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Foraged Food Recipes

 
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My garden didn't do well this year. While my friends are all harvesting and prepping, I am wondering:

What can I forage right now? And how do I cook it? or store it?

Please share ideas with me about what you look forward to foraging, and maybe some pictures/videos of how you serve it or preserve it!
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rose hips
rose hips
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plums
plums
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berries
berries
 
Rebekah Harmon
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This is an easy forage opportunity, since it lives just about everywhere weeds aren't sprayed! So far, I've used it in cereal and salads, to my pleasure! I wonder if it's worth freeze-drying? or regular drying? Anybody know?
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Common Mallow (weed)
Common Mallow (weed)
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using the seed pods on my salad
using the seed pods on my salad
 
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Hi Rebekah,
It looks like you have lots of nice berries locally. That is one of my earliest memories: foraging for brambles. Every year we used to go out as a family and pick loads to make bramble and apple jam and crumbles.
Did you see my Neolithic menus thread where I made a meal using almost entirely foraged ingredients? It would probably have been a bit tastier with a bit more spice though.
At the moment most of what we have growing is greens. I guess they could be dried or pickled perhaps. Being in a mild climate there are almost always greens to pick of some kind so I don't bother as yet. It will soon be too late for berries - I freeze some and make some into jam or syrups. Hazelnuts can be dried and stored in their shells for several months too.
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Thanks for the many ideas in your thread, Nancy! I'll copy some of those, for sure!! Some things don't cross over from your part of the world to mine, but hazlenuts and pignuts should. I'd love to keep trying recipes of mostly foraged foods, like you did, until it comes natural for me to eat that way most of the time! Well, when it's not winter, anyways....
 
Rebekah Harmon
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This spring, I saved lots of stinging nettles. Here's one thing I do with them! But I would love more ideas!
 
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Wild greens can be mixed together to make Pesto. I freeze mine in small quantities and depending on the dinner plan, choose which pesto to add.

Examples: I make a garlic scape pesto. A tablespoon or so added to tomato paste makes an awesome pizza sauce.

I made a mixed greens pesto with some kale, parsley, French Sorel, dandelion and walking onion greens. If I've made bone broth and am turning it into a quick soup, I'd add some of this pesto.

If I'm adding garlic to pesto, I tend to add baked garlic so as not to overwhelm the greens (or my stomach if the pesto's not being cooked.)
 
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My foraged foods in the past have been mostly nuts, berries, figs, and prickly pear tunas.

I have had friends who were mushroom hunters.

I have always just used regular recipes and eaten the forage fresh right of the bush.

Here are some threads about forage foods that might be interesting:

https://permies.com/t/52534/permaculture/Edible-Weed-Garden-Free-Food

https://permies.com/t/174652/pep-foraging/Robin-calories-Foraged-Food-Journal

https://permies.com/t/136831/Surviving-foraging-California

There is a PEP Badge Bit (BB):

For this BB, you will spend 10 days eating 90% foraged food!



https://permies.com/wiki/150766/pep-foraging/Eat-Foraged-Food-Days-foraging
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Great idea with the pestos, Jay! Garlic scape pesto sound perfect in the spring!! Do you freeze your pestos? Or can them? If you added parmesan cheese, would you have to pressure can them...?
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Anne, we are totally on the same brain wave with the BB for eating mostly foraged foods. I've been eating one wild food a day. That's SO FAR away from 90%, though!! I want to keep upping the foraged items in my meals. Hence this post. I imagined the fulfilling of that  BB to be like... walking into the bush and coming back with a basket of roots, leaves, mushrooms, ect, that would be all I ate for the day. But Sam Thayer recorded a month of eating foraged foods, and his meals heavily relied on food he had preserved at other times of the year. His maple syrup from the spring, berry preserves from the summer, pressure cooked venison from the fall, etc.  
So now I have a vision of meeting this BB with half preserved foraged items, and half fresh items. But that will take some time to build up. Maybe a couple seasons!
 
Rebekah Harmon
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American Black Nightshade?? Hi foragers! I don't know what this little black "berry" is, for sure. I think I have seen it around this time of year. I thought I had planted huckleberries in this space, but this "weed" grew instead. The little tasty-looking fruits taste as plain as tomatillos.
Anyone else recognize them? What do you do with them, if so?
I decided to try them in a tomato sauce. They turned the sauce a beautiful purple! Will it be tasty? I don't know!
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The delightful-looking, but plain tasting berries on the bush
The delightful-looking, but plain tasting berries on the bush
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the neon-purple sauce! lol!
the neon-purple sauce! lol!
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Autumn Berries!! I LOVE these! Last year, I just ate them fresh. I froze some for smoothies later in the year. What do y'all do with them? They are so abundant! I feel so grateful when harvesting them!! But I need ideas :)
20231002_133059.jpg
red, speckled berries
red, speckled berries
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Look at the BEAUTIFUL basket of berries I harvested! 6 different types in ONE walk. Now I can eat a rainbow! For free!
20231002_161753_Moment.jpg
Rainbow of Berries
Rainbow of Berries
 
Nancy Reading
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Rebekah Harmon wrote:American Black Nightshade?? Hi foragers! I don't know what this little black "berry" is, for sure. I think I have seen it around this time of year. I thought I had planted huckleberries in this space, but this "weed" grew instead. The little tasty-looking fruits taste as plain as tomatillos.
Anyone else recognize them? What do you do with them, if so?
I decided to try them in a tomato sauce. They turned the sauce a beautiful purple! Will it be tasty? I don't know!



Oh you're a brave woman Rebekah! I don't think I'd dare eat anything in the nightshade family without being pretty certain what they were. However, could they be Solanum scabrum? An annual that has black berries known as "garden huckleberry" according to Wikipedia? May be there was some confusion with the seed variety, since I gather there are several berries known as "huckleberries".
That is a superb purple though! and I love your berry rainbow!
 
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Rebekah Harmon wrote:American Black Nightshade?? Hi foragers! I don't know what this little black "berry" is, for sure. I think I have seen it around this time of year. I thought I had planted huckleberries in this space, but this "weed" grew instead. The little tasty-looking fruits taste as plain as tomatillos.
Anyone else recognize them? What do you do with them, if so?
I decided to try them in a tomato sauce. They turned the sauce a beautiful purple! Will it be tasty? I don't know!



Are you sure you didn't plant a wonderberry/garden huckleberry? It doesn't really matter though the wonderberry is pretty much just an improved black nightshade. They grow wild all over my yard in the summer. I eat them plain but I don't like them enough to put up so the chickens mostly eat them. I did once see a pie made of them, didn't eat any though.
 
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Rebekah Harmon wrote:American Black Nightshade?? Hi foragers! I don't know what this little black "berry" is, for sure. I think I have seen it around this time of year. I thought I had planted huckleberries in this space, but this "weed" grew instead. The little tasty-looking fruits taste as plain as tomatillos.
Anyone else recognize them? What do you do with them, if so?
I decided to try them in a tomato sauce. They turned the sauce a beautiful purple! Will it be tasty? I don't know!



That seems to be Solanum nigrum (some sources mentions it as Solanum Americanum too, as they would be the same, and some others say they are different). But any way I would like to set a warn and recomend caution because almost all that plant is toxic but the ripe fruits (as far as I read in several papers...). So, I would suggest a bit of investigation on it before use it.
I've read  in some places that ripe fruits must be cooked in order to remove toxicity... but it's better to have deep search first as I said. Here a collection of articles that may help :
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/solanum-nigrum
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Are you sure you didn't plant a wonderberry/garden huckleberry? It doesn't really matter though the wonderberry is pretty much just an improved black nightshade. They grow wild all over my yard in the summer. I eat them plain but I don't like them enough to put up so the chickens mostly eat them. I did once see a pie made of them, didn't eat any though.

Dave, I think you must be right. I haven't ever had huckleberries, so I didn't know what to expect. (I live in Idaho, for Pete's sake! You'd think I would have tried real huckleberries before...
I looked into garden huckleberry, and it seems to be the same as what I've got. Now to try it in pie!!
 
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I dehydrate (air dry and machine) a lot of my herbs. As I was wondering what to do with certain foraged greens, I decided to dehydrate some. I then powdered them and sprinkle them on whatever we eat.  We now have a jar marked "greens". It contains mallows, plantains, dandelion, purslane etc. They get added to top salads or into a meatloaf. Whatever.
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Aaaahhh...... all these beautiful, edible berries!! Now, what to do with them?? I'll start with fruit leather. Maybe freezing some for smoothies? What else do yall do?
 
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