Scientifically known as Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum, Ice Plant is native to the sand dunes of Africa and the Mediterranean. Covered with glittering crystal cells that it uses as water reservoirs, this plant accumulates salt throughout its life, making its leaves succulent and mouth watering.
The crispiness of its succulent jelly-like leaves is complemented by a light mineral aroma. It’s slightly acidic taste complements its uniquely earthy and salty flavour.
In addition to being rich in vitamins A, B and C, Ice Plant leaves have antiseptic properties that may be used for infections or taken orally for digestive problems. The astringents in Ice Plant can even seal damaged blood vessels and may be used to treat minor cuts.
Ice Plant can be eaten raw, dried, or preserved as a savoury jam. Its moist interior and crisp bite make it the perfect surprise element in a dish although, its flavours can become monotonous in larger amounts. Its mineral aroma can also enrich salad dressings and other sauces.