Crop & Pest Report

Accessibility


| Share

One Persons Weed is another Person’s Ingredient for Salad (06/25/15)

I live in an area of south Fargo that is under residential development. There are very few homes in my part of town and plenty of weeds along recently constructed roads. I noticed a group of people harvesting lambsquarter leaves recently. I was surprised and went to the internet to investigate lambsquarters as a source of food for human consumption.

One Persons Weed is another Person’s Ingredient for Salad

I live in an area of south Fargo that is under residential development. There are very few homes in my part of town and plenty of weeds along recently constructed roads. I noticed a group of people harvesting lambsquarter leaves recently. I was surprised and went to the internet to investigate lambsquarters as a source of food for human consumption.

Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) is a member of the goosefoot family and is a relative of spinach, quinoa, and beets. Stems, leaves and seeds can be used as a source of food. Lambsquarters leaves are used in the kitchen as a wild spinach substitute, added to salads, stir fry, soups, and casseroles. Dried leaves make flour and are mixed with water to make a tortilla. Lambsquarters is the second highest in nutrition of all wild foods (amaranth is number one) and are rich in beta carotene, vitamin B2, niacin, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.

There are a few precautions, perhaps with green plants in general. Lambsquarters can absorb nitrate from contaminated soil so be careful where you harvest this plant. Avoid too much raw consumption of plants as it contains oxalic acid. Cooking will destroy some of the oxalic acid but for salad and smoothies use lemon juice to neutralize the oxalic acid. Seeds of lambsquarters can be dried and sprouted or ground into flour for bread, pancakes, muffins, cakes, and cookies. The seeds are also used as a seasoning and a coffee substitute.

wdsci.peters.1.lambsquarter

Tom Peters

Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist, NDSU & U of MN

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.