3 Recipes that use Local Wild Food
Gardening & Foraging, Recipes

3 Recipes that use Local Wild Food

When starting to forage for local food, the foraging itself is the main focus. It feels wild and exciting to hunt and gather your own food from hedgerows and trees near to home. However, the main purpose of foraging is of course to use these treasures in your actual food, to sustain you and to see you through the winter months ahead.

As a beginner forager living in the 21st century, it is probably unlikely that you will be feeding yourself purely from your foraged finds but we think it’s a great idea to start thinking about how the wild food you forage can be turned into delicious meals and drinks you can enjoy.

The following wild food recipes are all dairy free and vegan friendly. You will need to add non-foraged foods to these recipes. We like to purchase common kitchen staples like flour and sugar in a zero waste way from a zero waste shop in Essex.

Wild Food and Waste

One of the main benefits of turning to foraging is it helps to reduce food waste. Every year Mother Nature puts on an impressive bounty of wild food. Then, busy in our modern lives, most of us walk past and ignore these bounties. Or see them and think they might somehow not be ‘real food’ and opt for shop brought instead.

The birds eat some, other animals gather a little too, but heaps of local food goes to waste. Of course, this food is far more ‘real’ than many products and food items we find on supermarket shelves. It’s all natural, 100% organic and best of all, it’s FREE.

The purpose of this introductory wild food recipes blog is to help you not only pick wild food but USE wild food. Using food is important and cutting waste is beneficial to us and the planet. When the food is also costing you nothing, what have you got to lose?

If you find yourself noticing wild food at the moment, then it’s a great time to learn about what’s out there and try a new recipe made from your very own locally foraged goodies.

By making a purchase from one of the links on this page, a small portion of the money you spend goes to The Natural Essex Girl. Thank you for supporting small business.

Some Wild Food Benefits

  • Avoid single use plastic – picking wild blackberries means no single use plastic cartons.
  • Eat for the season – apples are in full harvest right now because they provide the nutrients our bodies need at this time of year to help us stay well.
  • Spend time outside – searching for and foraging local Rosehips is a great way to spend more time outdoors, walking in nature, identifying trees and boosting your natural intake of vitamin D.

There are SO many foraging benefits, too many to list here in this blog. One of the most important ones we can focus on in our immediate future is avoiding food waste.

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So here’s three super simple recipes for beginner foragers that use easy to identify and find local foods available at this time of year in England. Don’t hunt out wild apples and then let them spoil, eventually finding their way to the food waste bin. Use your wild food finds. Here’s three easy recipes to help you get started.

3 Recipes that use Local Wild Food

Foraging for wild food can be fun, educational and delicious! These three recipes use some of our favourite wild foods in popular foods and drink. These items are pretty easy to find in local hedgerows.

You may also like our Beginner Foraging Guide.

1. Wild Food Recipe: Blackberry Jam

A classic British favourite, Blackberry Jam is ideal for toast in the morning or scones in the afternoon.

Blackberries grow on hedgerows from late summer to early winter. Often referred to as brambles, be sure to mind the thorny branches when picking your wild blackberries.

Blackberry Jam Recipe

  • Collect wild blackberries and wash under cold water
  • Remove any stalks or leaves
  • Chop or mash blackberries to the desired texture. If you prefer a lumpy jam, you can leave the blackberries whole
  • Weigh the blackberries then add the equal weight in sugar.
  • Add the blackberry and sugar mix to a pan
  • Heat gently whilst stirring to avoid burning
  • You will know the jam is ready when the consistency is sticky and the aroma is suddenly sweet
  • Pour into clean, up cycled glass jars and leave to cool

2. Wild Food Recipe: Apple Crumble

A family classic, Apple Crumble can be served with cream or custard (yes, vegan cream and vegan custard taste delicious).

Apples grow on trees from late summer to early winter. There are many varieties growing wild in the U.K. Some are sweet whilst others are more bitter in flavour.

Apple Crumble Recipe

  • Collect wild apples and wash under cold water
  • Remove any stalks or leaves
  • Peel and chop apples into small chunks and place in an overproof dish
  • Combine butter, flour and sugar in a mixing bowl
  • Add crumble topping to the apples, covering all the fruit
  • Bake in the oven for roughly 40 minutes at 180c.
  • Serve whilst hot with cream or custard

3. Wild Food Recipe: Rosehip Tea

An immune system boost, Rosehip Tea contains vitamin C and is easy to make with locally foraged food.

Rosehips are the reddish orange ‘hip’ of the rose plant and you’ll find them from late summer to early winter. The rose bush has thorns, so be sure to take care when picking Rosehips.

Rosehips Tea Recipe

  • Collect wild Rosehips and wash under cold water
  • Remove any stalks or leaves
  • Leave whole and place in a saucepan
  • Cover with water (enough for 2-3 cups of tea)
  • Bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes
  • Sieve through a tea strainer into a cup
  • Serve whilst hot and add honey/agarve syrup to sweeten if desired

Recommended Foraging Books and Courses

Foraging for beginners can be a little daunting. We can’t recommend highly enough the use of a good wild food book with drawings to help you identify the foods you wish to forage safely.

Foraging in England Books

By making a purchase from one of the links on this page, a small portion of the money you spend goes to The Natural Essex Girl. Thank you for supporting small business.

Recipes that use Local Wild Food

We hope these three simple recipes help you to start using some of your locally foraged food, or get you interested in getting outside to find some local food. Recipes that use local wild food like these ones here help us all to reduce waste, eat local and enjoy nature.

If you are interested in joining me on a Beginner Foraging Walk in Essex, please register your interest using my Contact Page.

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