Whether consumed raw, grilled or juiced, we reveal the top five edible succulents you need to start growing or foraging for.
A firm favourite of millennials, succulents are not only low-maintenance, they also work as hardy indoor house plants or are perfect outdoors in warmer climes.
But did you know succulents are also edible?
We reveal five edible succulents that are easy to grow or forage.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Ah, purslane! We love how it pops up all over the place this time of year, tastes delicious and has now been adopted by the paleo brigade as the “new” superfood of the moment.
It grows super easily from cuttings and can be snipped into salads, stir frys and more for a salty zing. Just don’t go too crazy with it – it’s high in oxalic acid.
Here’s a delicious recipe for pickled purslane.
Pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens)
If foraging is not your bag, you can easily grow pigface at home if you live on the east coast of Australia, where it is indigenous.
Just like purslane it grows very well from cuttings, and every single bit of the plant can be eaten, although it’s the delicious berries most hang out for!
Did you know dragon fruit grows on spiky dragon-like cactuses? Neither did we!
This stunning fruit grows on a climbing plant with aerial roots and can be grown as far south as Melbourne (if given it’s own nice warm little micro-climate). Our friends at Bulleen Art and Garden have the know-how.
Prickly pear (Opuntia Ficus-Indica)
Prickly pear is perhaps not the sort of thing you’d grow in a cute repurposed teacup or a concrete pot, but this sure is a succulent, and it sure is edible.
It’s not only the colourful fruit that is edible – the large pads are edible too (once de-spiked, and if handled carefully).
If you don’t have space for a prickly pear at home they can be readily foraged on railway sidings, over fences and on roadsides across Australia.
Aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis)
You might have wiped it all over your sunburn or dabbed it on a coldsore or two, but did you know you can eat aloe vera too? Well… some species, and even then you’ve got to be careful preparing them to get the the edible inner gel.
Health nuts drink the gel as a juice or smoothie or raw in salads, but go easy, it’s a medicinal plant, and is known to be a laxative.