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Sorrel - how to sneak it into meals without people noticing! Ideas needed.

 
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I like sorrel. I eat it straight out of the garden, a leaf on a sandwich instead of lettuce, or in a salad with lettuce, and I've eaten it briefly cooked so it's ucky brown but still tasty - to me, as a side-dish.

I know that it's traditionally used in a creamy French soup - but I seem to be lactose intolerant, and cream makes me unhappy.

I do know that you shouldn't eat too much sorrel, because of it's oaxilic acid content, but I have the problem at the moment that the person I cook for won't eat any of it (in hindsight admitting that the ucky looking brown stuff was sorrel was a mistake.) It's not a huge problem, but it's slightly annoying that I have to make separate sorrel forays for myself.

It's growing well in my garden.

I'm looking for "secretly sorrel" recipes! Thanks for any ideas.

 
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I think what I have is French sorrel, and there is no sneaking it anywhere-- it's about as subtle as a kick in the pants. That said, sliced real thin and mixed into a salad, nobody would be able to tell whether the acidity was coming from a dressing or from the leaves. might be similarly useful in any dish you would squeeze lime or lemon juice over.
 
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and there's always soup!
 
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It volunteers as a "weed" in my container garden and I always let it.  I don't eat a lot of it, but a handful goes into every pot of vegetable stock that I make.  (I make a LOT of vegetable stock in my electric pressure cooker, and pressure can the surplus.)  
 
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I've never had "really sorrel but I've eaten the clover looking plant they call sheep sorrel, and the descriptions of the taste sound similar.
To me,  it would be a natural as a tea,  juice or smoothy.
 
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The other day, in attempts to make something that used the stuff we had in abundance, I made a kind of "quiche." I have no idea if that's the best term for it, as it was my first time making a savory baked egg dish. Anyway, it went about like this:

  • 9 duck eggs (=12ish chicken eggs)
  • 2+ cups of cheese (we had some Kerrygold Ballyshannon, but cheddar or other cheese would work)
  • 6-8 babbington leek/elephant garlic leaves (chives or onions would work, instead, I'm sure)
  • 2? cups chopped sorrel (I just grabbed a bunch of sorrel and chopped it up. I really should have measured)


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter/oil a dish (we used a pyrex casserole dish). Chop up leak/garlic leaves and sorrel and set aside. Mix the eggs and cheese together. Pour a some of egg/cheese mixture on the bottom of the oiled baking dish--just enough to cover the bottom.Then put the chopped leak/sorrel leaves on top of the thin layer of egg/cheese. Then pour the rest of the egg/cheese mix on top. Bake in the oven until it turns golden brown on top.

    It tasted great! We didn't even add salt or pepper, and it didn't taste sour at all. Just yummy! So, maybe try putting the sorrel in egg dishes! Or cooking it with onions.  Sorry my "recipe" is so inexact. I really should have measured when I was making it, but I was just trying to get some food made while doing all the other stuff moms do!
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    William Bronson wrote:I've never had "really sorrel but I've eaten the clover looking plant they call sheep sorrel, and the descriptions of the taste sound similar.
    To me,  it would be a natural as a tea,  juice or smoothy



    Oh yes! We also throw it in our smoothies. Gives it a nice lemony tang. In fact, I often use it in things that would benefit from a bit of lemon. So, if I'm making a salsa, I put it in there. Or, just pick a bunch of leaves and use them when we make tacos. You could probably treat it like rhubarb, too, and add some honey and make a sweet sauce from it to go on pancakes.  

    French sorrel is a bit less sweet than Oregon sorrel/shamrocks/clover-looking-plant. Sheep sorrel looks a bit different from both of them. It's picture time!

    Oregon Sorrel/Redwood Sorrel (the stuff that looks like clovers/shamrocks) Oregon Oxalis. It's the sweetest of all the sorrels I've had.




    Sheep Sorrel Rumex acetosella--looks like little rockets ships. I think it's a bit sweeter than french sorrel, but not as yummy as the shamrock kind of sorrel.




    French Sorrel/Garden Sorrel Rumex acetosa --more tang in it, sometimes bitter, especially after bolting. But, still good!




    Bloody Sorrel (also called Bloody Dock, as all the Rumex sorrels are in the Dock family) Rumex sanguineus --super pretty, but not much sour flavor...or really much flavor at all. At least not in my plants. Mine's just kind of tough

     
    pollinator
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    Speaking as someone with food intolerances... trying to “hide” ingredients upsets me. I’ve had family members hide onion in meals by chopping it up small. The stomach cramps are a dead giveaway though.
     
    pollinator
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    We both enjoy sorrel particularly as a pesto.  Make a lot and freeze it.  Variety is profusion which is trademarked by Richters in Canada.  It will not bolt, and does really well right on through the summer.  Usually the first edible in Spring in Zone 5.  We recently moved and dug up some and took it a long.  Didn't miss a beat.
     
    pollinator
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    For eating, I prefer French sorrel. It's easy to grow, spreads in clumps slowly, rather than running over everything like wood sorrel. And I don't think that it has the oxalic acid issue that wood sorrel has. On the other hand, wood sorrel and it's other oxalis relatives are everywhere in the SF Bay Area. We ate it as children raw from the rough areas, much to our parents dismay.

    I primarily like it in a pesto, usually spread over some salmon prior to baking. Some amounts are nice added to a salad dressing as well.
     
    pollinator
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    Sheep sorrel is everywhere here, and comes up before anything else in the  spring, so I use a lot of it. Use sorrel wherever you want some acid or lemon taste.

    I've put it in potato leek soup, in mashed potatoes and sprinkled over the top of tomato-based soup where you would usually add a spoonful of sour cream, chopped up along with any other cooked green, replacing some of the lemon in hummus, in olive tapenade, chopped fine and sprinkled over any veg you might put lemon on like broccoli, in dolmades... Lots more I can't think of at the moment.
     
    Vera Stewart
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    Thanks everyone for the ideas!
     
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    Oxalates are seriously bad news. The fatal dose ranges from 3.5g/day to 30g/day and you can infer the merely ruin your life dose from there. If you're on the autism spectrum you are at the low end of that range. We don't handle plant toxins well at all. When I cut high-oxalate food consumption enough to start oxalate dumping I had several oxalate crystals push out from the corners of my eyes. I'm starting to get to the point where I'm not tired all the time and I can think clearly. Besides sorrel, spinach is unfit for human consumption and rhubarb is even worse. Potatoes, chocolate, black tea, almonds, cashews, many other plant foods are relatively high oxalate. When people ate seasonally it wasn't as big of a deal but with no seasonal break and with modern food processing techniques (here, have this "healthy" almond flour goodie!) more people are getting into trouble.

    https://sallyknorton.com/problems_from_my_wholesome_diet/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/TryingLowOxalates/
     
    pollinator
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    Mmmmm... oxalates... *drools*

    My grandmother has been feeding me a Polish derivation of the classic french sorrel soup since before I was born. She serves it with sliced hardboiled eggs. I am literally salivating as I type this.

    For those who can't stand dairy, I would suggest coconut cream.

    As to the oxalates, at what rate and how well do they break down with cooking? I must admit I have never had any issues, and I used to make smoothies from 5 oz. of raw spinach or kale, a cup of frozen blueberries, and almond milk; they were black, usually. By the accounting given, I should be dead several times over (I really liked my blueberry spinach/kale smoothies).

    Instead, they invigorated me.

    So perhaps add sorrel to a smoothie?

    -CK
     
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    Spinach and Sorrel have acid but drink dandelion and burdock root tea or powder to detoxify liver. It makes your green veggie juice delicious with lemon Balm. tastes like lemon. Best Perennial Green keeps coming back lives all Winter under straw
     
    pollinator
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    Our family loves nibbling wood sorrel for the lemony tang.  We put it in salads or sandwiches or top soups with a sprinkle, but mostly we just nibble it outside.    I put out a free non-profit nature/foraging magazine for kids and I featured wood sorrel in the March 2019 issue.  It's here if anybody wants to read it or download it.  It's in PDF form and you can read it online or save it and send it to your Kindle or just print it (I print it for my daughter each month so she can do the nature activity pages and such).

     
    pollinator
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    There are a couple of important issues here in this thread, which basically come down to recognising that everyone's dietary needs and tolerances are subtly different, and in some cases, extremely different.

    1. There's a huge gap between someone having a prejudice against a certain food- for example not eating cabbage because their grandmother always boiled it to death and served it as a soggy tasteless mess. and then being pleasantly surprised when they are fed it prepared a different way; to someone not wanting to eat a food because they know they react badly to it. No one should try to sneak an unwanted food to anyone in the second group, because it could make them very sick and in some cases where a person had a genuine allergy has been fatal.
    But in what sounds like the situation for the OP, she served her husband the sorrel in an unappetising form, and now wants to give it to him in a more appetising form. That isn't going to do any harm and is more on a level to the mom sneaking pureed broccoli into the bolognese sauce for the kid who won't eat greens. She isn't trying to say she knows better than him what he can eat and show him he's "not really allergic/intolerant/sensitive" to a food -- a super-dangerous thing to do. This is NOT that. She just wants to serve it to him in a way he has more chance of enjoying.

    2. The oxalate content is something that will be a significant problem for some people, a mild problem for others, and not a problem at all for some. Some people are highly oxalate sensitive, some people aren't sensitive at all. We all have genetic variances that affect how our bodies digest and metabolize food substances. This is where knowing our own bodies is important, and recognising the foods that work and don't work for us is a key way to improve our own health. OTOH, what works for us may not work the same for someone else, even for an immediate family member. It's most helpful to go easy on being prescriptive about foods and telling people what they should or shouldn't eat, but rather to simply share what works for us, and let the other person make up their own mind.

    I grow the oxalis sorrel, and love eating it in small amounts as part of a salad or sauce for its lemony tang. I'm wary of eating too much, but that's just a personal thing. My main issue with the plant is that it's NOT behaving like a weed! I still only have the same small clump I planted ten years ago!
     
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    Chris Kott wrote:Mmmmm... oxalates... *drools*

    My grandmother has been feeding me a Polish derivation of the classic french sorrel soup since before I was born. She serves it with sliced hardboiled eggs. I am literally salivating as I type this.

    For those who can't stand dairy, I would suggest coconut cream.

    As to the oxalates, at what rate and how well do they break down with cooking? I must admit I have never had any issues, and I used to make smoothies from 5 oz. of raw spinach or kale, a cup of frozen blueberries, and almond milk; they were black, usually. By the accounting given, I should be dead several times over (I really liked my blueberry spinach/kale smoothies).

    Instead, they invigorated me.

    So perhaps add sorrel to a smoothie?

    -CK



    Wow! My mom cooked and served exactly the same way! I haven't had this soup in a long time.  Oh! It was sooo good, and no side effects :-)  
     
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    Michael Cox wrote:Speaking as someone with food intolerances... trying to “hide” ingredients upsets me. I’ve had family members hide onion in meals by chopping it up small. The stomach cramps are a dead giveaway though.



    My husband  has an intolerance for 'cole' crops: Cabbage, broccoli, spinach; my mother in law used to try to make him, and his brother, eat them, and my husband would always  have gastric upset afterwards.  He is a 'super taster' when it comes to these foods, especially   spinach; it tastes extremely bitter to him.  I am going to experiment with differing greens this year, and see what happens; he also isn't big into lettuce, etc.; but I also think its the way she forced them to eat it or else; but I am going to start  him off with more of those, too; we will see what happens.

    I am allergic to jalapeno myself, and I make sure that people know that; I avoid  it because I tend to have the classic reactions of anaphylactic shock to it; one of  my friends 'friends'; made up a recipe that they chopped up the jalapeno peppers in fine to hide it; because they didn't believe 'anyone could be allergic' to jalapeno's; after being assured that there were no jalapeno's in the dish, and it was recorded on 3 different phones at the time, that they stated that the dish was ok for me to eat;  I had about 1/2 a cup; took a bite, tasted the  jalapeno heat, grabbed some sweet tea and washed my mouth out, but the  damage was done; my throat started swelling shut;  and  I was transported by ambulance to the local ER within 15 minutes of eating the supposedly 'jalapeno free' dish; I made it very clear to the ER staff who should be billed for that trip; and since there were 3 phones clearly showing that they had said the dish was safe, they paid the bill. I got a phone call from the local police department and an attorney, wanting to know if I wanted to file charges in regards to assault and battery, since it was a provable case with all the cell phone footage,  

    So, 'hiding' an ingredient because people don't 'believe in' allergies or 'super tasters' or GI issues or Fibromyalgia or a chronic condition that is triggered by the 'hidden' food ingredient is not worth the risk to  the person making it, or to the person who made the dish; the police had been called as well, and  they followed  the ambulance to the ER, and when I could talk, wanted to know if I wanted to press charges for assault, at the very least, ion view of the phone camera footage. I asked to speak to the person, the 'friend',  who had  prepared the dish, and right there, in front of the police and the ER  dr, I talked tot hem, and they agreed to pay for the medical costs if I didn't press charges. I then told the police that I was not going to press charges, and then I told the 'friend' that I was not a friend or acquaintance of them anymore from that moment forward, and to not expect me to ever acknowledge them again, or I WOULD press charges for assault and battery, and not to push the issue, or a judge might see it as more than that.

    Yeah. some of the things I have survived....
     
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