Monday, March 28, 2011

Wild Greens You Can Eat!

Well, it's been exactly a month since my last posting, and boy has it been busy! My son's 11th birthday this week and my daughter's 9th next week; I'm getting certified as a holistic life coach, which is wonderful since I already incorporate coaching into my herb consultations and I've long been a practitioner of manifestation; and spring-time--it's here! Working in the yard is a great way to begin this new vibrant season.

Herbs you may come across at this chilly but sunny time are watercress and mustard. These are sharp and pungent herbs that are slightly bitter, and these tastes tell us a lot of what these herbs do for us. Pungent herbs (others include pepper, garlic, and yarrow, for example) get our blood moving and bring blood flow from the core to the periphery, which often makes us sweat. Arugula does this nicely in salads, complementing the sweet buttery lettuces with a sharp bite.

When you come across watercress (in cool, shady and wet places like streams and ponds) or mustard (often called cress or creasy greens, growing in farmlands and gardens), please harvest them. Take scissors and snip off the tops, and when you have a large bunch or bagful, place them in the top of a steamer on the stove and steam them as you would turnip greens. Watercress can be eaten raw, but mustard is too spicy and also very bitter unless it's steamed or otherwise cooked. Of course, this bitterness is what "blood cleansing herbs" are all about, waking up our digestive systems after a sluggish winter, but if it's too bitter it's hard to eat! Once steamed (or boiled), drizzle with olive oil and plenty of vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add fun things you might desire: walnuts, feta cheese, or even cranberries. This makes a lovely bright green side dish, and it's very nutritious! What a great way to eat wild greens!


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