Foraging Fridays in July — Part 5

This week on the blog, the last of our Foraging Fridays in July! This week I'd like to show you how foraged goodies have found their way into my everyday life! In previous posts in July, we covered what foraging is and the ground rules, the nutritional and medicinal value of common urban plants, what look-a-likes are and how to ID plants, and last week, how to preserve foraged plants.

One of the ways I enjoy foraged foods most often is by drinking teas. I collect many members of the mint family (field mint, catnip, lemon balm), as well as horsetail, nettle, alfalfa, linden blossoms, rose petals, lavender buds, red clover, rose hips and red raspberry leaf. I pick red raspberry leaf in the Spring when the plant is putting its energy into the leaves, (before the flowers bloom). I dry the leaves and drink therapeutically whenever I get menstrual cramps. Lemon balm and linden blossoms work well for tension. Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C to add to teas when you have a cold or flu.

Dried red raspberry leaves
Dried red raspberry leaves

Another way foraged goodies find their way into my daily life is in my morning breakfast smoothie. Foraged berries, like blueberries, mulberries, raspberries and strawberries, are antioxidant and fiber rich treats that are easy to freeze and add to smoothies year-round.  Fresh, foraged greens, like lamb's quarters, dandelion greens, stringing nettle and sorrel also find their way into my smoothie to add an alkalinizing and mineral-rich boost.

Wild blueberry smoothie

Wild blueberry smoothie

Another way foraged goodies have found their way into everyday life is in my dinner. Freshly picked greens can be added to salads if they are young shoots or steamed and sauteed if they are mature leaves (often more bitter and tougher). A favourite of mine is stinging nettle pesto. I make a large batch and store extra in the freezer for a quick and easy meal. A favourite of mine is sweet potato buckwheat noodles, steamed kale or chard, sauteed with nettle pesto. These cubes were poured into ice cube trays, frozen and then stored in our freezer in a bag to enjoy over several months.

Nettle pesto cubes
Nettle pesto cubes

Another way I use foraged goodies is in my healing salves. Excellent plants for healing the skin that I collect are calendula, comfrey, St Johns Wort, plantain, chamomile, rose and lavender. I infuse these herbs in oils and then create healing salves to topically treat dry skin, diaper rash and eczema.

Calendula salve
Calendula salve

These are some of the ways foraged goodies are part of my daily living. Hope you've enjoyed reading this series and please get in touch if you have any questions.

Next month on the blog, I'll explore Making Your Own Bodycare Products.  Why commercial products are so toxic, what to avoid, what to look use and how to make your own! If you'd like to subscribe to this blog, you can do so from the home page. Thanks for reading!