Plant-Based Nutrition

5 Edible Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

edible plants

Have you ever wondered who the brave soul was that ate the very first potato? Or that equally daring person who first popped a mushroom into their mouth?

Potatoes are poisonous if you don’t let them grow and mature.

Many types of mushrooms are also poisonous.

Both potatoes and mushrooms are considered edible plants as long as you are eating them correctly, though.

You know how much I love to eat my plants. I’ll swear by fruits and veggies until the day I die. To be one of those people who tries a food for the very first time, though, seems like too big of a gamble for me.

Take IdealRaw Protein for instance. It has less than 20 ingredients, all of which are made from plants, yet someone, somewhere, cracked open that first coconut. Someone, somewhere, learned how to eat that first pumpkin seed.

Because of that, we now have the best tasting plant-based based protein powder around. Seriously, it is so good. You should get yourself some right now.

If you’re the daring type, though, I’m here to show you five weird, yet edible plants that you should try.

In fact, I even have a recipe for each of these weird plant foods that also incorporate IdealRaw protein powder, just for you. Ready for it?

Why You Should Try New Foods

You shouldn’t just limit yourself to the foods that are from your general area. The world is filled with exciting smells, tastes, and textures.

There are so many different edible plants that you may not know about, but might actually be your new favorite thing to eat.

Trying new foods offers you a lot of benefits:

  • Nutrient packages: Different foods mean different varieties of vitamins and minerals your body needs.
  • Excite the senses: New tastes and textures make eating fun!
  • Add Some Variety: New foods add variety to your diet and prevent bordom with meals.

It may be a little intimidating to stick something new into your mouth. Some people have a hard time choking down different textures. Others’ imaginations can get in the way of what food they really would like.

I get it. I have four kids who can be picky at times. I myself don’t like certain foods. When I come up with meal plans for my clients, I have to be mindful of their tastes and preferences too.

None of this should stop you from falling in love with something you’ve never had before. You’ll never get the benefits of great edible plants if you don’t try them!

5 Edible Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

1. Dandelions

dandelion

Yes, I am going to talk about those annoying yellow flowers that pop up all around your well-kept yard.

It’s not necessarily a secret that dandelion is an edible plant. You may already enjoy a dandelion tea during the evening or a salad tossed with dandelion leaves.

For those of you who shiver at the thought of eating a weed, though, I’m about to tell you how good they actually are for you.

Benefits of Dandelion

Dandelion is a great source of vitamins and minerals. In fact, dandelion greens offer 535 percent of the vitamin K you need daily! The bright weed also provides a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, and B6. Also, if you’re looking to add more fiber to your diet, dandelion is great source for that too.

The great thing about dandelion is that you can use every part of the plant. The leaves, stem, and flower are all edible. This makes it a versatile pick to use in many different recipes.

Dandelion Flower Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup unbleached flour or spelt flour
  • 1 cup dry oats
  • ½ cup dandelions
  • 1 scoop IdealRaw Vanilla Protein powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine coconut oil, pure maple syrup, apple sauce, and IdealRaw Vanilla Protein in medium bowl until mixed well.
  3. Add in spelt flour, oats, and dandelion petals. Mix well.
  4. Add spoonful amounts onto nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

2. Cattail

cattail

When I was a little girl living in Tennessee, I would look out the car window and admire the ponds on the way to school. The ponds often had cattails growing out of them and I always thought they were just hotdogs on roasters getting ready for the fire pit.

Even though cattails are far from a hotdog, you can still eat them. You probably wouldn’t want to stick one in a bun with some ketchup and mustard (even though you could), but you can definitely use these edible plants in other ways.

Benefits of Cattail

Known as the supermarkets of the wild, cattails are super versatile as well. You can cook with the pollen, the root, the stalk, and even the top itself.

Cattails are a great source of vitamin A, B, C, phosphorous, and potassium. They’re also an excellent source of fiber that can help keep you feeling full.

The pollen is great for baking, while the roots can be treated just like potatoes. There are so many ways you can eat cattail, and you probably didn’t even know that they are edible!

Cattail Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cattail pollen
  • 1 cup unbleached flour or barley flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 ⅓ cup amond milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 scoop IdealRaw Vanilla Protein

Directions:

  1. Combine light agave syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, and ground flaxseed in medium bowl and mix until flaxseed is distributed well.
  2. Combine cattail pollen, flour, baking powder, salt, and IdealRaw Vanilla Protein powder in another bowl and mix.
  3. Slowly add wet ingredient to the dry ingredients until there are no lumps in batter.
  4. Add ¼ cup batter to nonstick skillet and cook until golden brown, flipping occasionally to cook evenly.
  5. Serve with pure maple syrup and enjoy!

3. Mallow

mallow

Another throwback to my childhood. I used to go out into my backyard with my friends, find mallow plants and eat the little flower buds that hadn’t bloomed yet.

We called them “little cheeses” because they look like cheese wheels. Although, they didn’t have really any taste to them, my friends and I would spend a lot of time, picking through the mallow plants for nature’s “little cheese.”

Benefits of Mallow

This common yard weed is actually packed with nutrients. Just like the cattail, you’ll find that mallow is a good source of vitamin A, B, C, and potassium. In fact, it is one of the best sources of vitamin A of any plant. It also offers plenty of calcium and magnesium.

You can use all parts of the mallow as well. It can be used in different salads, or you can be more creative with it. It is virtually tasteless, so you won’t have to worry about any bitterness or weird aftertaste.

Black Bean and Mallow Leaf Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups mallow leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped portabello mushroom
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups/cans black beans
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 scoop IdealRaw Chocolate Protein

Directions:

  1. Boil mallow leaves until soft, about 10 minutes. Then drain in colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze excess water from mallow leaves and then chop into small pieces.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil to frying pan. Cook garlic over medium low heat until softened. Then add onion, mushroom, carrot, and celery. Cook until softened.
  3. In a food processor, add black beans and IdealRaw Chocolate Protein Powder together, and then mash the beans. Afterwards, combine beans, veggies, ½ cup almond flour, and spices in a large bowl. Make sure everything is well mixed.
  4. Spread 1 cup almond flour onto plate. Take mixture and make small, palm sized patties. Coat both sides in almond flour.
  5. Place patties in fridge for 30 minutes so that they will hold together better while cooking.
  6. Place remaining coconut oil into frying pan. On medium high heat, cook patties on one side until browned (about 5 minutes) and then flip and cook until other side browned.
  7. Serve on your favorite bun with your favorite condiments and toppings and enjoy!

*Note: Don’t worry about the chocolate protein powder ruining the taste. With the strong flavors coming from the spices, you won’t even notice it.

4. Kiwano

kiwano

Kiwano is a freaky looking fruit. If you have never heard of it before, you may know it by one of its many other names, like the jelly melon, horned melon, African horned cucumber, etc.

It isn’t native to the United States, but it is now grown in sunny California. The outside of it is covered in orangish horns, but it’s the inside that you want.

The inside is green and slimy with big, pumpkin like seeds. It tastes mostly like a mix of zucchini, cucumber, and kiwi, but as the fruit ripens, it ends up tasting more like a banana.

Benefits of Kiwano

Kiwano is a great source of antioxidants. Even though it looks like it could kill you if you were to swallow it, the antioxidants found inside make it a great addition to your diet.

The funky fruit also contains vitamin A and E in its slimy insides.

In case that isn’t enough to sell you on it, the kiwano fruit is made up of 80 percent water, which helps you feel fuller after you eat it. It’s also a great source of good carbs to add to your diet.

It may look like some sort of cross between a porcupine and an orange, but it is so good for you!

Kiwano Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 kwano — pulp only
  • ¼ tsp stevia extract
  • 1 scoop IdealRaw Vanilla Protein
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup spinach or kale

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Place in your favorite cup and enjoy!

*Note: Try adding in a banana or a couple kiwis to bring out the kiwano’s flavor more!

5. Pawpaw

pawpaw fruit-edible plants

Believe it or not, but the pawpaw is actually native to the United States. It may look more tropical than what we can typically grow here, but it is, indeed, American born.

The pawpaw is actually the largest fruit grown in the United States as well. It prefers warmer climates, so if you live in the warm coastal areas of the States, you should be familiar with it.

It looks similar to a mango, but it has a super soft flesh and black seeds.

It’s kind of fun to see the contrast when you cut one open!

The taste is similar to bananas, mangos, and cantaloupe, but with a more custard like texture.

Benefits of Pawpaw

If you need your B vitamins, pawpaws are a great way to get them. Every pawpaw fruit has vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and niacin. Even though you don’t get the full spectrum of B vitamins, you still get a healthy dose of a lot of them.

The pawpaw also provides half of your daily vitamin C value. If you’re looking for something to help your immune system, this fruit may do the trick.

You’ll also get a good amount of magnesium, potassium, and even iron into your diet if you eat it regularly.

Don’t you just love the power of fruits and vegetables?

Pawpaw Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp stevia extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 scoop IdealRaw Vanilla Protein powder
  • ½ cup dairy free yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour or spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup pawpaw mashed
  • ¼ cup banana mashed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Combine stevia extract, applesauce, yogurt, pawpaw, and banana. Mix well.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and IdealRaw Vanilla Protein powder to wet ingredients and mix until there are no lumps.
  4. Place mixture into nonstick bread pan and bake in oven for 1 hour.
  5. Let sit for 15 minutes and enjoy!

A Delicious Ending

As you can see, our earth is filled with tons of exciting fruits and vegetables that we can eat!

If you’re looking for unique edible plants, these five may be some easy ones that you can start with. Each come with many different benefits for your health.

Next time you see some weed growing in your garden, or see a weird looking fruit or vegetable at the grocery store, don’t shun it! Pick it up and then take it home and see what you can do with it. You’ll be surprised at just what you can find out there that is edible.

There really is no better way to get your vitamins and minerals in than through plants. That is why IdealRaw protein is made from only the best organic plants.

 



Lisa Danielson

Lisa Danielson

Vegan Nutritionist

Major advocate for all things green and vegetarian. With the nickname “Veggie Lisa”, I am here to help you love veggies as much as I do! With my tips and tricks for preparing delicious veggies, you’ll never think plants are boring again.


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