Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wild Coast edibles

Once the frosts come and the veggie patch lies dormant, I start foraging for edibles in our local forests and beaches. We are lucky here on the Island to have a (relatively) mild climate through the Winter months. I don't do much cultivating over the Winter to give the soil ( and me) a bit of a rest - just a bit of Kale, and mulching the root crops. An obvious choice for a readily accessible edible is dandelion roots - they can be chopped as finely as possible and roasted for a warming drink, or dried to use for a health -giving tonic tea. Here is a recipe for Dandelion Chai: I always make dandelion root vinegar which not only tastes good, but is a great healing remedy: "> Up the coast, on some of the wilder, cleaner beaches, you can collect kelp - it's good dried and powdered to use on popcorn- here are some recipes: After a frost is a great time to collect rose hips as well - I like to collect the wild rose hips (Rosa nutkana) that grow near the sea.Rose hips are very high in Vit. C, as well as Vits. D and E, essential fatty acids, and possess antioxidant properties.Rose hip tea is a traditional remedy to prevent and treat colds and the flu. Larger hips can be split in half to remove the fine hairs and seeds before drying - these must be removed, as they can become lodged in your throat and can be quite uncomfortable! Smaller hips can be dried whole, but must be put through a fine sieve or cloth after brewing. To make the tea, simmer 2 Tbs of dried hips in 2 -3 cups of water for about 10 minutes. You can add some dried spearmint and/or some honey to sweeten it, if you like, as it can be tart. (Which is how I like it). Rose hips are good for your heart, and will help to alleviate the stiffness and joint pain of arthritis. Eat Your Roses - rose recipes: Here is a recipe for rose hip fruit leather: And, you can make Rose Hip wine, which is good for your circulation: Rose hip wine stimulates the appetite and increases blood flow. Steep 3 ½ ounces of dried rose hips in 1 quart of strong, dry red wine for 2 weeks. Filter the wine. Drink 2 small glasses per day. Medicinal herb mixture for cold relief tea: * 1 ½ ounces rose hips * 3/4 ounce marsh-mallow root * 3/4 ounce mullein flowers and leaves This tea stimulates the immune system. When you have a cold or flu, the tea loosens bronchial mucus and makes coughs more productive. For a cup of tea, use 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of the tea blend. Of course, mushrooms are a perennial favourite this time of year.I am not an expert mycologist, but am seriously considering buying a mushroom kit to try as an experiment. Chickweed grows pretty much year round in sheltered spots, and there are many more edible weeds - this book is a great resource:

1 comment:

  1. You have some valuable recipes on your blog that I would love to try - found you through Blotanical site. Love rosehip wine - my husband use to make it on occasion as well as dandelion wine. I think it is really important to learn to use some of nature's provisions as food - thank you for sharing these recipes. Michelle "Mich's West Coast Journal"