After the previous newsletter we received lots of emails with the same question: Which other kinds of thistle are edible and which can be used in green smoothies? My son Sergei, the wild edible expert explained to me that all thistles belong to the sunflower (Aster) family of plants.
Since the sunflower family does not contain any poisonous plants, all thistles are considered to be edible. That said, even though all thistles are edible, we always recommend eating a small amount the first time around to see how your body will react to a new food. Once you are sure that you are not allergic, you can then blend the thistle variety of your choice in smoothies. In our backyard we have an abundance of sow thistle, purple thistle, and Canadian thistle. These have been our staple smoothie greens this spring. They are all tasty and nutritious.We always try to choose the younger, tender parts as these taste the best. We also are mindful to leave some plants and allow them to go to seeds so that we can enjoy more thistle next year.
A smoothie made from thistle has a delicate slightly sour- slightly bitter flavor. No wonder this plant had to develop some serious thorns to protect itself from the extinction.