Delicious roots to public weeducation

Marie Antoinette famously said: Let them eat cake!

Let them eat weed cake. Matthew Seal and Julie Bruton-Seal, authors of Eat Your Weeds!.
Let them eat weed cake. Matthew Seal and Julie Bruton-Seal, authors of Eat Your Weeds!.

Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal say: Eat your weeds!

Yes, weeds. And to carry the message home the pair have written a book which includes 90 "delicious plant-based recipes" using pick-you-own weed ingredients.

"Eat Your Weeds!" has been published by Ludlow-based Merlin Unwin Books and Julie, who is a professional herbalist, and Matthew, who has worked as an editor and writer in books, magazines and newspapers for over 40 years, claim: "Weeds are actually more nutritious than most of the vegetables we grow or buy."

Let them eat weed cake. Matthew Seal and Julie Bruton-Seal, authors of Eat Your Weeds!.

And getting used to using them for food is, they say, simply a matter of re-education or, as they'd put it, weeducation.

"We appreciate it is a big ask to look at weeds as having any positive value, let alone eat them," they say. But they add that doing so will repay the effort.

"We have trialled all the recipes for ourselves, the process of collecting, cooking, and photographing them testing – and rewarding – our patience and hunger pangs."

They do though issue a public health warning.

"With weeds, as with all wild plants you may be planning to eat, proper identification is essential. Rule number one is eat only what you are sure of."

Yum, yum... a plate of edible weeds

The pair, from Norfolk, have written five previous books together, with their "Hedgerow Medicine" having sold over 115,000 copies worldwide, and "Kitchen Medicine" featuring a forgotten onion cure which catapulted them to fame during the Covid pandemic.

The recipes are both savoury and sweet for food and drink, snacks, or main meals.

Among those to get your mouth watering is chickweed, which is "an excellent salad plant" and "both as food and medicine it is a powerhouse whose unappreciated benefits would astonish the gardener who despairs of eliminating this cheery, bright green plant."

Then there's hogweed, commonly found on roadsides and in gardens, and not to be confused with rare giant hogweed, which causes skin blisters.

Hogweed is "one of our favourite edible weeds, providing a range of flavours through the seasons."

Now to some of those delicious dishes. Nettle Saag Aloo, anyone? You could wash it down with some Dandelion Fizz.

"Eat Your Weeds!" is hardback, 256 pages, and is published by Merlin Unwin priced £25.

Eat Your Weeds! by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal.
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