When I was a kid I ate the fruits of the Common Mallow plant (also called Cheeseweed, Cheeseplant, or Dwarf Mallow) all the time, just plucked them off the vine and popped them into my mouth. We have a huge patch in our back yard, which the ducks graze on and the goats avoid. When they bloom, the bees come out in droves to pollinate them, and when they fruit the ducks and chickens eat up all the fruit. I wondered as an adult whether they were something that was actually edible, and, if so, were they something that was good for you, and what could you do with them. So, I did some research. As it turns out, not only are the fruits packed with fat and protein, but you can use them to make marshmallows. Yes, marshmallows! The videos below are part 1 and part 2 of a Common Mallow Marshmallow Making How-to.
In addition to eating the fruits, the leaves and flowers can be eaten raw, such as in a salad, or the leaves can be boiled. The leaves will give off a thick mucus when cooked, much like okra, and can be used as a thickener for soups and stews. In addition to culinary uses, the leaves and roots are also used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of numerous ailments.