Purslane…Weed or Wonderful?

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea), is a low growing succulent with a lemony flavor and somewhat crunchy texture when eaten raw. Both the stems and leaves are edible. It is similar to watercress or spinach, and it can substitute for spinach in many recipes. Young, raw leaves and stems are tender and are good in salads and sandwiches. They can also be lightly steamed or stir-fried. Because of its high level of pectin, purslane can be used to thicken soups and stews (similar to how okra is used).

Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Purslane may be a common plant (aka, weed) but it is incredibly good for you. It is high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus. (from Mother Earth News)

Pretty good for something you are likely to find growing right in your own yard or garden! As always, when eating foraged foods, use only what hasn’t been sprayed and that you know hasn’t been exposed to any harmful chemicals.


To learn more, check out the following links:

Mother Earth News–Power Packed Purslane

The Pleasant Crunch of Purslane–New York Times