Oxalis can be found growing in most any yard or garden. Many people try to kill this "ugly" weed. I like to think of it as a food I didn't need to plant. As we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This beauty is good to eat. Backpackers use it as a refreshing drink along the trail. The flowers, leaves, stems, seed buds and tuber roots can all be eaten.
How do you identify Oxalis? It can have yellow, white or pink flowers. There are 850 different species of Oxalises. All have flowers with five petals. The "clover like" leaf has three heart-shaped leaflets. Even though it looks like a clover, it's not related at all! So how do they differ? They both have three leaves. Both have pink, yellow or white flowers. The three leaves differ in that the true clover leaves are more rounded. The clover leaf has a tiny toothed edge. A full or partial white chevron design can be found on the green leaflets of the clover as well. The easiest way to tell them apart is to wait until they bloom. Oxalis will always have a five petal flower. The clover bloom will be round in shape and some can be sort of spiky.
Tuber roots are eaten in New Zealand as a vegetable. So dig up those pesky weeds from your yard, cut off the greens and flowers, wash off the roots and toss them in a roasting pan coated with our favorite cooking oil and bake for about 20 minutes until tender. Then Wah Lah! The weeding is done and you have a new root vegetable to serve with dinner!
Now that's what I call hiding the evidence. While enjoying a nice soup and salad on the patio with guest, just keep smiling as you pull up another spoonful of soup to your mouth when you hear them complement you on a weed-free garden!
(Read the consumption warnings below.)
1 quart water 1/2 cut Oxalis leaf/stem/flowers/seed pods 1 TBSP agave nectar or honey Dash of salt
Mix in a blender, let sit in the fridge overnight, Drink up and enjoy in the morning.
Roasted Oxalis Tubers
Serve hot or cold.
1 Heaping TBSP Oxalis leaves and stems 1 Cup boiling water
Pour boiling water over the Oxalis and let it steep. Drink hot, or add ice and cool. Sweeten to taste.
Soup, Salad, & Stuffing
Dig up the oxalis roots. Wash them well to remove the dirt. Cover with your favorite cooling oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender.
You can toss the leaflets and stems in a soup or salad of your choice. I've been told it's also good added to a fish or chicken stuffing.
Oxalis has been said to reduce fever and increase appetite. When applied as a topical, it can reduce inflammation.
Consumption Warnings: As with many things, eating in excess is not a good thing. Oxalis contains oxalic acid. This acid can bind dietary calcium, resulting in a loss of calcium in your bones. When eaten in excess, it can also cause kidney disease. One can find this warning in most articles on eating Oxalis. However, these same warnings are not found on other items such as black tea, parsley, rhubarb, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, nuts, berries, black pepper and beans which also contain oxalic acid.