Let’s Talk Food: Purslane, good for you

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In 1993, organic farming was a first, but Family Farm, Inc., owned and operated by Chris Yuen and Noelie Rodriguez, was determined to be completely organic and natural. With the use of manure and natural plants that repel insects, they are now a successful and viable organic farm. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used to grow bananas, lychee, rambutans, moringa, ginger, turmeric, pipinola, poha berries, jaboticabas, beans, herbs, onions and purslane.

Although considered a weed, purslane is a very nutritious vegetable that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Scientifically known as Portulaca oleracea, it is also known as Pigweed, Little Hogweed, Fatweed, and Pusley.

It tastes like spinach and watercress, with a slightly sour or salty taste. It is good in salads, in tacos, or can be cooked.

Native to India and Iran, purslane is now found in a variety of settings around the world. It can also adapt to tougher conditions such as drought or nutrient-poor soils. That’s probably why we often think of purslane as a weed growing in the cracks of sidewalks.

Purslane has been used as both traditional and alternative medicine. It is used to treat burns, headache, abdominal pain, cough, arthritis, to name a few.

According to Healthline, “Purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats that the body cannot produce itself.

While purslane has a low total fat content, a large part of the fat it contains is in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.

In fact, it contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and EPA. ALA is found in many plants, but EPA is mainly found in animal products (such as oily fish) and algae.

It is exceptionally high in ALA when compared to other greens. It contains 5-7 times more ALA than spinach.

Interestingly, it also contains traces of EPA. This omega fat is more active in the body than ALA and is generally not found in plants that grow on land. “

Purslane contains bone-building nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese to help prevent osteoporosis.

Purslane is rich in iron and copper and can help increase blood flow to our body and stimulate the production of red blood cells.

According to Andrew Weil, MD, besides omega-3 fatty acids, purslane is a natural source of melatonin, contains seven times as much beta-carotene as carrots and six times more vitamin E than spinach.

The only downside to purslane, according to Weil, is the naturally occurring oxalate, which is also found in spinach, chard, beet greens, and rhubarb. Oxalates are a problem for people with kidney stones.

In Mexico, purslane is added to omelets, in the Mediterranean region in soups and salads. Purslane can be cooked like spinach, but will become slimy if cooked too long.

Noelie shared her recipe for chimichurri.

Noelie’s purslane and parsley chimichurri

2 cups of round chopped purslane

1 cup chopped Italian parsley or coriander

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dry oregano

3 or 4 chopped cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or any hot sauce to your liking

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the bitter stalks from the purslane. Gather all of the ingredients and run them through a food processor until smooth. Use as a marinade or garnish with beef.

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Here are a few salads with purslane:

Cucumber and purslane yogurt salad

2 cucumbers, cut into quarter-round slices

1/4 pound purslane, large stalks removed, washed and drained, then roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped coriander

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped chervil

3 cups of Greek yogurt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, pressed or pureed

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the cucumber, purslane, and herbs in a large bowl. Mix the yogurt, olive oil, garlic and coriander in another bowl and season with salt. Add the yogurt mixture to the vegetables and mix well. Add a pinch of ground black pepper. Try the pickled cucumber and purslane salad seasoning and add a little more salt if needed. Served chilled.

Purslane salad

For 4

Throw away 3 cups of coarsely chopped purslane, thick, tough stems

1 tomato, pitted and roughly chopped

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

2-3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup feta cheese, cut into bite-sized pieces or crumbled

Put purslane, tomato, onion, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and olive oil in a bowl and stir gently.

Season with salt and pepper and add more vinegar if you like.

Top with crumbled feta.

Gourmet bites

Family Farms, Inc. is selling bags of purslane to Island Naturals if you want to try this superfood.


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