What’s on the menu? Weeds!

While you’re weeding your garden this spring, take a closer look at the plants you’re pulling. Chances are, you can put some of those space invaders to work — on your table. 

A surprising number of plants we call “weeds” are actually edible, healthful, and even quite tasty.

Dandelions, for instance, make an excellent salad green if picked early in the spring, when the shoots are tender.  Purslane, which seems to crop up in all the wrong places, is “loaded with antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A and C, and also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids,” according to Rodale.

You can also eat (or make tea with) Red Clover, and Plantain can be sautéed. 

This growing season, don’t just evict unwanted plants from your gardens. Make them pay for their stay first.

To get started, check out Rodale’s handy guide here, another one from thedailygreen here, and a longer list from Edible Wild Food here.

But please, take note: Before you start popping weeds onto your plate, make sure that they’ve 1.) been positively identified and 2.) haven’t been exposed to harmful chemicals, such as a weed killer or lawn treatment. You don’t want to accidentally ingest a toxic plant or get a side-order of Roundup with your salad.