Last Updated - 10/15/09
Wild Or Gone-Wild Foragable Plants Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
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Chenopodium album

Lambsquarter - A Free Spinach Substitute

There is probably more Lambsquarter grown in people's gardens than any other single crop.
There is probably more lambsquarter ripped out as a weed than any other single weed, except maybe purslane.
It's unfortunate really to have something like that happen. Ironic too.
To think of gardener's taking their time to sow, weed and reap rows of spinach and all through the growing season taking their time to rip out the lambsquarter with the other weeds. Especially since lambsquarter tastes as good as or better than spinach AND has more nutrition.
I was one of those gardener's for years. Now I look for it. I like it. If you find new construction going on somewhere in the Summer you will more than likely find it growing 'like a weed'.
If you like spinach you will really like lambsquarter.
Photo showing a close-up of the tops of lambsquarter.
Looking down on the tops of Lambsquarter growing in the garden.

Do a 'Google Search' for lambsquarter and you will find site upon site describing it and it's benefits. Obviously, plenty of people know of it but, sure as I know there is a hole in my butt, I know more people don't.

Lambsquarter grows in disturbed soil. That's why you see it almost in every garden or bare soil area. After the tilling of the soil in preparation for a garden the seeds from prior crops of lambsquarter, that have been sitting around in the soil, are met with conditions to their liking.
There are no thick grass roots to contend with so they can take off and grow like weeds.
And do they. If you indiscriminately water the entire garden you will have lambsquarter and Purslane growing everywhere.
You might as well eat it, you grew it.

Gather the leaves from the top growth. Gather a lot because it cooks up to a smaller portion, like spinach does. Soak the leaves in cold water. Lambsquarter takes a bit of soaking to wash well because it has built in water repellency on it's surface.
Photo showing lambsquarter leaves soaking in water in preparation to getting washed.
Lambsquarter leaves soaking in preparation to wash.

You can eat lambsquarter raw after washed well and dried off. You can also sauté it, put in salad or cook it other ways like you do with spinach.
I keep it simple.
I like it as a side dish with a meal, like I do with purslane, so I steam it for 10 minutes then add a bit of butter on top.
photo showing cooked purslane and cooked lambsquarter from the garden.
On the left is purslane on the right is lambsquarter.

Chenopodium album - Wild Spinach, Goosefoot, Pigweed.
DATE - Spring through Summer.
FOUND - In open disturbed ground such as gardens and new construction areas.
WEATHER - Not really a factor.

This plant can be foraged from Spring to late Summer.

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