Latin Name: Chenopodium album
About the Plant: This annual belongs to the spinach and beet family. A very common wild edible found in backyards, vacant lots, overgrown fields, and along roadsides. It is easy to identify, nutritious and delicious. Lamb ’s Quarters is dusted with a white powdery substance which is perfectly safe to eat.
Parts Used: Tender young shoots, leaves and tips, and seeds.
Leaves: One of the best tasting and most nutritious wild foods available. Use fresh in salads and sandwiches. Young leaves and stems are excellent steamed, sautéed and cooked. Leaves are often eaten in place of spinach in dishes like omelets, quiche, and lasagna. Eat alone or throw in soups and stews, add to casseroles. Chop leaves for stir-fry or add to pizzas and lasagna. Blanch and freeze leaves for winter use. Leaves may also be dried. This plant is extremely versatile. Make cookies, brownies, pancakes or pita cakes from Lamb’s Quarters.
Seeds: Collect in late summer, autumn and early winter by stripping the seed-fruit clusters by hand into a container. Dry carefully to prevent mold or spoilage. Rub the seed clusters between the palm of your hands to reveal the small, round black and dark brown seeds. Remove chaff. Grain may be boiled to make as a breakfast cereal or ground into flour to mix with other flours.
TIPS: Do not pick plants with red stems as they may contain nitrates. You can dry the whole plant and grind it into a vitamin packed flour. Use the leaves to make green drinks and add to smoothies in the blender.
Nutrient Profile: Rich in Vitamin A, C, K. Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese