Foraging for wild spinach is a fun and fulfilling activity that anyone can indulge in. Wild spinach grows best in moist, shaded areas, like coastal shrub lands, woodland edges, and abandoned lots. The most common variety is called smooth or round- leafed spinach, which has a deep green color, smooth stem, and large, round leaves. If you’re unsure of whether a plant you see is actually wild spinach use the old adage: “Leaflets three, let it be!” These plants can be identified by their signature 3-leaf structure. Though if in doubt, always bring an expert with you on your hunt!
Once you’ve identified your catch, it’s time to take it home and get cooking. When harvesting wild spinach, it’s best to pick the leaves right before they’re fully mature. The young leaves are more tender and flavorful than the older ones, and they’re easier to clean too! Simply rinse the leaves under a cool stream of water and pick off any insects or debris. Then you’re ready to start cooking!
Wild spinach can be prepared in countless creative ways. It can be sauteed with garlic, used as a green salad base, added to a sandwich or wrap, or even cooked in a soup. The possibilities are endless! And because wild spinach is packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, and iron it’s sure to add an extra punch of nutrition to your meal.
Ultimately, wild spinach is not only a delicious addition to any dish but also packs plenty of health benefits. With a little knowledge and effort, anyone can make use of its abundant resources while they’re in season. So grab your basket and get foraging!