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Join Us Sunday For This Year’s First Wild Edible Walks!

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What: This season’s first two wild edibles walks!

When: Sunday, April 13, 2014, noon and 2 pm

Where: Frick Park Environmental Center, Beechwood Blvd

Cost: Free!!

Please join us on Sunday, April 13, 2014 when we will be leading two forty-five minute wild edibles walks, at noon and 2, at Frick Park’s annual Earth Day Celebration. There will be other free walks as well: mushroom walks, bird walks, animal signs, spider walks just to name a few! Arrive fifteen minutes early to sign up for the walks (20 person limit).

Spring is coming late this year but we will definitely find enough to talk about! Garlic mustard,  onion grass, deadnettle, dandelion, burdock…and we’ll keep a sharp eye out for early edible mushrooms: Dryads saddle and morels!

It will be great fun and I hope to see you there.

More information can be found at Frick Park’s Earth Day website.

Here is the entire list of walks…check them out, they look amazing!

See you Sunday!

~ Melissa Sokulski of Food Under Foot

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Heading Out West…With A New Field Guide

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On Friday we are taking Food Under Foot on a road trip…heading to Arizona!

After our long eastern winter here in Pittsburgh, I am excited to see some actual plants growing from the ground!

I am also excited about the desert…we will be heading through Colorado, Utah and Arizona, and I am less familiar with the wild plants in that area.

Because of my lack of familiarity with desert plants I was so happy to receive a copy of Guide To Wild Foods And Useful Plants by Christopher Nyerges today! The second revised and updated edition is due out in April, but I was privileged to get an advanced peek…and I am truly excited to have this gem in my possession for our trip!

I pulled the book out of the envelop and literally flipped it open to Prickly Pear…a great sign! This book is gorgeous, thorough and wonderful to read. It has excellent photographs to help with identification, and discusses everything from agave to chia, chickweed to manzanita, lambs quarters to nasturtium, horsetail to yucca. I know that is a lot of jumping around but I am excited by all the edibles included and I cannot wait to devour this book before we leave, and then keep it on hand as we trek across the country.

I hope you’ll follow along with us! I’ll be posting about our trip and the coming of spring we are expecting to see along the way. Maybe when we return to Pittsburgh in April we’ll find some spring here!

Onward foragers!

~ Melissa and the Folks at Food Under Foot

Note: this article contains affiliate links

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Questions Answers and Reviews

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Hi!

Thank you so much to everyone who who has bought my new book, Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting. Winter is a surprisingly excellent time to forage wild foods! The kitchen craves being cooked in this time of year: what’s better than adding some dock leaves to stew or sheep sorrel to a salad? And I can’t get enough of the taste of Jerusalem Artichokes: delicious! Has anyone else tried the Sunchoke Latkes?

Secondly, thank you so much for all the kind comments about the book! I really worked hard on it and I am so glad that so many of you are enjoying it! If you wouldn’t mind taking a second and sharing some of that love in a review on Amazon I would so greatly appreciate it! Which brings us to the first question:

Q: Melissa, I bought a copy of your book from your website and I love it! But do I need to buy it again from Amazon to write you a review?

A: First of all, thank you! You do NOT need to buy the book again, it is exactly the same book you already bought even though the cover and title have slightly changed. And also, no, you needn’t have bought it from Amazon to write a review of it on there. It would be awesome if you would write one, thanks so much!

The second question is a slight variation on the first, but I have heard it a couple times so I will answer it here:

Q: Hi! I bought your book in November and noticed this one go up on Kindle. Is it a different book?

A: It is exactly the same book, though the title and cover have changed slightly. :-)

Here is a (five-star) review you can find on Amazon I will share with you:

I love this book! Ms. Sokulski draws you in with her warm and friendly writing style. I didn’t know there was so much foraging still to be done in the winter months. Ms. Sokulski brings it to you in a way that is simple with recipes that are not complicated. Simple, yet elegant dishes that could easily grace a holiday table await you in the pages of this lovely book. I want to make the pumpkin latte next and try some recipes with burdock. Enchanting!

Thanks Jody!

One more question:

Q: I don’t have a kindle and would rather just download the book onto my computer. Is there a way to do that?

A: Yes! You can still buy the book directly from our store at e-junkie. It is the same price as on Amazon . You will be able to download the book directly to your computer.

Thanks so much friends!

Happy New Year!!!

~ Melissa

3dbookcover2The book can be found at Amazon here

and on our own website here.

Thanks!

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5 Secrets for Successful Winter Foraging

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An unusually chipper looking (for winter) burdock plant

An unusually chipper looking (for winter) burdock plant

Though winter seems barren, with these 5 secrets you will have a bounty of wild edibles in your basket in no time.

1. Know What Is Out There

One of the keys to foraging in the winter is knowing what plants are out and about in the winter weather…and there are more than you would think! Of course the red staghorn sumac berries are beacons on otherwise bare trees all winter long, but on the ground beneath our feet are some winter loving hardy plants which thrive in the cold and snow including chickweed, deadnettles, garlic mustard, onion grass, bittercress, dandelion, cleavers, clover greens, sorrel, and dock leaves.

2. Know Where to Look

Whether you live in the city, suburbs or country you’ll find one thing in common: edible weeds love people. Lawns, parks, lining trails in the woods: you’ll find abundant edibles in all these places.

3. Take Advantage Of Warm Sunny Days

It may be the very end of December in the Northeast, but if the sun is out chances are you’ll find a dandelion blooming, especially if the temperature makes it above 32 degrees (we call that a January thaw!) Dandelion, chickweed and deadnettles all bloom in the heart of winter, especially on those “warm” sunny days…so make sure you get out there if you see the sun shining!

4. Use Dead Plants As A Clue For New Growth

If you don’t find old burdock plants in the winter chances are they’ll find you…and you’ll be pulling the burrs off mittens, coats and dog fur. So keep your eyes open for them. You’ll also notice another thing: look down around those old dead burdock plants. You are sure to find leaves of the new plants all around. They are still small and tender at this point, and I am going to make some wild green crisps out of them one of these winter days…stay tuned because I will report back! (I’ve never eaten burdock leaves myself…the stems and roots yes and often, but not the leaves. But lately I’ve heard murmurings about them being edible and good, especially in winter. So of course I have to give it a try.

5. Use Dead Plants As A Clue When Looking For Edible and Medicinal Roots

Winter is a great time to harvest roots, especially when using the roots as medicine. During the winter all the energy of the plant returns to the roots. Japanese Knotweed, a very invasive species, is prized lately because of its possible use as prevention and treatment for Lyme’s Disease, and its high concentration of resveratrol, a substance beneficial to the brain and heart. The root is the the area of strongest concentration of these substances, and in winter the root’s energy is the strongest.

Also, look for old dead Jerusalem artichokes flower stalks, and just below the surface you’ll find their delicious tubers. If the ground is not frozen sold you are in luck. A crow bar or strong metal spade will help break through the frozen surface to the buried treasure just below.

And now for some super exciting news:

Our ebook Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting is now available on kindle!

3dbookcoverwinterforagingFor more information about what is out there in the winter time (secret #1!), along with full color pictures of all the plants in winter, and over 60 delicious recipes, make sure you check out my new book: Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting.

The title and cover have slightly changed but the content is exactly the same so if you already have it you have it. If not, now is your chance to zoom on over to Amazon Kindle and pick up your very own copy today!

And whether you bought it straight from us or you buy it on kindle, if the book was useful to you please let us know! We’d love to hear from you. Either comment below, send us a note by email (Melissa@FoodUnderFoot.com) or write us a kind review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Thank you, wonderful Food Under Foot family members who share so much with me - with at least as much enthusiasm as I share with you. It’s so much fun having a passion in common!

Happy Foraging!

~ Melissa Sokulski

Food Under Foot

**Pick up Melissa’s new book, Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting today on Kindle!

***If you have already bought the book and enjoyed it, please head on over to Amazon to leave a review.

Thanks so much!!

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Wild Edibles in Winter

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Know what I love about wild edible in winter? They’re quiet.

Garlic Mustard in Winter

Garlic Mustard in Winter

Garlic mustard isn’t crazily bolting, dropping seeds, sprouting up all over the place crowding everyone else out. But it’s still there.

Creeping Charlie isn’t creeping through the garden madly trying to smother everything in its path. But it’s still there too.

In winter, the bitterness has vanished from the greens. Once the cool weather settles in and we’ve had some frosts and freezing weather, the plants’ hot summer bitterness dissolves and their unique flavors reappear. Of course, if their unique flavor is bitter - I’m looking at you, Dandelion! - it will still be bitter, but no longer in an unpalatable way.

Bittercress, vibrant and green in cold weather

Bittercress, vibrant and green in cold weather

Then there are the plants that simply love cold weather: bittercress, dead nettles, chickweed. These plants actually disappear in summer but now are back, vibrant and green despite freezing temperatures.

And look what we came across the other day, sweet juicy wild grapes, still clinging to the vine at the end of November!

Sweet juicy wild grapes clinging to the vine at the end of November

Sweet juicy wild grapes clinging to the vine at the end of November

All these wild edibles and more (20 more!) are photographed and in my new ebook: Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting. This recipe book centerpieces the winter edibles, adding them to amazing gluten-free vegan dishes fit for a holiday or any day.

Download Your Free Sample Now: you’ll see a list of the table of contents (though the ebook’s table of contents is clickable - just click any recipe or edible and be taken there instantly, without having to scroll through!) so you can see all the recipes and edible. There are also a couple recipes in the free download for you to check out.

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We are offering this wonderful ebook for just $9.95.

Add to Cart

Or read more about the Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting here.

Do you forage in winter? What do you love about it?

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

Love,
Melissa

Food Under Foot

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Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting - The New Ebook Is Here

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The New Ebook Is Here!

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Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting

Delicious Recipes for the Holiday and Everyday

This ebook contains:

  • Over 60 mouth-watering recipes that just happen to be gluten-free and vegan
  • Recipes are tested and most are kid approved
  • 111 pages of fantastic information, pictures and recipes about winter foraging
  • full color photographs
  • 26 wild edibles and full color photos of how they look in winter
  • “clickable” Table of Contents: when you see a recipe you want to try, simply click on it and you are taken directly there!
  • Holiday Menu ideas
  • Information on cleansing and detoxing
  • a table categorizing edible by taste (spicy, minty, sour, sweet, salty, bitter) great if you want to make substitutions

Add to Cart

Also available on Amazon for your Kindle!

Click here for a Free Sample Download of the ebook now.

Don’t let the winter keep you inside this year. You will be amazed by what you can easily find out there, even in northern climates!

Spice up your Holiday Table with these amazing recipes.

Warm your kitchen this winter by baking, simmering, roasting common plants into uncommonly delicious meals!

The ebook contains

  • Delicious beverages like Dandelion Chai
  • Gorgeous salads such as Chickweed Salad with Grated Sunchoke
  • Stunning side dishes such as Savory Oyster Mushroom Muffins
  • Mouth-watering main dishes such as Sweet Potato Yellow Dock Lasagna
  • Wild Desserts such as Wild Apple Maple Scones with Wild Grape Jelly
  • 4 Different Holiday Dinner Menus Plus Chanukah Breakfast (or dinner), and a New Year’s Party Platter
  • Info and recipe suggestions for a Post New Year’s Cleanse
  • Full color photos and identification information on 26 Common Plants you can find in winter

We are offering this ebook at a price of just $9.95.

Add to Cart

You can also get it from Amazon Kindle here!

Your free sample download will give you a sample Table of Contents (the actual table of contents in the book is clickable, taking you to any page instantly!) with a list of all the recipes and wild edibles included.

Download Your Free Sample Now

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Enjoy the new ebook Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting just in time for the Holidays!

To get Winter Foraging and Wild Food Feasting now, just click the ADD TO CART button .

You will be taken to a page that has a SHOPPING CART.

Add to Cart

View Cart

The book is also available on Amazon for your Kindle!

Thank you, enjoy and as always, take care.

Jason, Dave and Melissa

The Folks at Food Under Foot

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Decadent Chocolate Brownies…With Chickweed

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The chickweed I found around the neighborhood yesterday

Late November Chickweed

Late November Chickweed

went into this batch of decadent chocolate brownies (which incidentally are gluten-free and vegan) today:

Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Brownies...with Chickweed

Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Brownies...with Chickweed

Typically I’m not one who hides ingredients into others food. My kids “eat their greens.” But taking this trick from those who have hidden spinach in brownies to give their kids a bit more nutrition, I’ve created an amazing recipe for gluten-free vegan chocolate brownies, just in time for the holidays!

I tested the recipe today…it is still cooling but we are hardly containing ourselves in waiting to try it. The batter was delish (with no raw eggs or flour, there really was nothing to stop us from licking the bowl!) bananas, almond butter, flax, agave nectar, chickweed.

This recipe and 60 more are in my book Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting…due out THIS WEEKEND! I am so excited! But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. I’ll make sure the brownie recipe is on one of the sample pages…and if I can’t do that, I will post it in the blog.

Stay tuned!!

~ Melissa Sokulski

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The Dandelion-A-Day Project

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I am convinced that I can find a dandelion flowering every day of the calender year. Even in my northern climate of Pittsburgh, PA, even when it’s snowing. Last year I challenged myself to find a dandelion in flower every month of the year: that was so easy as to be ridiculous.

Yesterday I was out walking in Frick park, trees mostly bare, landscape brown, and still I found this:

November 20 Dandelion, Frick Park

November 20 Dandelion, Frick Park

And today on the south side trail along the Monongahela river:

November 21 Dandelion, South Side River Trail

November 21 Dandelion, South Side River Trail

And dandelions aren’t the only flowers you’ll find blooming in winter: you’ll see chickweed (Stellaria media) in flower and deadnettles (Lamium purpurea) flowers, even in January and February: they LOVE cold weather and snow does not stop them!

deadnettles blooming in mid-winter

deadnettles blooming in mid-winter

More winter foraging tips to come!!

~ Melissa

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