Farmer’s Market Find: Purslane

by Susan on July 14, 2011

On my latest trip to the farmer’s market, I found a great surprise. I stumbled upon this beautiful bunch of Purslane! My excitement quickly grew as this little green, which many people view as an invasive weed, is a little nutrition powerhouse! Full of omega 3′s, one cup of purslane contains 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid, and 2,000 IU’s of vitamin A. It is also high in calcium and potassium. It is a great addition to your raw food diet.

I have been scouring my yard for this little beauty, knowing I have weeded it out many times. Now, that I know just how healthy it is, my yard hasn’t been cooperating. But the farmer’s market did!

Purslane has a bit of a mild sweet-sour taste. All parts of the plant are edible but make sure if you are wild harvesting make sure that you wash it well (it does grow on the ground) and it has not been sprayed with any pesticides or fertilizer. In Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Mexico, purslane is used frequently in recipes. Originating in India, it was said to be Gandhi’s favorite food and was grown as a food crop years ago. One other tip…if the “purslane” you have harvested has a milky white sap in it, throw it away. It is not purslane but something called spruge. It is poisonous.

Check back tomorrow to see what I have done with my purslane!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

kelli July 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

i love purslane in my smoothies!

Mary Ann July 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I’m in Mpls Susan – at which farmers market did you find it???

Debra July 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I grow this in my garden!!! It is a larger variety ~~same health benifits. I’m with you Kelli~~love it in smoothies!!!
I think it is called Golden Purslane

John McCabe July 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I just realized what this plant is. I’ve been weeding it out of my garden forever. Well, now I’ll start to use it. Thanks for the information about it. I’ve already been using any dandelion that show up – putting them in salads and smoothies.

Ida July 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

I heard that it was a favored food of the Romans in ancient times. I have used it in green smoothies, and raw in salads. Yum!

veganforlife July 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

Oh I LOVE it and see it growing EVERYWHERE, but will not pick it from certain places. It’s a determined herb, that’s for sure. The first time I tasted it was at Natural Zing’s potluck about 6 years ago and OMG! It was this wonderful lemony taste sensation! I love it. Weeds are just misplaced flowers… ;>)
Can’t wait to see how you used it!

Jessi July 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

I can not wait to try this… thanks Susan for the information.

Jess

Susan July 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

At the main one. The Minneapolis Farmer’s Market.

Deb (marcella Wing) July 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I too was weeding it out many years ago and then I decided to research it and have been using it in smoothies ever since.. It has such a mild flavor you can put in a lot without changing the flavor much.. I find the only flavor change is a crisp clean taste.

Joanna July 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I think we have some of this in our yard, I will check for the milky stuff… Thanks for a great tip! Xoxo

Deb (marcella Wing) July 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I was soo glad you added that little note at the bottom about Spruge. I was thinking about this and going to comment and then lo and behold you added it at the end.. I do hope that it does not deter people from the purslane though as there really is a distinct difference once you get to know the plant.. The Spruge is a bit smaller has the white sap as you said and is bitter to the taste.

jean blum July 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

l’ve moved to a building with a garden and this stuff is growing all over the place. l had no idea it was edible until l recognized from a pic in a non-cookbook, (yours on-line?). Delicious- all l do with it is salt, olive oil & lemon juice and sprouts. The best part is that when you pinch off whatever amount from the plant it grows right back, so you need never run out of it.
Lucky for me, no one in the building has any desire to use it so l can have as much as l want. They probably don’t know about it and l am not telling!

Alfred Baron April 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I blend 2 glasses full of fresh daily purslane mixed with tomatoe juice ice cubes . I am 84 years young.. I also take small young leaves of alo vera, cut up and blend it.. daily 1 glass. I take organic Apple cider Vinegar 9 tea spoons in water daily.. Eat no meat, no salt, no fat, little fish, no chicken, no dairy.no smoke, no boos, 1 small cup coffee day.
. Will I reach a healthy 100 yrs young. thanks for your time
Alfred

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