Recognize this weed growing in your garden? This little, lovely pest is actually filled with nutrition! It’s called Purslane and is an enormous health benefit when moved into your kitchen cuisine. Here are some of reasons to add Purslane to your diet:
1 Omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids in purslane function as fuel for the brain, a preventative for heart attack, and a treatment for depression.
2 Antioxidants. The plant is chock-full of antioxidants, which delay cell damage and slow aging.
3 Calcium and magnesium. Eat purslane to maintain healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.
4 Potassium. Add purslane to your daily diet, because the potassium in the leaves helps keep your blood pressure in check.
5 Iron. Most people think they can only get iron from red meat and beans. But purslane is also a good source of iron.
6 Beta-carotene. You may not think purslane is a rich source of beta-carotene, given its green color, this is one of the plant’s greatest advantages.
7 Hydration. Purslane is 93 percent water. Eat the plant to refuel dehydrated cells.
8 Glutathione. This antioxidant helps produce melatonin. This is important because melatonin regulates sleep-wake circles.
9 Betalain. Purslane contains betalain, an antioxidant that prevents cholesterol from damaging blood vessels. This is why purslane is known to have a positive effect on LDL cholesterol levels.
10 Tryptophan. Purslane contains this important amino acid that regulates mood.Eating purslane can fight depression.
So, now that we know how wonderful these silky, green leaves are for our bodies the question is What do we do with them?
Wash the leaves and remove from the stems. Use in one of the recipes below. Enjoy!
Roughly chop a cup of leaves and place them in a blender with plenty of olive oil, a clove of garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan, and any nut of your choice. Pulse, and you’ve got purslane pesto.
Purslane Persian Salad
- 2 cup purslane leaves
- 5 small and seedless cucumbers, peeled and cut into small pieces
- 4 firm plum tomatoes cut into small pieces
- 1 small onion, (red or yellow), cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl combine purslane, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and dried mint.
- Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
Stuffed Pita Purslane
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tomato, chopped fine
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- cumin to taste
- 1 bunch of purslane, chopped
For the filling, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and red bell pepper for a few minutes. Toss tomatoes into it and cook until tender. Take it from heat and add purslane when it is still hot. As purslane is a very fragile herb, this heat is enough for it. Season it with spices and salt, mix well. Let it cool. Stuff into a warm, fresh pita. Yummy!