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Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes

Updated on June 27, 2012

Reducing food costs and re-connecting with nature: A selection of interesting recipes where the main ingredients can be found in the wild by simple foraging.

Cream of dandelion and broccoli soup (garnish with edible dandelion flower)
Cream of dandelion and broccoli soup (garnish with edible dandelion flower)

1. Cream of dandelion and broccoli soup

Dandelions are one of the richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all vegetarian foods. (If you eat meat, only cod-liver oil and beef liver are higher.) Additionally, dandelions are a good source of protein, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of fibre.

This soup is fantastic and looks particularly interesting with a garnish of dandelion flowers and buds - which are also edible.

INGREDIENTS: dandelion greens, butter/margarine, vegetable stock, broccoli, carrot, milk.

COOK TIME: 40 minutes.

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin A

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #1. Cream of dandelion and broccoli soup

2. Dandelion and Rocket salad with Halloumi

Commonly considered a weed, young dandelions provide excellent salad leaves. Make sure you pick the small, young leaves only (springtime, before the flower has formed is best) as the larger, older leaves can be very bitter. They grow wild all over Europe, the US and Asia. Do not pick if there is a chance the leaves have been chemically sprayed. Also avoid picking dandelion leaves by the roadside as they absorb vehicle fumes.

This recipe is straightforward and yet delicious.

COOK TIME: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS: olive oil, nut oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, caster sugar, dandelions, rocket leaf, halloumi cheese.

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin A

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #2. Dandelion and Rocket salad with halloumi

Use nettles can be used in soup, tea and a variety of other recipes. They deliver over 100% of the recommended daily Vitamin A allowance..
Use nettles can be used in soup, tea and a variety of other recipes. They deliver over 100% of the recommended daily Vitamin A allowance..

3. Cream of Nettle soup

Nettles have a near perfect balance of iron, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium and are a traditional remedy for people who are run down.

A handful of nettles provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. They also have 40 percent protein content and contain an impressive range of minerals.

This is a nice, quick recipe producing a delicious, healthy soup.

INGREDIENTS: Vegetable oil, plain flour, onion, garlic, nettles, milk, water/stock.

COOK TIME: 15 minutes.

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin A.

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #3. Cream of Nettle soup

4. Nettle tea / tonic

Nettle tea is said to have the additional benefit such as producing shiny hair; helping achieve a healthy pregnancy; detoxing the blood and increasing iron intake.

Note When picking the nettles ALWAYS make sure you where gloves. Discard the stems as only the leaves are needed in the tea.

INGREDIENTS: nettle leaves, boiling water.

COOK TIME: 3-5 minutes.

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin A

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #4. Nettle tea / tonic

The wild garlic leaves are good in soups, stews, sauces and with anything where you want a garlic flavour.
The wild garlic leaves are good in soups, stews, sauces and with anything where you want a garlic flavour.

5. Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild garlic has similar properties to the cultivated variety. It is effective in reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It has been suggested it may also have antiviral properties – keeping the common cold and other viruses at bay.

Wild garlic grows in wooded areas. It is best picked in late spring (April/May) before the flowers are fully out. That isn’t to say you cannot still pick the garlic later in the year.

Wild garlic is identifiable by it’s strong garlic smell!

INGREDIENTS: wild garlic leaves, mixed nuts, basil (optional), olive oil.

COOK TIME: 1 minute.

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin B6

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #5. Wild Garlic Pesto

Acorns are rich in magnesium and low in cholesterol and sodium.
Acorns are rich in magnesium and low in cholesterol and sodium.

6. Acorn coffee

Acorns are very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. They are a good source of Manganese. They are also high in tannin which gives them their tea / coffee-like qualities, and where commonly used to make drinks in the past. Traditionally the acorns would have been shelled and soaked in a river for several days to leach out the tannins before being roasted.

But there is a faster way.

(SPOILER: Don't expect anything that tastes like coffee or tea. It has its own unique taste but is a enjoyable alternative to standard coffee or tea.)

INGREDIENTS: fresh acorns

COOK TIME: 15 minutes + drying time

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Manganese

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #6. Acorn coffee

7. Acorn flour and acorn flour tortillas

You get two recipes for the price of one here!

Acorn flour provides acorn flour tortillas with a unique flavour and a really soft texture. To learn how to make acorn flour read on.

Acorn Flour

INGREDIENTS: Fresh acorns

COOK TIME: 1½ hrs + soaking + drying

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Manganese

Acorn Flour Tortillas

INGREDIENTS: rice/whole-grain flour, acorn flour, arrowroot, corn oil, water.

COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Manganese

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #7. Acorn flour and acorn flour tortillas

Rosehips are rich in vitamin C and are said to have a vast range of health benefits.
Rosehips are rich in vitamin C and are said to have a vast range of health benefits.

8. Spiced rosehip and sweet potato soup

This spicy and warming seasonal rosehip soup is a wonderful reward for the hedgerow forager.

Rose hips are cherry-sized, red / orange fruits of the rose plant. They are commonly used for herbal tea, jam, jelly, marmalade, pies, bread, wine and….soups (see below).

Rose hips are high in vitamin C and contain vitamins A, D and E, essential fatty acids, and high levels of antioxidant flavonoids. These are known for their antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergenic properties.

INGREDIENTS: rosehips, vegetable oil, onion, sweet potato, red chilli, garlic, stock, creme fraiche

COOKING TIME: 35 minutes.

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin C.

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #8. Spiced rosehip and sweet potato soup

9. Blackberry & Rosehip Crumble

Succulent blackberries and sumptuous rosehips with a sweet crumble topping makes this timeless hit.

Benefits
Benefits
Treatment for the common cold (due to high concentrations of vitamin C)
Strengthening the digestive tract
Improving the immune system
Calming the central nervous system
Reducing skin blemishes
Alleviating depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders
Strengthening cardio-vascular system
Assisting in treating dizziness and headaches
Improving blood quality and circulation
Aiding in the maintenance of the skin
Soothing arthritis and joint inflammation
Helping out in pregnancy due to the high Vitamin C content
Some of the purported health benefits of rosehips

INGREDIENTS: blackberries, rosehips, baking powder, salt, butter or margarine, brown sugar, sunflower seeds.

COOK TIME: 35 minutes

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Vitamin C

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #9. Blackberry and Rosehip Crumble Pie


10. Japanese knotweed & roast butternut squash soup

Japanese knotweed is a concentrated source of emodin (which helps regulate bowel motility).

The soup is smooth, served cold as a dessert. The colour is an interesting shade of spring green and a fabulous and unique taste.

INGREDIENTS: Butternut squash, Japanese knotweed, vegetable oil, onion, stock.

COOKING TIME: 25 minutes

CHIEF NUTRIENT: Emodin.

For more details, see Top 10 most delicious wild food foraging recipes - #10. Japanese knotweed and roast butternut squash soup

Summary of foraged food recipes

Recipe
Ingredients
Cook time
Main nutrient
Cream of dandelion and broccoli soup
dandelion greens, butter/margarine, vegetable stock, broccoli, carrot, milk
40 minutes
Vitamin A
Dandelion and Rocket with Halloumi
olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, caster sugar, dandelions, rocket leaf, halloumi cheese.
10 minutes
Vitamin A
Cream of Nettle soup
vegetable oil, plain flour, onion, garlic, nettles, milk, water/stock
15 minutes
Vitamin A
Nettle tea
nettle leaves, boiling water
3-5 minutes
Vitamin A
Wild Garlic Pesto
wild garlic leaves, mixed nuts, basil (optional), olive oil
1 minute
Vitamin B6
Acorn coffee
fresh acorns
15 minutes + drying time
Manganese
Acorn flour and acorn flour tortillas
Fresh acorns
1½ hrs + soaking + drying
Manganese
Acorn Flour Tortillas
rice/whole-grain flour, acorn flour, arrowroot, corn oil, water
15-20 minutes
Manganese
Spiced rosehip and sweet potato soup
rosehips, vegetable oil, sweet potato, red chilli, garlic, root ginger, stock, creme fraiche
35 minutes
Vitamin C
Blackberry and Rosehip Crumble
blackberries, rosehips, flour, baking powder, salt, butter or margarine, brown sugar, sunflower seeds.
35 minutes
Vitamin C
Japanese knotweed & roast butternut squash soup
Butternut squash, Japanese knotweed, vegetable oil, onion, stock.
25 minutes
Emodin
Summary of foraged food recipes with recipe ingredients, cook time and main nutrient.

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