Saturday, April 20, 2013

What Works- Wild Foraging, YUM!

Here's where I may lose a few of you to my weirdness.  I love all things natural and I have always been interested in wild edibles. However, I have been tempered by a healthy sense of fear and the chance I would poison myself, or worse, my family.

Today, I was overwhelmed with curiosity as I found so many tender shoots and leaves coming up around my yard that I HAD to try it. I already knew about burdock and dandelion and collected those.  I looked up a list online of more I could try, like violet leaves and chicory.  I have a plethora of 2 other kinds of 'weeds' that I would LOVE to start eating, but do not know what they are yet.  If anything, it would reduce the sheer quantity around my yard.  Those are yet to be researched, but I will do it with glee.

In my little adventure, I found a site that was a goldmine of information.  It is here...  It covers so many kinds of plants, flowers, and cooking methods.  They have online classes and youtube videos, as well. I'm DYING to try some of his acorn ideas! And noting that all North American grass seeds are edible makes me want to try to add them to flour for bread or pancakes, or cook in oatmeal, etc.  Oh boy, this site is dangerous to me, lol.

Back to my foraging... I took all my greens, cleaned them of random grass blades and old leaves, soaked them in cold salted water in case there were hitchhikers, rinsed well, and steamed in the microwave.  We were going to eat a quick meal of ramen noodles today, so I added my greens and 1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese to the noodles.  They were good! They tasted a lot like spinach and collard greens, but fresher and 'greener.' Needless to say, they camouflaged ramen into something that appeared and tasted healthy :)

Caution: Do NOT eat anything unless you are completely sure of its identification.  There are copycat weeds that grow near edibles and it would be good to take a wild edible class or two, read books, and watch more you tube videos until you are very confident that what you are picking is the real thing.  Also, double and triple check the sources.  Some sites have conflicts with others regarding the edible parts or status of certain plants.  You could always check with your local cooperative extension office for advice and identification help as well.

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