Purslane. My new favorite edible weed. If you missed my post on just how incredibly nutritious this herb is, you’d better go catch up!
After discovering this super food in my garden, I decided to let it go crazy in one of my empty raised beds. And boy did it go crazy! I had fun experimenting with it before it came time to clear out the bed to make room for my new raspberry bushes.
Purslane makes a great thickening agent, much like cornstarch. Here’s how to turn it into a super-food powder to add to your favorite soups, stews, gravies or even shakes!
First, pick a bunch of healthy looking purslane. I like to pick herbs early in the morning before the sun has come out and dried the leaves.
Wash the leaves well. You wouldn’t want any dirt or bugs in your powder. Then spread them out onto a towel to dry.
Pull the leaves off of the stems, and place them single layer on a dehydrator rack, or on a cookie sheet if drying in the oven. This would make a great activity for children to help with. Discard the stems, or feed them to your chickens.
You’ll need a mesh screen or something similar to keep the leaves from falling through the trays after they’ve dried.
I used the ‘fruits and vegetables’ drying setting on my dehydrator, since these leaves are very succulent. That temperature is 135*. If using an oven, set it to the lowest setting possible, and keep an eye on the purslane to make sure it doesn’t burn. It took about 12 hours to dry completely. It should be brittle, indicating that it is done.
Next, place the dried leaves in a food processor or blender, and process until it turns to a powder.
Mine turned out to be a course powder, but that was just fine. I stored it in an empty spice jar. You’ll need a lot of purslane to make a significant amount of powder. The first time I experimented with this process, I only filled one dehydrator tray with leaves; I got about 1 1/2 Tbsp of powder from this amount.
The flavor of the dried purslane reminds me of dried parsley. It’s very mild and nice. I used my powdered purslane in a bean soup last night in the place of cornstarch, and it thickened up very nicely. I am anxious to make a lot more for regular use in my kitchen.
Have you ever dried purslane? What’s your favorite way to use it?