Lambsquarters. Unknown Nutritional Superfood

Young lambsquarters. Later in the season they develop broccoli-like flowerheads.
Young lambsquarters. Later in the season they develop broccoli-like flowerheads. | Source

What are Lambsquarters?

Most farmers are already aware of lambsquarters, and they spray to kill them regularly. The average American has little to no idea what it is yet they have seen it before, and almost nobody has a clue to how outrageously nutritious they are.

Lambsquarters are also known as lamb's quarters, pigweed, goosefoot, huauzontle and wild spinach. In North America the name refers to the pitseed goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri) and In Europe it refers to the white goosefoot (Chenopodium album). This plant grows in every state in the USA except Hawaii and even into Mexico. It has been grown as a food crop over the centuries, but is widely considered a weed today, yet some places in Mexico grow a domesticated variety as a food crop even today.

The one I am familiar with is what grows anywhere there is dirt in Illinois, USA. The species is a very prolific one to say the least, and is loved by small birds in winter when there is snow cover as it produces thousands of seeds per plant. The plant grows over 8 feet high and can choke out most any other plant as it grows several inches per day under the right conditions. (They prefer warm and moderately wet) The leaves are pale green with a dusty appearance, and some reddish purple near the stems. Sometimes purple spots will appear on developed leaves, but that's ok. In midsummer through fall they develop broccoli like flower clusters on the tips of the stems.

Why a Superfood?

In the world of foods, there are a few so high in nutrients as to be considered a superfood, and lambsquarters should definitely should be on that list. The only reason that it is not is because it isn't considered a food by the vast majority of people. I would like to be one who helps change the perception of lambsquarters from that of a nuisance and weed to that of superfood.

Why do I think that this qualifies as a superffood? The answer is simple. First of all, it has over 11 days worth of vitamin K in just one cup! Vitamin K is necessary for the clotting of blood among other things, and is not found in very high quantities in many foods. Among the foods it is found to be high in, lambsquarters come in second, after only parsley in amount per cup. Lambsquarters are also high in other vitamins, such as; vitamins a and c, riboflavin, calcium, manganese, plus they provide all the amino acids to form a complete protein, which is very noteworthy to vegans. They are very low in calories and highly anti inflammatory. For a complete roundup of all the benefits of lambsquarters click on the link below:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2869/2

In closing I should say, they are not too bad tasting either. There are recipes out there, and lambsquarters can sub for most leafy greens. So, slip some into a mixed salad or cook some up as a side dish someday, and feel better for it!

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Please, let me know what you think... 5 comments

herbgirl 4 years ago

When I find a large, healthy stand of lamb's quarters I cut the stalks and dry them. I remove the dried leaves and save them to use in soups during the winter, one handful at a time. The young fresh leaves I eat raw in salads or use as a sub for spinach in cooking. The dried seeds are also tasty and can be used like poppy seeds or sprinkled on salads and cereal. Love it! Thanks for educating others about this fantastic plant.


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dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

I know the plant, but had no idea it was even eatable. Thanks for the info, voted up and useful.


putnut profile image

putnut 4 years ago from Central Illinois or wherever else I am at the moment. Author

I'm glad to hear from you, both. Thanks for reading. Ana, if it's anything like Illinois there, you just chop up the ground and up they come.


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Ana Louis 4 years ago from Louisiana

I love learning something new. Thanks for this information. I live in Louisiana and I am going to see if I can find any Lambquarters growing in my area. My chances are good I think.


Francesca27 profile image

Francesca27 4 years ago from Hub Page

I just had some for the first time, two weeks ago. I enjoyed learning more about them from your hub. Thank you!

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