by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP
Culpepper writes “Plantains are singularly good wound herbs, to heal fresh or old wounds or sores, either inward or outward.”
Use leaves as a salad green when young and tender. They contain calcium, minerals and vitamin A.
Leaves can be used as an alternative to spinach and kale. Has a subtle flavour so seasoning with herbs, garlic, lemon and soya sauce work well.
- Boil 3 minutes for young leaves, 5 minutes for old ones, and 4 minutes for a mixed batch
- Use as a side dish or in omelettes and pasta.
- Add one cup of leaves to your green smoothies.
- Baked Chips from the leaves of Common Plantain
24 large leaves
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoning: try garlic powder, nutritional yeast, half the quantity of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 250F.
- Wash the plantain leaves and pat or air dry them well
- Toss the leaves with the oil until well coated. Spread in a single later on baking sheets.
- Sprinkle with the salt and seasoning.
- Bake until crisp but not burnt, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the leaves. They will continue to crisp up a bit as they cool.
Store your Plantago chips in an airtight container for several weeks. If chips absorb some humidity and lose their crispness put them back into a 250F oven for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Ideas for Eating Common Plantain Seeds
FYI – Plantago ovata is the source of Psyllium husks, therefore the seed of the Common Plantain would also be a good fiber source.
Consider using Plantain Seeds as an alternative to Flax Seeds!
I picked some when they were still green to infuse and found that there wasn’t much oil even after steeping. Tasted the seed before and after, and while not unpleasant , they didn’t have the flavour that is developing as they age and change colour.
- Seed Shoots
When the shoots are green and tender and no longer than about four inches they have a nutty, asparagus-like taste when pan fried in olive oil.
- Pan-fry in olive oil for just a few seconds to bring out this taste.
Seeds are harvested when they have turned brown or black.
- Add them to crackers, breads, muffins, etc.
- Infuse them with hot water and steep to draw out oil.
- Boiled as hot cereal.
- Roasted (nutty flavor).
- Pounded into powder as soup or stew thickener.
Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.