The start of a collection of posts about what can be foraged at the moment!
So its January, and you think that there’s nothing out there…. WRONG!!! There might not be the summer or autumnal abundances but there are still a few things if you look hard enough! As always make sure you follow the foraging rules which I have posted about here and always make sure you have a good book handy to take out with you. we make sure we don’t eat ANYTHING that hasn’t been 100% identified!
Today we have 2 for you!
Scarlet Elf Cups
Or Sarcoscypha Coccinea. This fungus grows on decaying wood on the woodland floor of deciduous woods, preferring hazel, willow beech, oak and elm.
Some sources state that its edibility is not fully established. It also does not seem to appear in many texts because of that. However, there is a whole section on Britishlocalfood.com which states that it has been widely eaten for years without any adverse effects, as well as having medicinal uses. BUT it does not have the normal texture/taste one would expect from a mushroom!
I love finding these in the woods. Their bright flashes of colour are beautiful in an otherwise bland winter landscape, but I don’t think I will summon the courage to try them just yet! Let us know if you do though!
Our second winter foragable is Dandelion Leaves and roots.
A common garden plant and often regarded as a weed. So most people that keep neat lawns would love you to dig them up! The roots may be roasted as any other root vegetable or roasted and ground to make a caffeine free coffee. The leaves used in salads or cooked as you would spinach. The leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, fibre, manganese, iron, potassium and protein.
Roger Phillips’ Wild Food Book gives recipes for dandelion beer, dandelion wine, among other ideas.
There are LOTS of benefits to eating dandelions! Ten such properties are listed here:
- Promotes and Stimulates Digestion.
- Prevents Water Retention in the Kidneys.
- Detoxifies the Liver.
- Boosts Antioxidant Activity.
- Has Been Used In Cancer Research.
- Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels.
- Aids in the Management of High Blood Pressure.
- Reduces Cholesterol Levels.
- Protects the Gallbladder.
- Fights Inflammation with Its Antioxidant Properties.
Hedgerow Medicine, by Julie Bruton Seal and Matthew Seal gives a far better run down of medicinal dandelion uses and recipes!
Adele Nozedar’s book Foraging with kids has an amazing Dandelion Cream Truffle recipe. I plan to try this soon and a Frittata recipe using dandelions and red peppers. Her other book The Hedgerow Handbook also has recipes for dandelion coffee and wine. Plus added bonus you can buy them directly from her so no need for Amazon!
What edibles have you found this week? Drop us a comment or head on over to FB to let us know!
Keep your eyes out for our Foraging walks in the Events on FB and here, which we hope to be starting on a monthly basis once we are allowed!