Purslane, the Free Superfood!

WIN_20150714_130402I’ve known for a while that the Hmong women at my local farmers market possess an extraordinary amount of knowledge, having immigrated with many generations of organic agricultural experience, skill, and lore. Even so, I was surprised to see small bundles of pink stemmed plants with small, succulent leaves for sale at their booth.

Earlier the same day, I spent hours picking and discarding these very same “weeds” from my vegetable garden!

WIN_20150714_133026After only a few minutes of research, I discovered that the “weed” I have been hoeing right out of my garden is purslane, sometimes known as pigweed (no respect, I tell you!). Purslane is a highly prized edible plant in much of Asia, and no wonder! Apparently purslane contains more Vitamin A and more Vitamin C per serving than most dark green leafy vegetables, including spinach! In addition… get this… purslane is remarkably high in Omega 3 fatty acids, containing more heart healthy Omega 3s than some fish oils!

Who knew?

Perhaps a better question is, how do I use it?

WIN_20150714_133519Enjoying the bright, citrusy flavor of purslane can be as simple as plucking off the small leaves and tossing them into a salad or sprinkling them over grilled vegetables. Feeling a little more adventurous? In addition to being a nutritional powerhouse, purslane has thickening properties. To take advantage, simply dry purslane in a food dehydrator or oven (lowest temperature) and grind into powder using a food processor or coffee grinder. Then, add powdered purslane to soups and stews in place of cornstarch or roux.

The possibilities are endless. I’d love to hear your ideas for this underappreciated “weed!”

4 replies to “Purslane, the Free Superfood!

  1. …telomerase is an anti aging enzyme because it gives cells the ability to replicate for a much longer time, more effectively.

    This property of telomerase is incredibly important to us for two reasons. One, by countering the activity of telomerase in cancer cells, we can control some cancers. But secondly and more importantly, telomerase has the ultimate anti-aging property we can harness.

    Intensive studies have shown that increasing available telomerase and activating telomerase directly increases cell life, which in turn increases the life and health of the tissue, the organ and the organism as a whole, too.

    It’s like unlocking a fountain of youth enzyme within our cells, broadly speaking. But there’s no miracle key for this mechanism. Certain herbs and plant extracts are being examined for their effect on lengthening telomeres through telomerase, though.

    Foremost among these is Purslane, an edible weed already highly recommended for its huge quantities of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, and significant quantities of vitamins A and C per serving, among other antioxidants. [from http://www.telomerestelomerase.com/%5D

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