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How to make Cattail Pollen Pancakes
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Gathering food from the wild and bringing it home to eat has a wonderfully satisfying feel to it, and it a popular hobby for many people.
Cattail pollen pancakes are one of the most delicious wildcrafting recipes I know. I love them and I'm certain you will too.
Learn how to make these sweet, bright golden pancakes using fresh cattail pollen you can harvest yourself!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cattail pollen
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup oil
- Collect the pollen
- Sift the pollen
- Mix up the batter
- Cook in a frying pan or pancake griddle until browned
- Serve hot with butter or honey
Finding The Cattail Pollen
Cattails are a common plant in wetlands, at the edges of ponds and rivers, and anywhere the ground is waterlogged and marshy. Wading boots are recommended, or else a swimsuit. You'll probably get wet!
They usually bloom in late June or early July.
The flowerheads shown in the picture above will look familiar to most people.
Notice how the flowerhead is divided into two parts. It has male and female parts on the same stalk, so only the TOP part has the pollen you're looking for.
Make sure it is fresh - it should leave bright yellow pollen on your hands when you touch it.
Gathering the Pollen
There's several methods of collecting the pollen, but my preferred tactic is to bend the stalk into a plastic bag, then strip the pollen-bearing part off into the bag. You'll need to sift it, later, to remove the fluff and debris.
I like to gather a lot, and freeze the extra pollen to use later.
When I get home, I sift it to remove all the fluff from the pollen. I throw away the fluff, then sift my pollen again, to get out any that escaped the first time.
This process is messy. Be prepared for yellow hands, counters, clothing, floor, dishes, and cupboards [unless you are one of those unnaturally tidy people who never make messes]. Fortunately it's easy to wipe up again!
Finally, you'll have a rich, buttery-yellow powder, the consistency of really fine flour. And that's just what you're going to use as.
In a mixing bowl, measure out 1/2 cup of pollen, 1 1/2 cups flour, and 1/4 cup sugar. Add a teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt, and stir well.
Add the Liquid Ingredients
Add in 4 eggs, 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup oil. Stir it until the batter is very smooth, with no lumps.
Heat up a frying pan or a pancake griddle on medium heat. You can tell when it's hot enough, by dripping a little water on it. If the water drop "bounces" and sizzles, it's ready.
Pour the batter by the large spoonful onto a hot pan or griddle.
When you can see bubbles forming all through the pancake, as shown above, it's time to flip them. Carefully slip a metal spatula under them, and turn them. It doesn't take long to cook the other side, only a brief moment - you can lift up a corner to peek and see when it's browned enough for your taste.
When done, set aside on a plate and begin with the next batch.
I like to serve these with butter or maybe a little honey - anything too strong-flavored tends to overwhelm the flavor of the cattail pollen.