Eating Wildly for #NationalEatYourVegetablesDay 8


In celebration of #NationalEatYourVegetablesDay, this summer, I’m going to showcase some of the most sustainable wild vegetables that are available and growing all around us, most likely in your backyard, garden, or local park. Wild edibles are higher in phytonutrients—that’s antioxidants, and good, old-fashioned nutrients that are inherent to the flora—than most vegetables found in our modern agriculture, because they haven’t had the nutrients bred right out of them.

I’ve been talking about lambsquarters a lot recently because in addition to be one of the most nutritious plants in world, they’re in season and freely available across the country. Chenopodium album are high in Vitamins A, C, and K and are related to beets, quinoa, and spinach, which they out-shine in terms of pure green flavor and vitamins. Lambsquarters have triangular shaped leaves and a characteristic mealy white powder at their growth tips that don’t affect their edibility. Go out and try them, now.


I’ve made this yummy wild pie recently, but you can also use lambsquarters any way you’d use spinach, including in salads, although I believe that their flavor really emerges when cooked.

While I don’t expect everyone to go out foraging for their own veggies, perhaps you might consider getting a copy of a book like Eating Wildly—your armchair tour of foraging for wild edibles in New York City—or any of the number of guidebooks like Euell Gibbons’ Stalking the Wild Asparagus, the Peterson’s Guides, or Ellen Nachos’ Backyard Foraging? New York Magazine’s Grub Street just named Eating Wildly one of “12 New Food Books You Should Read This Summer.” Thanks Grub St., for showing my book some love.

You can hear me talking up the wild veggies on KCRW’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman and WNYC’s All Things Considered with Amy Eddings.

Happy Eating!


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8 thoughts on “Eating Wildly for #NationalEatYourVegetablesDay

  • Norine of Science of Parenthood

    I had no idea it was National Eat Your Vegetables Day. In honor of that, I’ll be sharing this on our page — our kiddos will love that. (They won’t actually, but I’ll share anyway!) If you haven’t already talked with Amy at WNYC, please say hi for me. We were in grad school together at NYU. She’s wonderful!

  • Ava Chin Post author

    Yes, us humans have selectively bred for sweetness & benign flavor, so you get something like iceberg lettuce. Real wild lettuce is actually much tastier, with more of a bite 😉 Thanks for stopping by Amy!

  • Ava Chin Post author

    I feel like there’s a day for everything, Norine. And yes, please, share away! It would be an honor. National Eat Your Vegetables Day is actually tomorrow, so you’re right on schedule. I talked with Amy E. a few weeks ago, and have had the privilege of being on the show a couple of times. I didn’t know you were in grad school together! I love her! Thanks for stopping by, and let me know when you’ve shared this on your page.

  • Deb @ Urban Moo Cow

    I believe you. I really do. I just feel like I will end up eating poison ivy. You will have to come up to the BX and check out the woods around my house. I’m sure it would be a goldmine!!!

  • Ava Chin Post author

    I have very warm feelings towards your neighborhood, Deb. My husband proposed at Wave Hill, and it’s super-green! I’d visit you any day!

  • Ava Chin Post author

    If you like spinach, you will LOVE lambsquarters Lauren! I hope you enjoy your journey Eating Wildly 😉 Thanks for stopping by.