickweed is an early spring green and it can be put in salads, but I made pesto with mine, and also chopped some up with green onions and cilantro to put into guacamole for a lunch dip. I made my pesto dairy free, but you can add parmesan to the recipe as well. Also, I added cilantro to the pesto, because it is what I had growing in the garden despite the frost. But when it warms up, you can use basil, sage, kale, anything you want.
*Below is a photo of some of the ingredients I used in my pesto, straight from my winter garden.
½ cup nuts (I actually used almond flour, but I’ve used pistachios, pecans, whatever I have on hand. Not walnuts though, because it turns it a weird purple color).
2 cups chickweed
A handful of cilantro (you can sub basil, sage, parsley, kale, any other herb or green you like)
3 garlic cloves
3-5 green onion tops (green parts only)
½ cup olive oil (I’ve also used avocado oil)
2 TBS lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Blend in a food processor or blender until it has reached your desired consistency. I like it a little more chunky and textured. This is great on everything from vegetables to eggs to chicken and shrimp. You can also toss it with spaghetti squash (or regular pasta if you aren’t keto or low-carb).
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