Chickweed: The unimposing star

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Chickweed or in latin called Stellaria media is a tiny and at a first glance an unshiny weed. Once you know the plant you will never let it go again and here are the reasons why.

  1. Easy to find

Chickweed (Stellaria media) grows from March to October pretty much everywhere in gardens, fields or even on roadsides. Chickweed prefers cooler and a bit shaded place. Best time to harvest them are therefore in spring and autumn. And here you have already your first reason, it’s found quite easily (once you know the plant) and during a long period of the year.

How to recognize it?

Chickweed sprawls along the ground not growing higher than 5 – 15 cm off the ground. It’s a crowded plant, intertwining itself. If you take a close look at the stem, you will notice that the Stellaria media has often some hairs on one side only. The leaves occur opposite, are somewhat egg-shaped, or oval. The flowers are small and have usually 5 white petals, looking like little stars.

chickweed-hair

  1. Easy to harvest

The Stellaria media grows a lot and it’s quite difficult to extirpate and that’s the good thing. Moreover, you can eat the leaves, stem and flowers! If you find the plant, don’t try to select stem by stem, it will be impossible. Take some scissors and just cut like you would cut the hair at the hairdressers. You will see it will grow again quite rapidly. The only thing you should be careful is to not tear the root.

  1. Superpower properties

Stellaria media contains twice as much calcium, three times more potassium and magnesium and seven times more ironthan lettuce (have you heard that salad-lovers). And not to forget all the vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, trace minerals, and so forth, it’s a tiny, healthy bomb.

Healing properties

With all the good properties mentioned above, it’s no wonder that the Stellaria media is used for a variety of healing purposes. The plant is used for strengthening the organism, for digestive puroposes or also for respiratory diseases. It helps with creamps, tired/inflamed eyes, burns, skin rashes, rheumatisms and so forth.

  1. Infinity of recipes

Second reason is the variety of dishes you can create with the Stellaria Media. It tastes similar to spinach, but in my opinion smoother. I throw it raw into salads, sandwiches or even smoothies or cook it next to other vegetables. My favourite combination is chickweed with egg. Take a look at my ‘Chickweed-Egg-Muffin’. More recipes can be found also here. Or you can create something by your own, to start you can take a dish with spinach and replace it with chickweed.

Chickweed-Egg-Muffin (12 muffins)

150 – 200 g Chickweed (depends on how green you want it)
1 onion
1 garlic glove
6 Eggs
120 ml milk
50 g Parmigiano cheese
50g bacon or for vegetarians
50g dried tomatoes
Salt, pepper and if you want some thyme.

Cut the onion, garlic, bacon/dried tomatoes and heat it in a pan for some couple of minutes, add shortly (1 minute) the chickweed and add some salt and pepper and put aside.

Mix the eggs, milk and cheese and add the chickweed to it.

Pour the mix into the muffin form (put butter or oil into the form beforehand) and put it in the preheated oven at 180° for about 20 minutes. Bon appetit!

Chickweed-Egg-Muffin

Chickweed-Egg-Muffin

Have you ever tried Chickweed already? Do you have a special recipe or you use it rather for healing purposes?

 

 

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About Author

Daniela Bruderer

I'm a nature geek, it gives me a good balance to my frenetic working and studying life. My mission? Making nature cool again!

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