Come spring, the pots are overflowing with tender, somewhat succulent chickweed tendrils around January to March, when the days are getting a little longer but is still quite damp and cool. Chickweed is an early spring herb and goes into hiding when the sun comes high and hot.
This spring I tried chickweed in a new way – as a green smoothie. Usually I don’t like cold drinks or smoothies in the slightest, but since being pregnant, my normally chilled body temperature has warmed and now I appreciate smoothies, salads and other cool foods. So until now, I never was drawn to green smoothies; I preferred my kale steamed with garlic and hot sauce, please (which is still my favorite way to eat kale, incidentally)!
My motivation for the chickweed smoothie stemmed from some breastfeeding issues. I have high fat and it was stagnating and causing plugged ducts. Lecithin is often recommended to help emulsify fats and thus reduce the tendency for plugged ducts, but I kept neglecting to but some so I turned to the fat emulsifier growing on my back porch, chickweed!
I first used chickweed medicinally to reduce enlarged lymph nodes in our dog with great success. Chickweed is a remedy for softening lipomas (fatty deposits) and other hardened masses. Now it was my turn to try it for softening hardened/congested milk ducts.
Sure enough, after about three days of drinking a pint of the lovely green chickweed smoothie, the hardness was eliminated! No more lumpy nodules of sticky fat, no more hot, swollen and tender ducts. Woohoo! And it was incredibly invigorating and delicious, too.
Here’s the recipe:
Spring Green Smoothie with Chickweed
2 handfuls of chickweed (stems, leaves, flowers)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup juice (orange or peach nectar is my favorite)
1/2 cup cut pineapple
1/2 inch fresh ginger root
Pick the freshest, greenest, most tender chickweed. No need to wash!
Blend all ingredients in a blender. I don’t add ice but you could if that’s your preference.
Note: during the third week of my harvest, the chickweed was beginning to become a little overgrown and fibrous. I still ate it and it was delish! However, the smoothie was a bit stringy so I strained it through a pasta colander.