Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a sprawling, delicious highly nutritious plant common in yards and gardens across the United States as well as in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. It is considered food as medicine and is one of the most delicious, easy to harvest weeds you can find. It’s an excellent compliment to your regular vegetable growing season because it can be harvested in the late winter to early spring months exactly when you probably don’t have much to harvest. Then, it dies back in the heat of the summer to make room for your garden plants.
There are some related, edible species as well with between 90 and 120 species in the genus Stellaria. A common look-alike, mouse-eared chickweed, is actually in a different genus though it looks very similar except for the fuzzy leaves and stems.
One of the best things about chickweed, in my opinion, is its abundant in winter when farmers markets and fresh greens tend to slow down somewhat. There’s no reason for this to happen if you have chickweed in your yard unless you have very snowy winters, which will slow its growth
Leaves: Round, opposite leaves that are smooth.
Stem: The stalks are slightly hairy with purple on the front.
Flower: 5 deeply grooved, white petal
Height: 5 to 10 cm tall, though normally lying flat on the ground like a shaggy carpet.
Habitat: Common in lawns and gardens. Can grow in waste soil and often along trails
Region: Most of the U.S, Asia, and Europe
Chickweed is a nutrient-packed, micro-green. It is higher in iron and zinc than spinach and kale! It also has vitamins A, C, D, and B plus calcium and potassium.
It can help people with an iron deficiency and speed up recovery after a cold. It is generally best consumed raw or in a tea or broth.
- Food Processor or High Quality Blender
- 3/4 Cup Tahini
- 1/4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/8 Cup Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- Salt to taste
- 1 Clove Minced Garlic
- 1 Can Chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2-3 Cups Chickweed chopped
- 1 Tbsp Water more as needed
- In food processor, add the tahini and lemon juice. Blend for 1 minute.
- Add the oil, cumin, salt, and garlic. Process for another minute.
- Add the chickpeas. Process for another minute. Add the chickweed and process until smooth.
- Add the water until the desired thickness is reached.
- Store in the refrigerator.
Here are a few other recipes using chickweed: