Nature is constantly providing the remedies we need for each season. Springtime is when we need to flush out the liver and rekindle the digestive fire. Great concepts, but how do we achieve such goals? Wild greens!
Do you know what wild abundance is growing right outside your door?
Here in the mountains of North Carolina, we have a lot of variety: chickweed, plantain, nettles, clevers, dandelion and ramps. All of these herbs are at least slightly bitter, if not intensely bitter, and some have a little kick to them. Bitter and pungent (spicy) tastes are the focus for our palates in the Spring.
There are many ways to consume wild greens. You can make salads with the fresh picked leaves of chickweed and dandelion, add nettles to soups and stews, chop up ramps in stir frys or hashbrowns or make pesto as a topping for vegetables, grains, or meat.
For you salad lovers, here is a recipe from my friend Demi, whose grandmother used to make this salad every spring. Locals in the Southern Appalachian mountains have probably made a similar salad with tender poke greens in the Spring.
Grandma’s Dandelion Salad This tasty salad can come right out of your yard as long as you don’t spray. Dandelions are nature’s best detoxifier! 1-2 servings Ingredients: A bunch of fresh, not sprayed dandelions, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces 1-2 scallions or 1” piece of leek 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped red wine vinegar olive oil S & P to taste
Put it all in a salad bowl. Toss it! Eat it! YUM!
One of my favorite ways to eat wild greens is in pesto. Try out my recipe:
Hannah’s Wild Greens Pesto
This is a great addition to most savory springtime meals.
4 cups wild greens (I often just use chickweed but sometimes add dandelion or nettles)
4-6 Ramps (or 2-4 cloves of garlic)
1/4- 1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. almonds, pecans or pine nuts
Pinch of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in a food processor and mix until it is thoroughly combined. Add more oil for a more liquid consistency.
Unsure about how to identify spring greens? Look them up in guidebooks or online, or ask a knowledgeable friend to go on a harvesting walk with you.
Clear out your liver and increase your digestive strength with the bounty sprouting from the earth. If you would like more guidance with your diet and seasonal eating, set up an Ayurveda Consult with me. Practice being supported by the environment. Go wild with greens this spring!