January herb to forage : Chickweed, with a green smoothie recipe
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is an amazing nutritive green abundant in late winter early spring. You can spot it by its star shaped flowers ..this is where the latin name, stellaria comes from. It is also excellent raw and in salads.
Herbally, it is a cooling herb, a great cleanser and very good for itchy skin complaints. It is a mild diuretic and effective anti inflammatory. Nutritionally it is packed full of chlorophyll, vitamin c, calcium, zinc, iron and folic acid.
Easy to forage and beats shop bought greens wrapped in plastic!
(Stellaria media L.)
Smoothies made with a balance of good fats,
protein, green vegetables and a small amount of
fruit are a great way to start the day and keep blood
sugar levels balanced. We often buy salads and
greens in plastic packets but herbs in our back
garden or local area offer much more nutritional
value, fewer pesticides and chemicals and have
zero food miles.
Chickweed contains constituents called saponins
that help break down fats so it can be used as an
adjunct on a weight loss program. This smoothie is
a simple and delicious way to incorporate the
cleansing and nutritive qualities of chickweed into
your morning routine. Chickweed can also be frozen
so you can forage a supply to add to your morning
Image by Gemma Challenger- Our Wild Roots Calendar 2021
(Makes one large smoothie, 2 smaller cups)
1 handful of freshly foraged chickweed, washed
1/2 avocado OR 8 almonds or cashews
(the nuts are best soaked overnight to give a
creamier texture. It also makes them easier to
1 handful of berries — raspberries, blackberries or
blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 teaspoons of organic Maca powder (good for
energy – optional)
Oat, almond or rice milk, preferably unsweetened
Blend all the ingredients in a nutribullet or blender
and enjoy as fresh as possible.
Always ensure you correctly identify chickweed.
There is a similar plant with red flowers, Scarlet
pimpernel (Lysimachia arvensis, formally referred
to as Anagallis arvensis) that should not be
consumed internally. Never use a plant if you are
unsure about identification.