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Chenopodio, properties and uses. Recipes and everything you need to know about chenopodium album, an edible spontaneous herb with multiple properties.
Thechenopodiumit is an edible wild herb that grows throughout Italy. Depending on the climatic zones, thechenopodiumit can be harvested from April to May. Of thechenopodiumnot only the green parts are consumed but also the seeds: from the beginning of summer to its end, flowering brings the seeds that are harvested to ripen for the preparation of an excellent flour.
Chenopodio: botanical information
Thechenopodium, known botanically asChenopodium album, belongs to the Chenopodiacee family, which includes many other plants grown for food such assugar beet and spinach.
Thechenopodiumit's aplantknown in Italy asfarinaccio or farinello. It's aplantannual which, just like amaranth, grows in uncultivated soils but also in the garden as a weed.
The leaves ofchenopodiumthey are rich in micronutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium and iron. They provide a fair amount of vitamin B as well as protein and fiber.
Thechenopodium albumis counted among the spontaneous medicinal plants as it can count onpropertyantihelminthics (it is a good dewormer), anti-inflammatory (it can prevent or even cure a large number of inflammations), antirheumatic properties and, thanks to its laxative properties, it can be useful in case of constipation and constipation.
Chenopodium seeds and therefore the flour obtained from them, contain from 16 to 21% of proteins, from 42 to 69% of carbohydrates and from 4 to 5% of lipids. The remaining component is represented by fibers.
It is rich in niacin and provides a good amount of magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. The best way to consume chenopod flour is to combine it with that obtained from classic cereals. The proteins in chenopodium flour are not as high in nutritional value as those in amaranth flour, however they are rich in lysine, an amino acid lacking in classic cereal flours.
The chenopod in the kitchen
Thefarinelloit is widely used in the kitchen! The seeds, leaves, stems and sprouts of this spontaneous plant are consumed.
The seeds are taken from the plants in summer, rubbing the inflorescences between the hands. Once collected, the seeds can be used like those of amaranth: flour can be obtained using a coffee grinder or they can be used for recipes of soups, soups, biscuits, desserts, flans ... For all information, please refer to the articleAmaranth, recipes. The only precaution, before using the farinello seeds, it is advisable to leave them to soak overnight so as to make them soften and reduce cooking times.
The leaves of thechenopodium album they can be harvested in spring and consumed, together with the shoots and stems, after boiling. Just blanch thechenopodium albumfor a few minutes, until the leaves of the plant are tender.
So cooked, thechenopodio in the kitchenit can be used like spinach (in fact they belong to the same family). With thechenopodiumyou can substitute spinach in all recipes, from cannelloni to stuffed ravioli.
How to cook chenopodium?
Cook the young stems with the leaves and sprouts ofchenopodiumin very little water. You can even use only the water which, due to its adhesion properties, remained on the vegetables after washing; the only necessary condition is cooking chenopodium in a pan with a lid so as to finish cooking with the steam produced.
In this motion, you will be able to bring truly nutritious vegetables to the table: by leaching, most of the nutrients contained in a food are dispersed in the cooking water. Using very little water, we can preserve the nutritional properties of food,chenopodiumincluded.
During cooking, the chenopodium will greatly reduce its volume (just like with thebroccoli friariello or Neapolitan broccoli). For this reason, do not be stingy with the doses to use in the kitchen.
An ancient recipe peasant, tasty and quick to prepare, forcooking chenopodium, consists in blasting the pan with garlic, oil and bacon.
Chenopodium album and other edible wild plants
To learn to recognize thespontaneous plantsedibles we invite you to read up on an illustrated guide that will provide you with all the information on recognition, properties and uses in the kitchen. A great text, easy to use and accessible, is represented by thePractical Guide to Life in the CountrysideentitledRecognize and cook good herbs.
The guide in question is full of photos, details for recognizing spontaneous edible plants, and a paragraph full of recipes for use in the kitchen. The guide is offered on Amazon at a price of € 8.42 with free shipping.