Browsing the archives for the holiday tag.

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Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Sunchoke Latkes!


Baked Sunchoke Latkes

Baked Sunchoke Latkes

Chanukah is just around the corner and while it may seem taboo to tamper with perfection of the fried-in-oil potato pancake, I’ve done it before (raw sweet potato latkes) I did it last year with sunchoke latkes made the traditional way (with egg, fried in oil)and now I’ve done it again: baked, gluten-free, oil-free, vegan sunchoke latkes!

Actually, latkes (potato pancakes) are very versatile and so much can be added to them, and they always turn out great. Chopped wild greens can be added (garlic mustard, nettles, and chickweed are my favorites), different veggies can be grated along with or instead of the potatoes (case in point: Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes).

But can they be made without all that oil?

That is the question I tackled this year with the result: a resounding YES!

Latkes are traditionally fried in oil to represent the miracle of the oil: olive oil in the ancient temple was only enough to last one night, instead it lasted eight: a miracle! (There’s  a bit more to the story than that.) But do we really need to cook things in an excess of oil to celebrate?

This year I made three batches of latkes:

  1. potato and onion
  2. sunchoke, potato, onion
  3. potato, onion, chickweed, jalapeno and scallion

grated sunchoke tubers


  • 2 large potatoes, grated
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 Tbsp chopped wild greens
  • 1/4 cup grated sunchokes
  • 2 - 3+ Tbsp flour of choice (I used buckwheat flour to keep these gluten free)
  • salt, pepper
  • chopped scallions, or garlic mustard or onion grass
  • chopped jalapeno (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper.
  • After grating potatoes, squeeze out excess liquid. Place in large bowl.
  • Mix in 3/4 grated onion.
  • Mix in 2 Tbsp of flour, salt and pepper.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the rest of onion  and flour with grated sunchoke tubers.  You can add a spoonful of the potato mixture, or keep it sunchoke only, up to you.
  • Form the sunchoke mixture into patties (you can use a 1/4 cup measure to keep amount consistant), then press on baking sheet to flatten into cakes.
  • Do the same using half potato batter.
  • With the rest of the potato batter, add the wild greens, scallions and optional jalapenos. Mix. Place these in on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake 20 minutes more, until browned on both sides.

Serve with applesauce (I make my own raw applesauce by simply blending apples in my blender!)

Also serve with plain yogurt or sour cream (can use tofu or cashew sour cream to keep vegan.)

Easy tofu sour cream recipe:

Blend a block of silken tofu with a juice of one lemon.


Enjoy a healthier version of a holiday favorite, while getting outside and foraging for fantastic ingredients, even in winter.

In fact, the ground is frozen here in Pittsburgh, yet I was still able to easily forage Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke, Helianthus tuberosus) tubers. How? Because they are so close to the surface that I just took a metal gardening rake and pulled away some of the frozen soil from right near the base of the plant and voila - fresh sweet tubers were revealed! Here they are washed:

Sunchoke Tubers

Enjoy the weather, the woods and your holiday traditions!

Peace and Joy to all ~

~ Melissa from Food Under Foot

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Wild Recipes for the Holidays

General Posts, Recipes

Sunchoke Tubers

Sunchoke Tubers

One of my favorite winter wild edibles is Jerusalem Artichoke - or Sunchoke - tubers.

Jerusalem Artichoke is actually native to America, and is in the sunflower (not artichoke) family. Its botanical name is Helianthus tuberosus. - the sunflower known for its edible tuber.

Sunchoke Flowers

Sunchoke Flowers

The flowers bloom in the late fall, usually September and October. All through the winter, as long as the ground is not frozen solid, the tubers can be dug up and eaten - and they are delicious! They can be enjoyed raw (I like to grate them into salad) or cooked (I love to roast them in the oven.) They have a wonderful unique flavor that I crave during the winter!

Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be used in any recipe in place of potatoes, but be warned they have a slightly different consistency when cooked than potatoes, they are a little more watery. This is because the starch is different. Jerusalem artichokes contain the starch inulin, which actually helps regulate blood sugar making it an excellent food for diabetics, or anyone with blood sugar issues.

Other than roasting it with other root vegetables, my favorite recipe is Sunchoke Soup (sometimes called “Palestine Soup”, a play on the name “Jerusalem.”)

This is a simple yet delightful recipe that is superb on the holiday table!

Sunchoke Soup


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 - 7 tubers Jersalem Artichokes, washed well, peeled half-heartedly (don’t worry about getting all the peel off), and chopped
  • water or stock to cover vegetables
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, good if not using vegetable stock)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


onions and sunchokes

onions and sunchokes

  1. Saute onion in olive oil.
  2. Add Jerusalem artichoke and continue to saute, adding some salt, to bring out flavors.
  3. Cover with water or stock and let simmer until sunchokes are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Place in blender with cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper. Whizz til smooth.
  5. Reheat and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

This soup is simple and delicious!!!

You can find other amazing holiday recipes in my book, “Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting; Delicious Recipes for the Holidays or Anyday.”

You can get it directly from our website, and it is also available on Amazon Kindle.

I hope you are staying warm and enjoying some winter wild edibles! It can be fun to make the holiday table WILD with some great winter edibles!

Happy Foraging!

~ Melissa from Food Under Foot


Sunchoke Latkes


Sunchoke Latkes with Apple Sauce
Sunchoke Latkes with Apple Sauce

I have a new favorite wild food: Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), or Sunchokes!

I know I say this every season, every time I get on a kick with a new wild edible. And I’m saying it again: I cannot get enough of Jerusalem Artichokes. I love their taste, I love their texture, I love them raw, I love how they cook up.

Chanukah came (and went) early this year. Latkes (or potato pancakes) are the traditional food of the holiday, and we do have some latke recipes which incorporate wild foods on this website and in Winter Foraging Holiday Feasting, because chickweed and garlic mustard are great greens to find in the winter!

Today I decided to make latkes without potatoes.  Though the ground was indeed frozen, we were able to break through and dig up some sunchoke tubers, a traditional native food which I used instead of potatoes.

grated sunchoke tubers
grated sunchoke tubers

I grated the tubers and then grated 1/2 onion, mixed in some flour (my flour mix included black rice flour, which is why the potato pancakes came out darker than usual), an egg, salt and pepper. I sauteed the latkes in olive oil, celebrating the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights, which is why latkes are a Chanukah food!

Latkes cooking up in olive oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle (of the oil lasting 8 nights)
Latkes cooking up in olive oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle (of the oil lasting 8 nights)

In my vitamix I whipped up some apple sauce (ingredient: apples) and there you have it: pure deliciousness.

Sunchokes differ from potatoes in that sunchokes carbohydrate is mostly inulin, which is a blood-sugar stabilizing carbohydrate.

So there you have it, latkes without potatoes, the way the Native Americans and pilgrims must have enjoyed their latkes on Chanukah (haha, not!)


  • handful of sunchoke tubers, grated
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for cooking


  • Mix grated sunchokes, grated onions, egg, flour and salt and pepper. If using non-wheat flour like rice flour (like I did) allow a minute or two for the flour to absorb extra liquid
  • Add 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil to pan, to cover bottom. I do not deep fry my latkes.
  • Heat oil on medium until a drop of water sizzles on the surface.
  • drop pancake mix in 2 inch diameter thin circles
  • Allow to cook until bottom browns, about 6 - 8 minutes
  • Flip and cook on other side until browned, about 3 - 5 minutes
  • Remove to paper towels to absorb excess oil
  • Continue in batches, you may need to add more oil every couple batches.

This only made 6 pancakes. If you have more tubers you can make more.

sunchoke latkes with black rice flour

Traditionally served with apple sauce and sour cream.



3dbookcover2For more winter recipes, check out our newest book: Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting, available now!


Starting to Think About A Wild Thanksgiving


Delicata Squash with Wild Mushroom Stuffing (vegan, gluten-free)

Delicata Squash with Wild Mushroom Stuffing (vegan, gluten-free)

Wait, is Thanksgiving next week…already?!? How exciting!
We can get all sorts of wild edibles on our Thanksgiving table, from mushroom to plant…but in our case we are going to let the wild turkeys roam (we are vegetarian foragers!)
So lets have a vegan gluten-free wild Thanksgiving!

I’ve been seeing lots of prime edibles:

  • Burdock root
  • Burdock leaf stalk
  • Dandelion leaves and root
  • Sassafras and Spicebush twigs and root
  • acorns
  • black walnuts
  • hickory nut
  • garlic mustard
  • dead nettles
  • nettles
  • creeping charlie/ground ivy
  • hen of the woods
  • blewit mushrooms
  • abortive entaloma (mushroom)
  • bears tooth or lion’s mane

…so many possibilities!!!

And what about Vegan Gluten-Free Entrees and sides for the Thanksgiving table?

Try stuffed squash, like the delicata squash above with a wild mushroom stuffing with acorn flour biscuits, burdock leaf stalks in gravy and white bean and nettle soup. For a dessert drink: dandelion root coffee pumpkin latte.

Recipe for Wild Mushroom Stuffed Squash100_4766

  • Delicata (or your favorite stuffing squash: butternut, acorn) - cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out AND SAVED FOR ROASTING!
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, chopped (I used hen of the woods)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup seeds (I used sunflower seeds and pepitas which are shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • Optional: 2 cups chopped greens such as nettles, deadnettles, dandelion greens or spinach
  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari
  • 1 Tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

To Prepare Squash and Roast Seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  3. Clean seeds and place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and salts and mix thoroughly.
  4. Rub oil on the cut side of the squash and place face down onto cooking tray.
  5. Place Squash and seeds in oven.
  6. After 15 minutes remove seeds and mix again so they cook evenly. Replace in oven and cook 10 to 15 minutes more until done.
  7. Check squash: depending on size/thickness it should take about 40 to 60 minutes to cook. It’s done when it is soft when the top is pressed.
  8. Remove from oven, flip right side up and allow to cool.

To Make Stuffing:

  1. In pan on stove, saute wild mushrooms in olive oil for at least 15 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat.
  2. Saute onion in olive oil with sea salt until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, mushrooms, celery and spices and saute at least 5 minutes more.
  4. If using greens, add them now and saute until wilted.
  5. Add seeds and saute another couple minutes.
  6. Add cooked rice and tamari and mix while heating through.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.

Fill Squash with stuffing and serve.

I’ll continue planning our Thanksgiving table and keep you updated.

I made a recipe for White Bean Nettle Soup which I will share with you soon as well.

What other things can you think of for the wild table?

Please add your comments below.

Enjoy the fall!!

~ Melissa