CHENOPODIUM Chenopodium album
ALSO KNOWN AS: magenta spreen, lambs quarters, tree spinach & spring crops and gardens. Magenta will even self-sow in cracks in paving stones. Both are annual plants with goosefoot-shaped leaves, and can reach up to 2m high. One plant has a huge amount of leaves for use as food.
USES: fathen has a white dust on the undersides of its leaves which is full of calcium and protein. Magenta has a lovely pink dust on new leaves making it easy to identify, even when
Fathen/magenta spreen smoothie
3 stems magenta
spreen or fathen 2 carrot leaves 5 cavelo nero leaves 2 beetroot leaves 1 banana 1 cup blueberries 1 kiwifruit 1 tangelo, peeled 1 tbsp almonds,
soaked overnight 2-3 cups water
Drain the almonds and discard the water, and scrub the hairs off the kiwifruit, or peel. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend on low until well broken down. This mixture yields 1.5 litres, enough for a family or you can keep some aside for the next day in the fridge. tiny. They are highly nutritious plants, rich in vitamins C, E, fatty acids, iron, calcium, minerals, antioxidants and protein. The leaves are tasty when steamed.
DISTRIBUTION: common in the northern North Island, decreasing as you head southwards ABOUT: grows in dry, waste places, gardens, farm gateways and bare ground. Purslane has been used as a food and medicine for over 2000 years. It is an annual that grows low to the ground with a deep taproot, and has reddish, branching stems and teardrop-shaped fleshy leaves. The flowers are small and yellow. The succulent, drought-tolerant leaves have a sour, refreshing taste and contain the highest plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory and immune-strengthening. USES: eating purslane as a food gives access to the 92% water in the leaves which is alkaline, full of life-enhancing enzymes, vitamins and minerals. The mucilaginous juice can be applied to sunburn, cuts and skin irritations. To ensure you have it all year round you can pickle it: fill a sterilised jar with purslane, lightly packed in, add some salt, pepper, garlic (optional), and honey. Fill the jar with cider vinegar, then place on the lid. Keep at room temperature for a week and then move it to the refrigerator and keep there until eaten. This is a delightful pickle-like side garnish for most recipes.