Lamb's Quarters / Goose Foot

Discussion in 'Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Food' started by Tig Steele, Dec 8, 2018.

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  1. Tig Steele

    Tig Steele Member
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    Lambs Quarter/Goose foot

    Lambs quarters/Goose foot
    Chenopodium album


    See the full article with better pictures (HERE)

    Lambs quarters are an annual plant that can grow up to 7 feet tall (though usually between 4 and 6 feet), it’s a member of the amaranthus family and a close cousin to spinach and chard. It’s high in vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and has a decent amount of iron and protein. The plant can be found world wide even occasionally growing in Antarctica and thrives in fields, clearings and disturbed ground
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    Lambs quarters are fairly easy to identify; it’s an upright plant with alternating triangleish shaped leaves roughly shaped like a goose’s foot (hence one of it’s nicknames). The leaves alternate up the stalk. The leaves are a dull green and as with many members of the amaranthus family it has a white to silver coating on the underside of the leaves. Frequently the plant will look almost dusty from a distance due to the light gray coating on the leaves that make the plant essentially waterproof. If you pour water on the plant, the water will bead up and roll off. It should be noted that late in the year the stems can take a reddish hue, especially in drier areas.

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    The leaves and seeds of the plant are edible; The young leaves at the top of the plant can be eaten raw and have a flavor similar to it’s cousin spinach. Though it does contain oxalic acid, so it shouldn’t be the base of a meal. Cooking it will destroy the oxalic acid, so if you’re using it as a staple food, you will want to cook it in some manner (boiling, steaming and sauteing are usually the preferred methods).
    Older leaves are still edible, but they are usually fibrous, bitter and contain higher amounts of oxalic acid. Boiling the older leaves for about a half hour and possibly change the water if they are particularly bitter will break down the fibers and destroy the oxalic acid.

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    In fall lambs quarter produce a large amount of tiny black seeds. The seeds are high in protein, but also contain saponins. You will want to soak the seeds overnight to leach out the saponins and then rinse them off once more to get rid of any residue. The seeds can then be completely dried and used as a flour. The flour is high in protein and not bad tasting.
    Saponins are a natural soap, so the water that the seeds soaked in can be saved and used as an eco-friendly soap that won’t cause algae blooms in nearby water supplies that can kill your water based food sources.

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    While as far as I know there are no poisonous look alikes, there are various versions of the plant. Lambs quarters with a strong smell are usually used as a spice, though still edible they are not nearly as pleasant tasting.
     
    Keith H. likes this.
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    We have a lot of that here, mostly in the garden where the larger wildlife can't get at it. My wife pulls it out, but I like to keep some growing. To be fair we have got plenty of brassicas growing & are never likely to NEED to eat Lambs quarters/Goose foot, but for me it is a survival thing, an insurance against hard times. I assume it was brought here by early settlers from the old country.
    Keith.
     
  3. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I found your post potentially helpful and saved it to compare the plant to a plant I have been saving for survival purposes that grows abundantly around my home . I know the plants that I have been letting flourish tastes good but have no idea what it is . Actually my mystery plant's leaves tastes more like string beans , but doesn't produce beans .
     
  4. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Lambsquarters compared to Spinach

    Lambsquarters
    Calories
    Serving Size: 100g or 3.5oz
    kcal* kjoules* RDI%

    Total Calories 43 kcal 180 kJ 2%

    from Carbs 26.1 kcal 109.04 kJ

    from Fat 6.7 kcal 28.02 kJ

    from Protein 10.2 kcal 42.88 kJ

    from Alcohol 0 kcal 0 kJ

    *The unit "kcal" or kilocalories are what most American's think of as 1 Calorie. Other countries use the unit kilojoule (kJ) to measure Food Energy. 1 kcal is equal to 4.184 kilojoules.


    Spiniach

    Calories
    Serving Size: 100g or 3.5oz
    kcal* kjoules* RDI%

    Total Calories 23 kcal 96 kJ 1%

    from Carbs 13 kcal 54.22 kJ

    from Fat 3.3 kcal 13.66 kJ

    from Protein 7 kcal 29.2 kJ

    from Alcohol 0 kcal 0 kJ

    *The unit "kcal" or kilocalories are what most American's think of as 1 Calorie. Other countries use the unit kilojoule (kJ) to measure Food Energy. 1 kcal is equal to 4.184 kilojoules.

    Just the leaves alone are a great food source. The best thing about it is that it is generally considered a weed and nobody is going to mess with it if you plant it all around the periphery of your property or even in any vacant spot in a park or empty lot.
     
    Old Geezer likes this.
  5. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    My family members living in rural areas would grow curly mustard and kale, maybe a few cattle if they had valley land or high pasture. We'd pick our own poke greens and mix it with what we got from our country cousins. Even in town, small town America, everyone grew gardens and maintained fruit trees -- knew very few who did not. We grew big gardens. Men like my paternal grandfather would hunt -- my mom's dad had been a subsistence hunter when still living up in a hollar. My dad's dad would shoot small game out his car window with a .32 revolver; any car he owned, he put a beacon spotlight on it.

    Dear God in Heaven, if only I had committed to memory all the stuff we picked when my paternal grandma would take me out into the wilderness. I have to read about this stuff now. I greatly appreciate people's contributions concerning all of the plant life out there just for the taking.

    Me, I love asparagus. I haven't got any in my garden, because I'm the only one in the family who likes it. It can be a bit of a trouble getting it started, but once you do, it sure keeps on growing.
    https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/growing-asparagus/7343.html
     

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