For most of us, purslane comes as an unwelcome guest. It can grow anywhere. Purslane may be a common plant, but it is uncommonly good for you. The leaves offer amazing health benefits, so you better think twice the next time you decide to pull it and throw it away. It has spread throughout the world as an edible plant and as a weed. Also, many cultures embrace purslane as a food.
It is GMO free, contains essential antioxidants and vitamins. The leaves actually have a very pleasant lemony taste, crunchy texture, and can be perfect to include it in your recipes, or you can even make it as a substitute for spinach. Its high protein levels will give you strength.
SOME OF ITS BENEFITS:
- It is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. So it can protect you from stroke and heart diseases. Moreover, it lowers the chance of ADHD in children, autism and other developmental disorders.
- It contains the most vitamin A of all green leafy vegetables that can protect you from cancer.
- It contains calcium and iron that are very important for the bones.
- It provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots.
- It is rich in dietary fiber and low in calories.
- It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.
Purslane’s seeds are so strong that the plant can live up to 25 years. So, if you are trying to control purslane the number one rule is don’t let it go to seed. About three weeks after you notice seedlings, the flowers and seeds will be produced.
Purslane should be consumed on a daily basis. It can be consumed in salads or on sandwiches. It can also be cooked as a potherb, steamed, stir-fried or pureed. It tends to get a bit slimy if overcooked.
You can keep it in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days but it is advisable to eat it while the leaves are fresh and not wilted. Before storing, wash fresh leaves and stem in clean, cold running water in order to clean it. Then, mop it with a soft cloth to remove any moisture.
Note: People with known oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating it because purslane contains oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people.
So, if you see this magical plant growing in your yard, never throw it away anymore!