The first image is Purslane and the second image is Chickweed. Yes, they are healthy edible wild plants.
Chickweeds - You can use the stems and leaves to make a salad or boil the greens for 5 minutes.
Allegedly, chickweed contains a succulent flavor that enhances raw vegetable salads. Herbalists have found that chickweed is effective in treating hemorrhoids, eczema, and other irritating skin conditions. Chickweed has also been found to have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Purslane - Soft, succulent Purslane or "Pusley" has more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of fish oils.
Other common names for this green vegetable are pusley, pigweed, or verdolaga.
Many health benefits of Purslane:
- This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats; but is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more Omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid. Research studies show that consumption of foods rich in ω-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and help prevent development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children.
- It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision. This vitamin is also required to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
- Also present in purslane are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish beta-cyanins and the yellow beta-xanthins. Both of these pigment types are potent anti-oxidants and have been found to have anti-mutagenic properties in laboratory studies.
They sell Purslane at many farmer's markets for top dollar. Here's a recipe for Purslane salad:
3 cups purslane leaves (detach from stems unless the stems are small and easy to chew)
2 cups chopped tomato
1 tbs minced onion (or more, to taste)
Salt to taste
Cut the tomatoes across the midsection, halfway between stem and tip. Squeeze the tomatoes over the purslane until much of the seeds and juice have been expressed. Use this as a dressing for the leaves. Chop the tomatoes, making sure to scrape any remaining juice/seeds into the bowl with the purslane leaves. Add the tomatoes, onion, and salt to taste. Toss and serve promptly.
Here's another couple of tips/ideas for Purslane usage:
I'm going to be very careful about my "weeding" this year and pick me some fresh snacks and salad fixings!!! Enjoy!