Lamb’s quarters, those annoying garden invaders, can be quite troublesome, but perhaps we should be a little more welcoming of them.
Lamb’s quarter is native to Eurasia and made its way to North America with European settlers. It’s related to Amaranth, and it’s seeds can be milled for flour just like its cousin.
Lamb’s quarters are nutritionally dense and taste a bit like spinach. So if you’re going to weed them, don’t toss them out, try to enjoy them.
Per half cup of shoots, lamb’s quarters boast about 300 mg of calcium, 600 mg of potassium, 3800 ug of beta carotene, 1000 ug of Niacin, and around 1.5 mg of iron.
They are great tossed into salads, added to smoothies and juices, and cooked in a variety of dishes.
Like spinach they contain oxalic acid, which can build up and cause kidney stones when eaten in large amounts. Cooking them destroys some of the compound.
I now like to think of lamb’s quarters as a tasty vegetable that plants itself and comes back every year. If they’re threatening something I’ve planted, they’re easy to pull out or mulch over. One lamb’s quarter plant can produce tens of thousands of seeds, so it’s best to pull out before it begins to produce them if you’re trying to eliminate them from an area.
Since lamb’s quarters can substitute spinach (actually I like the flavor of lamb’s quarter even more), I really like to put it in omelets.
Here’s a recipe for a delicious lamb’s quarter omelet:
½ cup chopped lamb’s quarters
1 clove garlic minced
Roughly two teaspoons crumbled feta