Like many people, the kids and I love to forage. Foraging is simply searching for, and collecting wild food. There are many good reasons to forage; wild foods are far more nutrient dense than commercially produced crops, the foods in our hedgerows are what our ancestors evolved to eat, and are therefore important for our optimum health. Foraging allows us to learn and pass on that knowledge, as well as giving us a closer connection with the natural world around us.
A quick summary of the legality of foraging in the UK...
it is illegal to uproot ANY wild plant without permission
it is illegal to disturb or collect plant material from any PROTECTED wild plant
it is illegal to trespass, so you must gain permission before foraging on private land
One concern people have about foraging is plant identification, and it is essential that you only eat wild plants that you can 100% positively identify. Below are recipes made from two wild plants which I believe every child in the UK can probably recognise, and would love to make.
Dandelion and Lemon Biscuits
There's a whole host of recipes that use the dandelion flower; teas, wines, salads and savouries. The plant is recognised as being one of our most nutritious weeds; containing anti-oxidant vitamins, minerals, calcium, and protein, and would have been a food staple for our ancestors here in Europe. Why not try our beautifully simple Dandelion and Lemon Biscuits for a sunny introduction to this wonderful weed!
Stinging Nettle Cordial
Nettles are found across much of the world, and archaeological evidence here in the UK has shown the we have used the plant since prehistoric times, with 'Nettle Pudding' laying claim to being Britain's oldest recipe. Nettles are certainly nutritionally dense, containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals, as well as good amounts of protein and fibre. This beautiful, amber coloured Stinging Nettle Cordial has a delightful fragrant taste and makes a wonderful, refreshing drink.
Stinging Nettle. Apple and Pear Fruit Leather
Fruit Leather makes a fabulous snack for the family. It is delicious and perfect to carry with you on your wild adventures. Our Stinging Nettle, Apple and Pear Fruit Leather is a great way to introduce wild foods in to your diet.
There is a huge range of edible wild plants in the UK, and the #30DaysWild month of June is a great time to find out about some of them!