Hedge Garlic (Alliaria petiolata), also named Jack-By-The-Hedge, is a common hedgerow plant that grows throughout the UK and most of Europe. It is also found in Africa, India and North America. It is part of the group of plants that belong to the cabbage family, not an allium.
Jack-By-The-Hedge has a mild garlic and mustard flavour. The tastiest leaves grow in spring, yet it does produce more leaves in autumn. The plant produces long, green seed pods after flowering.
Not only is jack by the hedge a great source of nutrition, but it’s also easy to find and prepare. Simply harvest the young leaves and shoots in the springtime, when they’re at their most tender. You can also gather the ripe seeds from the pods and dry them to use throughout the year. The seeds can be used as a spice to add flavour to a variety of dishes.
Hedge Garlic, or Jack-By-The-Hedge, is a great ingredient for homemade pesto. You can use them in salads, soups, or as a side dish with your favourite meal.
The leaves also can be added to a variety of cooked dishes, although they do lose flavour if overcooked. The flowers are also edible.
What does Hedge Garlic Look Like?
Hedge Garlic has rounded, heart shaped leaves that get smaller the nearer they get to the top of the plant. The flowers appear in April, and they are small, white with four petals. Hedge Garlic can grow to a metre in height.
When you squash the leaves between your fingers, you will be able to smell a mild garlic fragrance.
Health Benefits of Hedge Garlic
If you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet, look no further than Jack-by-the Hedge. This common wild edible can be found throughout the UK and is packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
But why should you bother adding Jack by the Hedge to your diet? For starters, it’s rich in vitamin C, which helps support a healthy immune system. It’s also high in iron, which is essential for healthy blood cells. And if you’re looking to boost your fibre intake, Jack by the Hedge has got you covered there too.
So next time you’re out foraging for wild edibles in the UK, make sure to keep an eye out for this versatile plant. Not only will it add some variety to your diet, but it’ll also provide a host of health benefits that are hard to beat.
Are you interested in the idea of foraging, but are not sure how to start? Have you been wondering what you can actually cook with the wild foods you have gathered? Imagine being able to recognise wild foods, and enrich your diet for free!
What if you knew the medicinal benefits of the plants around you, and were able to make healing remedies instead of relying on synthetic medications? With that knowledge in mind, taking an outdoor stroll would take on a whole new significance and meaning.
Want to know more about foraging? Get a copy of Foraging For Health – Hedgerow Plants and Fruits now!