Forage For Your Next Meal

Foraging for food is a basic human skill that kept our ancestors alive, but it’s one that has been lost considerably since the modern convenience of grocery stores and farmers markets. Thankfully, the art of foraging is becoming more popular thanks to Survivor-type shows and the desire to become more eco-friendly.

Foraging food from the wild is also a great family activity, which teaches children where food comes from and gives them a sense of adventure. Foraging for food in the wild is like going on a treasure hunt!

There are countless naturally growing foods to find, but if you’re not a foraging expert you may want to start with some easily recognized staples.

  1. Dandelions
    Many people regard dandelions as pesky weeds they must pull from their garden or target with their lawn mowers, but the roots, greens and flowers are edible. Roots can be ground and brewed for a coffee substitute. The greens are best gathered just after they pop up, but should be thoroughly washed and boiled before consumed. Flowers can also be eaten. Just toss them into a salad, fry them or sauté them. Just be sure they are gathered from a yard or field where no poisons or pesticides were used.

  2. Rhubarb
    Garden rhubarb is a delicious perennial that is great for filling pies. The stalks are edible and often red in color, but the leaves are toxic. Also make sure the rhubarb isn’t the very similar common burdock, which has hollow stalks and shouldn’t be eaten. Rhubarb with solid stalks should be cooked and can be used in countless desserts, juices, jams, soups and salads.

  3. Wild Onion/Wild Garlic
    If a plant looks and smells like onion or garlic, it is edible. But beware of onion or garlic looking plants that don’t give off an aroma… they’re toxic. Wild onions are delicious and can be used the same way you would use chives or scallions, raw or cooked.

  4. Berries
    Berries are one of the best foods to forage because they’re easily recognizable. They’re deliciously sweet, packed with nutrients and can be eaten right off the bush. Raspberries, blackberries, cherries, currants, elderberries and mulberries are all excellent choices. Make sure you know which berries are edible and which are not. Berries can be eaten a countless number of ways, but are especially delicious raw.

  5. Nuts
    Nuts are rich in protein and a favorite among foragers. Best picked in the fall, you’ll have to wait before getting your hands on walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts and beechnuts. Be careful not to be greedy, many animals rely on nuts to sustain their own diets.

About the Author...
Liz Hayes
Liz loves spending time outdoors, working out, traveling, taking in the arts, reading and catching up on TV.
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