Daily Delight:

How To: 4 Ways To Use Raw Cannabis Leaves

Hemp has always been a superfood, but fresh leaves are rare

Photo by Flickr user Cannabis Reports

Trimming and pruning days are something West Coast home growers and hobby cannabis cultivators know all about. Before buds are allowed to get big in their final push, excess leaves must be removed from the plant in a strategic way. Having a big pile of these live green leaves should be more than waste to toss—they’re rich in nutrition and a great way to experiment with the plant outside of getting high.

Raw green cannabis leaves have lots to offer you culinarily. Like many other bitter greens, they need a creative hand and knowledge of harnessing strong flavors in a dish. Pairing them with things like garlic, ginger, or pungent green herbs such as basil are some base techniques, but here’s some strategies and recipes for using up those raw leaves when they come around.

Tiger Salad

We’ve made this Xi’an Foods dupe before, but not with this non-THC aspect of cannabis: its leaves. Tiger salad like the Xi’an version involves simple but show stopping cilantro and Chinese celery for a good fit with vegetal hemp leaves, just keep it at a lower ratio to avoid upsetting the delicate herbal to celery balance.

Places like Mission Chinese employ bold combos like ginger, mint, basil, cilantro and scallions in their version of Tiger Salad. It’s a supreme spot to stash some torn cannabis leaves for a fusion flavor.

Raw Pineapple Juice

Stomping out a cold requires you to hit your system with everything you’ve got, nutrient wise. Better than talking a tablet, adding foods high in vitamin c, b12, a, and d are a worthy plan of attack. Adding a handful of green cannabis leaves to a raw ginger lemon pineapple concoction supercharges the already assaulting juice with even more of these vitamins for a solid plan of attack.

Roasted Greens

Like kale before it, greens are back on the menu at many places where salads and buttery sides were the chief veg offering. Simply tossing any bitter greens with a quality olive oil and some salt, pepper, garlic and shallot before roasting for a bit is not only upping the beauty of your dinner, it’s adding critical fiber and nutrients. Cook up kale or collards with cannabis leaves in a 2:1 ratio for a new twist on a simple and satisfying classic.

Herbed Crackers

The taste of herb can be best aided by more herbs. Chopping up some rosemary, cannabis, thyme, and tarragon to use in baked crackers will make an elevated design without getting anyone elevated. Enjoy with cheeses, fermented foods, and anything you would put on a charcuterie plate. Saving a few seven pointed leaves for garnish is not a bad idea.

If you can grow a plant just for the leaves, it’s a unique way to get a little extra veg into your diet, and it’s a beautifully decorative plant too. If you learn to do it right, you’ll have both leaves and buds, a dank investment.

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