Harvesting Purslane for Current and Future Use

| 7/13/2016 10:02:00 AM

Tags: food foraging, edible weeds, nutrition, food preservation, freezing, purslane, Celeste Longacre, New Hampshire,

Purslane is a weed. It is drought tolerant, heat tolerant and quite prolific. Yet, if you have it in your yard, it is probably the most nutritious thing growing in your garden.

Purslane has seven times more betacarotene than carrots as well as 14 times more omega-3 fatty acids and six times the vitamin E of spinach. Some researchers claim that it actually has more omega-3s than some fish oils. It is also high in iron, magnesium, manganese, potasium, calcium and copper. Traditional Chinese medicine has long used it to help with many gastrointestinal disorders.


I have never planted purlane yet it is growing all over my garden. I let it grow between rows of crops or where vegetables didn't germinate well. It grows fast so it gives me something to put on my plate well before any carrots or beets are ready. I add it to smoothies, toss it in salads, or steam it for 4 or 5 minutes and serve it with butter and salt. Delicious!

I also like to add it to my bone broth soup. I discovered more than 30 years ago (and I honestly can't remember how I did) that if my husband, Bob, and I have at least two servings of my homemade soup a week, we have no problems with our joints. If I forget, my knees really bother me.

One thing that I like to do with my soup is give it as many goodies as I can so that it will be packed with vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are water-soluble, so they leave whatever bones or vegetables that you put into the pot and transfer into the soup. I always add beets, carrots, leafy greens and a small piece of good-quality liver (from an animal that was pastured and raised humanely on a small farm).

7/24/2017 6:47:36 PM

What a great find! I have so many of these in my garden beds, and always pulled and threw them away! I'm letting them grow now. Can't wait to try them. Thanks much!

7/27/2016 10:30:57 AM

Steaming the purslane kills any surface bacteria, allowing it to safely store. Freezing doesn't kill most bacteria, it just slows their growth.

7/24/2016 2:25:16 PM

Not finding purslane easily in my Texas neighborhood, I bought seeds for $1.49 on Amazon this Spring. They came from a woman in the Ukraine! The plant is leggy rather than ground hugging, but flower and seeds are quite like the native plant. You confirm my idea of letting the purslane grow throughout my community garden plot. There has been a lot of purslane to share! Still, for next year, I will harvest the seeds of the Ukrainian purslane for others and I will try again to get the native purslane going. Meantime, the nutrition is astonishing from this plant. It is going into scrambled eggs, salads, vegetable dishes, broth. And now, thank you, the freezer.

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