In the spring, my garden is popping! The naturalized greens and herbs are all over the place. Nutritious delicacies are overflowing with vibrant life! We love to harvest these happy volunteers and delight our winter weary bodies with the cleansing taste of spring. We especially love the Mallow and Mustard that volunteer each spring. Both of these plants are naturalized after being brought over from overseas.
Mallow, also known as Cheeseweed for its leaf shape, is a mild laxative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory with soothing demulcent and expectorant properties than help to clear mucus from the body. No wonder it grows in spring! Originally sweetened with honey by the Egyptians, the mallow root derived mucilage was then later transformed into the French confection we know today as “the marshmallow.”
Mustard greens are rich in anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. Mustard boasts a wide variety of vitamin and minerals (B complex, A , C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese), as well as, delicious flavor!
Spring Greens Chips
30 leaves of mustard greens and mallow leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Basil vinegar
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. marjoram
½ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. seasalt or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300ᵒ.
- If necessary, gently rinse the leaves and spin dry. You can use other greens for this recipe (kale, chard, broccoli). If the center ribs are thick, be sure to remove them first.
- Pour oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to mix.
- Add the leaves and mix gently with your hands or a spatula until leaves are coated.
- Add the spices and repeat mixing.
- On a large baking sheet, lay a layer of parchment paper.
- Lay leaves individually onto the paper as flat as possible. A little overlap is okay, but keep it to a minimum.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
- When cool enough to touch, store chips in a paper towel lined large plastic container so they can lay flat.
- Repeat steps 7, 8 and 9 until leaves are finished baking.
Another delicious spring garden staple in our home is the Spring Veggie Broth. This is a cleansing broth that includes any edible we currently have sprouting up in the spring. This recipe allows you to buy ingredients from the local farmer’s market, so you can have a similar version at home. The hijiki is a type of seaweed and adds minerals. Some people don’t like the flavor, so it is optional, and of course, doesn’t grow in the garden!
Spring Veggie Broth
½ bunch of celery
1 large carrot
1 bunch of parsley
Top of large fennel bulb
1 small burdock leaf
1 medium-sized bunch of chard
1 onion, with peel
Mix of greens – amaranth, mallow, wild mustard, cleavers – about 3 cups
½ c. hijiki (optional)
- Prepare ingredients by washing and cutting into large pieces.
- Put all ingredients in a large soup pot. Cover with water.
- Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit, covered for half an hour.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables. Keep anything you want to munch on (carrots and hijiki are especially good this way.)