There are plenty of plants grown specifically for food. Wheat, corn, vegetables, and the like, to name a few. However, there may be an unexpected plant growing in your garden that you haven’t thought to try. These overlooked foods can often be quite tasty. Here are some outstanding examples of garden treats.
Yes, these common weeds have leaves that are edible. Make sure that you do not eat dandelions from lawns that have been sprayed or seen pesticides. Pick clean, fresh green leaves. Make sure to wash them well. After that, you can use them in any number of applications. Try them raw in salads or lightly sauteed with garlic and served with pasta or as a leafy green side dish.
These pokey plants are often seen as undesirable weeds by many gardeners. However, these spiky, pokey plants make for a unique vegetable. The stalks are the edible portion. Be careful with the spikes! Some people clear them off in the field, others back at home. Whatever you decide, handle them with care until all the spines are gone. Wash them well. They have a celery-like taste; try them dashed with vinegar, salt, and pepper, or in salads.
The raw berries can be toxic, but once cooked they offer a delicious flavor. Avoid the leaves, twigs, branches, seeds, and roots of the plant, as these contain arsenic. The berries are often turned into preserves, syrups, and used in cooked desserts. Be sure to consult a botanical guide as many species many not be edible.
The fruits left behind once a rose bush is done blooming, called rose hips, can be brewed into a delicious tea. Different roses are differently suited to doing this, so be sure to consult a botanical guide. The flowers themselves are a pleasing-to-the-eye addition to desserts, and of course can be used to make rose water.
The daylily’s colorful flowers and buds are edible. Raw, they make pretty garnishes for cakes and pastries. The buds can be sauteed and served as a bright, fun side dish. Feel free to sprinkle them on top of salads as well. The tuberous root is also edible, but they need thorough cleaning and prep work. After that they can be treated like potatoes.
Nearly every part of the plant can be eaten. The famous brown cattails can be eaten like corn-on-the cob, and have a similar flavor. The leaves can be boiled and prepared like spinach. The white stems can be eaten raw or boiled as well. The roots can be thoroughly cleaned and eaten raw or boiled.