Thursday, August 27, 2015

Warrigal Greens

Warrigal Greens

I've seen Warrigal Greens growing wild around my garden, and even read about the fact its edible. I ate it raw once, but couldn't understand what the fuss was all about. It tasted awful. Only recently I discovered Warrigal Greens contain toxic oxalates, and therefore should be blanched before being consumed.

No wonder I didn't like it, and the native animals don't seem to eat it raw either.

Leaves and stems

I've eaten it several times already, and it does taste a lot like spinach. I've eaten it just by itself, but today, I had it with some old favourites. I went outside in the rain, to pluck some Warrigal Greens from the garden.

Leaves removed from main stem

When I brought them inside, I plucked off the leaves, leaving the thick stems behind. As these can contain high amounts of oxalates, and you'll know it if you ever taste it - very bitter, even when cooked

Boil for 3 minutes

I then placed the leaves into boiling water for several minutes, before pouring them into a strainer, and then pouring boiling water from the kettle over the top. This rinses any residue of oxalates off.

You can use cold water to rinse, if you want to stop them cooking, but I wanted to eat mine warm.

Lunch time

They were accompanied by fried eggs, and my home-made fruit chutney. With a dash of salt and pepper, it made for a very fancy lunch - even for a weed.

I only noticed afterwards, this meal consists of a lot of ingredients, grown here. The eggs are from our chickens, the Warrigal Greens grew wild in the garden, and the chutney was made with my home grown bananas.

There were other inputs like grain for the chickens and the extras I put in the chutney, but as far as shopping from my larder is concerned, this meal is about 80% there.

Have you tried eating weeds as part of a meal before?


  1. Yep, it grows really well in our garden, and spills out to where the chickens can nibble at it, they love it! I only use it when we don't have other greens, but it does seem to survive longer when we get dry conditions, I've just allowed it to self-seed and ramble around the edges so I have it when I need it. It would be a good ground cover in a food forest too I think :)

  2. It probably would be great as a food forest ground cover too. Great idea.

    I noticed my chickens ate it like the dickens when I first put some in, but the next day, they didn't want a bar of it. So I wonder if it all comes down to the experience. If they get too much it probably does cause a stomach ache, and they won't go back for more. But if they only get regular nibbles in small amounts, the oxalate isn't as potent.

    Or it could be the fact I'm digging up parts of the garden now, and they're being overrun with greens. So they can afford to be fussy. ;)

  3. Looks delicious! I have lambs quarters, which tastes like spinach as well. I haven't used it much as Garry won't eat it-but I munch on it outside. Funny enough, I had chutney with my eggs yesterday as well:)

    1. I heard lamb's quarters was similar, though with less oxalate. So it would be okay to eat raw. A good sign is if you see another animals eating it too.

      Chutney and eggs are bliss together. Great minds, think alike. ;)

  4. I hadn't ever tried warrigal greens uncooked but imagine it would be yuk! I don't ever bother to blanch it to remove oxalates, but then I don't eat huge quantities all at once. My chooks aren't fussy about it.

    1. I saw the Warrigal Greens in your garden recently, and thought, wow, there's some good eating there! But you're right, its not something that we eat in large amounts. Our biology seems to know, when enough is enough.

      Unlike, eating processed foods, unfortunately.


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