“Easy to Grow Plants that are Totally Edible”
Some plants leaves, stems, fruits and some roots are totally edible. And these are great plants to keep around the house in case of emergencies, because we never know what might happen…and having emergency food is always a good idea. And with California in a drought the cost of food is going to get much more expensive. So here are a few plants that are totally edible and easy to grow to make the food budget easier to live with.
Pumpkins, Winter Squash, and Summer Squash – Every single part of pumpkin plants are edible including the leaves which can be sautéed with onions and garlic and made into a very tasty meal. Also the flowers can be stuffed and baked and make a wonderful culinary experience. Plus pumpkin seeds are full of compounds that are great for prostate health, just roast them, add a little salt, and you have a wonderful tasting snack food.
In fact one man said his mother lived to be over 100 years by eating squash leaves and stems every day for lunch… that’s a great testimonial. Pumpkin and squash leaves are a good source of food and are commonly consumed in Korea and Malaysia and other places such as Africa, Pacific islands, Italy (in Italy sautéed squash leaves are called tenerume), Guam, India, Bangladesh, even in the UK, and other places around the world. Make sure the leaves are pesticide and herbicide free greens.
Go to the garden wearing some gloves because squash and pumpkin leaves are full of tiny spines that can irritate the skin. Pick the smaller leaves and stems because they are tender. But the larger stems can also be peeled to remover the outer spines. Cut off a few of the leaves and bring them into the house for a good rinsing with cold water. Now cut the leaves into one inch pieces and pour them into a pan sprayed with a little organic oil and add some fresh organic garlic. Sauté them until they are soft just like any other kind of green… and the spines will soften and disappear. Some people say they taste like a cross between asparagus, broccoli, and green beans, but I think they have a wonderful flavor that’s divine.
Some people use these greens in soups, stews, stir fries, and add tomatoes, potatoes, onions, curry powder and cumin and other seasonings to make a wonderful dish. Squash and pumpkin leaves and stems can even be boiled until soft, (if you boil them too long they become mush), then add potatoes, sautéed onions and whatever seasonings you like… and with a little cheese they are amazing.
In Asia they cook squash and pumpkin greens with coconut milk and make a wonderful dish. Google “recipes for pumpkin and squash leaves” lots of great tasting recipes will come up. And squash and pumpkin leaves and stems can be found at Asian markets. Once cooked these greens could be frozen for later use. Squash and pumpkin leaves contain lots of good nutrition including lots of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones, iron and copper for anemia, potassium for water regulation and heart health, even A, B, and C vitamins for vitality, health, and immune boosting ability.
And they also have protein for strong muscles, magnesium for enzyme production, and manganese for stress. And pumpkin and squash leaves can be juiced for live enzymes and lots of nutrients. Squash and pumpkin vines grow like crazy almost year round… and they don’t need much attention.
Green Beans and Snap Beans – Every part of these plants are edible including the leaves, stems, the flowers and of course the beans. Sautéed with little bit of olive oil and some onions these great tasting plants are great for soups, stews, in casseroles, and just about any kind of dish that’s possible and even in salads. They are low in calories, low in fat, have lots of good carbs for energy and contain lots of potassium for water regulation and cardiovascular health. And they are tasty too!
Carrots – Here is a great tasting treat that most people love, and even the tops are edible. Most people pass on eating carrot greens but they are amazingly healthy. They do have a slightly bitter flavor like radicchio, endive, and other bitter greens which are good for the body, and they give a surprisingly great taste to soups, salads, pesto, tabouleh, and spreads.
Carrot Tops are full of chlorophyll which is a great detoxing agent for the liver and the whole body… and helps to prevent cancer and tumor growth, and it’s a good antioxidant too thus helping to prevent cardiovascular disease and strokes. And carrot top juice can be and mixed with other sweet juices for a very powerful healing drink.
Carrot Top Greens are loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that are important for good health, Carrot Top Greens are an under valued and under used green that can do the body good. In fact Carrot Top Greens have more Vitamin K than most other veggies, which is important for clotting.
Some say Carrot Top Greens are poisonous but that’s not so… they do have furocoumarin in them that might cause mild allergic reactions similar to nuts in a few rare people. Carrots Greens do pick up nitrates from the soil so it’s important to buy organic greens that are not contaminated with fertilizers or grow your own organic greens.
Carrot Top Greens have been used in Italy for centuries in soups and lots of people scramble them with eggs for a healthy green in egg salad sandwiches. In fact during WWII the British Army came up with a “Carrot Top and Potato Soup” in order to make use of carrot greens that were going to waste during the war.
Carrot Top Greens also contain lots of potassium which is very important for water balance and for cardiovascular health. And they have lots of plant based protein that’s good for the body and Carrot Tops Greens contain more Vitamin C than the carrot… up to 6 times more.
Carrot Top Greens are a good diuretic making it important for getting rid of excess body water, also they are a great antiseptic agent that works great for bad breath and for healing mouth sores and bleeding gums. And if a person has kidney stones or urinary problems making tea with Carrot Tops works very well to sooth away irritation and help to expel the stones via its wonderful diuretic qualities.
Carrot Top Greens can be used in salad dressings, wilted with onions, added to beans with garlic and other spices, cooked with seafood, added to cheeses, used in smoothies, and even used in sauces, pasta, and just about anything else you can think of. And Carrot Top Greens used with the carrots makes a very healing soup that’s very tasty, just spice it up the way you would a spicy Italian soup.
Watermelon – Watermelon Rind is full of lots of healthy ingredients and can make a great drink and also add fiber to your diet.
Watermelon Rind contains iron, zinc, betacarotene, Vitamin C, Lycopene which are all important for boosting your immune system. Plus B Vitamins, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and other trace minerals. Watermelon Rind also contains citrulline which is a great antioxidant and also changes into arginine which is very important for a healthy cardiovascular system, boosting your immune system, healthy endocrine system and also helps prevent erectile dysfunction by relaxing blood vessels and some call it the natural viagra, and studies are being done on it’s effects on libido.
Studies show that rubbing watermelon rind on your skin can make your acne go away. And the amount of Lycopene in Watermelon can be higher than that found in tomatoes. And lycopene is very important for preventing macular degeneration of the eyes. And watermelon rind can lower blood pressure, prevent strokes, and help regulate blood sugar and also help prevent cancer. Watermelon rind makes a great drink if you blend it, add citrus juice and a little something to sweeten it. Also it can be made into pies, pickles, sauces, and all kinds of great tasting foods.
Watermelon seeds contain lots of different proteins including arginine, lysine, and tryptophan. Watermelon Seeds also help prevent coronary artery disease and they contain a whole spectrum of B Vitamins which help give you energy and keep our body fit and full of vigor. Watermelon Seeds contain lots of minerals too — phosphorous, some sodium, small amount of iron, zinc, potassium, copper, and manganese. And Watermelon Seeds can help lower our blood pressure too, and they are full of Omega 6 fatty acids for lowering cholesterol. And they contain beta-carotene and lutein which keeps our eyes and bodies healthy. So next time you have watermelon save the seeds and roast them like sunflower seeds-they taste great! As far as the leaves go, I have not tried eating them yet… but I will give it a try this year when they come up.
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potato leaves are wonderful for all kinds of dishes and are packed full of fantastic nutrition… more people should grow sweet potato and yams for the greens which are great when sautéed or use like spinach in any dish. And sweet potatoes and yams grow all over the world.
Broccoli – Every part of the broccoli plant is edible including the stems, leaves, and the flower and broccoli is packed full of great antioxidants.
Turnips – Turnips are very edible and have lots of nutrition in the leaves and the roots and are very low in calories. The greens can be sautéed just like pumpkin leaves and they are great tasting and full of nutrition.
Onions and Garlic – The roots are of course edible as we all know and the green parts or green onion tops are great in salads, in soups, stews, casseroles, and just about any dish. These are wonderful plants that have powerful healing qualities and are totally edible.
And this is just the tip of iceberg when it comes to totally edible plants.
Try some growing a few of these…
and lower your food budget and stay healthy!
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist
Feel Free to Share – This information is meant to get you started… so you can do more research on your own… dig a little deeper and find what works for you. This article is for educational purposes only, I strongly recommend that you seek advice from your own GP, private doctor, or medical specialist for any ailment, illness, or medical condition.. this article not meant to be a scientific analysis in any way, shape, or form.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 25 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, and at www.paulhaider.com – feel free to connect with him any time.
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Dr. Paul Haider, Master Herbalist, HH, USA, Health and Wellness, Plants that are Totally Edible, Lower Food Budget, Eat Tops, Eat Fruit, Eat Seeds, Eat Rind, Eat Stems, Eat Leaves, Eat Roots, Great Nutrition, Onions, Garlic, Turnips, Broccoli, Yams, Sweet Potato Leaves, Watermelon, Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Summer Squash, Carrot Greens, Green Bean Leaves, Snap Bean Leaves, Squash Leaves, Pumpkin Leaves,
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