Monday, January 6, 2014

Henbit, It's What's for Breakfast!


It's January in Tennessee and I wanted to see what was growing in my backyard.  This is a common weed found practically everywhere.  It's called Henbit, Lamium amplexicaule, and is in the mint family though it does not have a mint flavor.  It has square stems and heart shaped scalloped leaves that grow along the stem. It is often confused with Purple Dead Nettle (also edible). However, Purple Dead Nettle has triangle shaped leaves that grow in clumps on the stem rather than spread out like Henbit.  It does not have any poisonous look a likes and you can eat stems, leaves and flowers.  It has a very mild flavor.

Henbit, named such because of chickens' attraction to it, is high in iron, fiber and antioxidants.  You can eat Henbit raw or cooked.  Here are some great recipes!

Henbit Flapjacks 

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
4 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T baking powder
2 cups milk
3 T oil
2 eggs
1 cup diced Henbit (leaves, flowers and stems if not too woody)
Butter for frying

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together.  Add liquid ingredients and mix.  Fold in Henbit.   Fry in butter.  Serve with your choice of topping such as honey, syrup or preserves.


Cannelloni Bean and Henbit Soup

Ingredients:

2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (15.5 oz) Cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup small pasta
1 1/2 cups chopped Henbit
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in stock pot. Add garlic and onion and fry until translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add beans and pasta.  Boil until pasta is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add Henbit and cook several minutes until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with Parmesan cheese when serving. Makes about six servings.

1 comment:

  1. This was the first year that I was able to identify henbit and I pulled it out. =( Oh well, there's always next year.

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