Springtime and our lawn seems to “give up” space to natural, if impermanent, intruders. In springtime, food lawn intruders include dandelion and wild onion. You know, wild onion, those tufts of thick green strands that can pop up all over the grass? They are free foods, a springtime bonus for your March-April family plate. (A lawn without pesticides and chemicals on it, of course.)

I love the wildflowers of spring. Some, like the wildflower violets, can be a springtime food, a kind of free, natural dessert. Yes — dip the blooms in egg white and sugar (find a specific recipe here) for a wild food treat.

Mid spring dandelions push up. They are actually healthy food for your liver! Do NOT put nasty pesticides on them. They only stay on the lawn about a month. Instead, put young leaves  in a fruit or protein smoothie. Or put them in a salad. Either way, they contain Vitamins A and C, and help liver health and protecting against cancer, according to information from a Healthline article. Healthline also says to be cautious eating dandelions if you use diuretics, or Lithium or Cipro as they might affect these drugs.

The spring food “I” put in my chow mein recipe recently was the wild onions — from the lawn! They have little white bulbs at the ends of their thin green stems. Carefully pull out this springtime treat to stir fry with the rest of your chow mein ingredients (like bean sprouts, thinly sliced celery and carrots, cubed boiled chicken breast, rice, maybe throw in some broccoli as well, with soy sauce, a drop of sugar and chicken broth).

You can cut them up and use the bulbs, perhaps also try the “green tops,” but the tops may be a bit chewy. The onion taste is actually a bit milder than a store bought variety, and is even a bit nutty in taste. The best thing is, they are free, from your springtime lawn!

(GREAT AMER. IDEA) So, hunt up some edible plants. They are healthy to eat and give you a chance to forage and explore outside. You can learn more if you go to amazon.com and seek out author Katie Letcher Lyle and her book The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants.

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