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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Late Fall Foraging, Thanksgiving and Chanukah Meal Ideas

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dandelion

dandelion

The weather has been up and down this fall: from snow to sixty degree weather and back again. Today I saw dandelions flowering on my walk through Schenly park. Like the early spring, it is a great time of year for greens: you’ll find the cool weather greens making a resurgence: garlic mustard, chickweed, dandelion, deadnettle, mullein leaves (to use for all the lung issues everyone seems to have this time of year - for more about lungs and the fall, visit our sister site The Birch Center) There is even some Japanese knotweed shooting up! It’s a great time of year to hike around and see what you can find.

chickweed

chickweed

If Thanksgiving is on your mind, here are some menu ideas for a Wild Thanksgiving.

Or try Burdock Stalks in Vegan Gravy:

Burdock Stalks with Sauce

  1. Find some leafy first year burdock rosettes. You will often find them around the old dead burdock bushes covered with burs.
  2. Harvest the leaf stalks.
  3. Chop into inch pieces and boil or steam for 20 minutes. You do not need to peel them: cooking removes the bitterness and cooking for 20 minutes takes any stringiness away.

To make a simple gluten-free, vegan gravy:

You will need:

  • onion, chopped
  • wild mushrooms if you have them (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp buckwheat flour or potato starch. (If you are not gluten free you can use regular flour)
  • 3 - 4 cups water
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • salt, pepper, gluten-free tamari (optional)
  1. In a pot, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. If you have wild mushrooms by all means add them now
  2. Add 3 Tbsp of buckwheat flour or potato starch and coat the veggies in the pot
  3. Slowly add water, mixing the flour will to avoid clumping of flour and allowing gravy to thicken before adding more water.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and/or gluten-free tamari

Serve the burdock stalks covered with gravy. So good.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And if you are making potato pancakes (latkes) for Chanukah, go ahead and add some chopped wild greens such as garlic mustard, nettles, deadnettles, dandelion greens or chickweed. You won’t regret it!

Happy Holidays!

Melissa from Food Under Foot

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Stalking The Wild Asparagus, One Of My Faves!

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One of my very favorite wild edibles books is Stalking The Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons. I absolutely LOVE this book! It is a highly readable, interesting, inspiring and delightful book about wild plants. This is no field guide…there are no pictures¬† here. Instead what you will find is page after page of experience, observation, and joy about wild edible plants.

From the introductory chapter “A Remembrance of Euell Gibbons” by John McPhee, to the end chapter “The Proof is in the Pudding,” which both go into personal descriptions of Gibbons’ foraging and feasting, and everything in between, I can’t get enough of this book.

This book makes me want to try new things, use plants in ways I never thought of, and demonstrates how abundant nature is in every season. Starting with the “Acorn, Ancient Food Of Man” taking us all the way through to making your own simple drip still to extract essential oils from plants, this book is a wealth of information and shared experience.

And if you finish this book and want more, make sure to pick up Stalking The Healthful Herbs, also by Euell Gibbons.

You can find more of our recommended books here.

Enjoy reading! And if you try something new, let us know all about it in the comments.

~ Melissa and the folks at Food Under Foot

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Fall Newsletter Has Been Mailed Out and…Sunchokes!

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Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus)

Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus)

If you received our newsletter today you saw this picture of the bright beautiful Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) blooming in our yard.¬† Such a gorgeous reflection of the sun! (If you aren’t on our mailing list please be sure to sign up…green box in the top right margin, thanks!)

Fall is here and an amazing bounty of wild food surrounds us: from the tubers of the above sunflower (which I will wait until after first frost to harvest, and I’ll continue to harvest through the winter, at least until the ground freezes!) Acorns, black walnuts, and hickory nuts are falling off trees, nettles and Japanese knotweed are sending up new shoots (a second coming, as it were!), while burdock, chickory and dandelion roots are perfect to be harvested.

What’s it like in your neck of the woods? Please let us know in the comments below! We love to hear from you and learn about what is going on all around the country and world! We also love when you share your favorite recipes or ideas for using wild foods…and I know all our readers appreciate the ideas. So if you have time, jot a comment below.

Enjoy your fall!!

Your festive foragers,

Melissa, Dave and Jason

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It Was Me, Not Them

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Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelles.

Those most gourmet of edible mushrooms. The bright yellow find in the woods, smelling deliciously of apricot. So good.

So they say.

I have never been a fan of chanterelles. But it turns out it was me, not them.

I should have known 65 million French people couldn’t be wrong.

It turns out I didn’t know how to prepare them. And this year - 2013 - ends up being the year of the chanterelle. At least in the woods of Western PA. A whole group of mushroom hunters couldn’t harvest enough to put a dent in what was out there.

So I did a bit of internet research for chanterelle recipes, and I found this video. I left the butter out to keep the recipe vegan, and used fresh lemon thyme because that is what we have growing. It was the best.

Sauteed chantereels with lemon thyme.

Sauteed chanterelles with lemon thyme.

Lemon Thyme and Garlic Chanterelles

vegan, gluten-free

adapted from this recipe on No Recipe Required

  • 2 cups Chanterelles, washed and cut into equal sized pieces
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme or lemon thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • sea salt, pepper
  • squeeze of lemon

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy pan, turn heat to medium high.

Place chanterelles in pan in single layer. Add salt and let them cook until side on pan is browned, about 8 minutes.

Flip chanterelles and cook another 4 or 5 minutes. If pan dries out add more oil.

Add in thyme, then add in garlic, stir.

Turn off heat and grind in pepper and squeeze on lemon, stir again.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can use this as a side dish or mix into risotto once the rice is cooked and taken off the heat. Very, very good.

Olive Oil Sauteed Chanterelles with Lemon Thyme and Garlic

Olive Oil Sauteed Chanterelles with Lemon Thyme and Garlic

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