Is Jewelweed A Good Poison Ivy Remedy? (Scientific Studies)

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Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a plant native to the northeastern and midwestern US. It has a long history of use medicinally by multiple native american tribes. It’s primary use medicinally is for an external application to rashes, particularly poison ivy. Poison ivy( Toxicodendron radicans) often grows side by side with jewelweed. There are only a couple of recent studies that have been done to determine whether jewelweed actually helps or whether it is just the plecebo effect or a similar phenomena. This article will reference these studies to see what they actually show.

Identification of Jewelweed

This video goes into identification of Jewelweed

The 2 Most Recent Studies

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

There are 2 suspected compounds in jewelweed that have been claimed to be the rash reducing ingredient, lawsone and saponins. The 2 studies linked to in this article each look at one of these suspects. Another important point is that both of these studies look at whether jewelweed can reduce the rash when applied before the rash has formed not after. There may also be some positive effect of jewelweed in reducing the rash even after it has developed but this has not been looked at in either study.

The first study was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2012. It used jewelweed mash and jewelweed extracts containing lawsone in the study. It also used soaps made from jewelweed as well as jewelweed free soaps. CLICK HERE to see the summary of this study.

The second study was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2015. It used jewelweed mash and jewelweed extracts containing saponins in the study. It also used soaps made from jewelweed as well as jewelweed free soaps. CLICK HERE to see the summary of this study.

Summary of Results (Does Jewelweed Really Work?)

The results of the first study which focused on lawsone showed that Jewelweed mash did have a positive effect in reducing poison ivy rash compared to the control. Although It also showed that the jewelweed extract containing lawsone was not effective in treating the poison ivy rash. The conclusion that was reached is that there is something in the jewelweed that does help to reduce the rash but it is not lawsone. The most effective substances used were the soaps. Both the soap containing jewelweed and the jewelweed free soap were equally effective.

The results of the second study which focused on saponins showed that the jewelweed extract which contained saponins was somewhat effective in treating the poison ivy rash. The conclusion that was reached is that the saponins in the jewelweed are likely the substance that helps to reduce the rash. The most effective substances used were the soaps in this study as well. Both the soap containing jewelweed and the jewelweed free soap were equally effective.

Conclusion

Poison Ivy (Toxidendron radicans)
Poison Ivy (Toxidendron radicans) Photo By: Sam Fraser Smith/Wikimedia Commons

It makes sense that saponins would be the compound that helps to reduce poison ivy rash when used in place of regular soap since saponins are often described as soap-like. If saponins are truly the primary compounds that help to reduce poison ivy rash then that tells us a lot about what the best method would be to reduce poison ivy. The goal is to remove the urushiol oil. There isn’t any evidence that saponins are treating your skin in such a way that it has a subdued reaction to poison ivy. On the contrary it is likely removing the poison ivy oil(urushiol) from contact with your skin. The best method to reduce rash would be to use the jewelweed mash as a soap shortly after exposure to poison ivy. This means you should apply it then rinse it off, multiple times, each time hopefully also rinsing off urushiol oil with it.

It is not certain that jewelweed doesn’t have other properties that may improve rash or skin conditions after they have developed. There aren’t any studies out there now(that we know of) showing that it has this ability. There should definitely be more studies done on this plant and many other plants that are popularly claimed to be medicinal.

So if you get into contact with poison ivy your first line of defense should be multiple washes of soap and water as close to the time of exposure as possible. If this option is not available to you then jewelweed mash can successfully be used instead of the soap with decent results.



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5 Edible Survival Plants Everyone Should Know(Worldwide)

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Modern society is built on the backs of tens of thousands of years of human beings surviving off of hunted and foraged food. Identifying and foraging for wild edibles is a skill that almost every human being still has the ability to cultivate. Most of us today don’t have years of experience honing our plant identifications skills. This article will highlight 5 plants that are easy to find and identify as well as being nutritious. The number one goal when foraging for survival is to maximize calorie consumption. This is not an easy task by any means, especially if you have very little time to prepare and store food for later. I don’t want to create a false narrative that if you know these 5 plants(or any 5 plants) then it will be easy to live off the land. Knowing this information will hopefully help you enough to survive long enough to prepare a hunting system or better yet, get you out of the woods and back home.

The plants mentioned here aren’t single species but rather categorized by genus which is a group of very closely related species, for example blackberries and raspberries are in the same genus. The types of plants chosen here can be found on every continent in the northern hemisphere and most of them also in the southern hemisphere excluding Antarctica of course. I’ll go over how to identify these plants and how to prepare them for consumption.

1. Oaks and Stone Oaks(Genus:Quercus and Lithocarpus)

Oaks and Stone Oaks are a phenomenal wild edible for survival, they are calorie and protein rich, produce abundantly and store well. The edible part of the Oak tree is the nut inside the acorn. The downside with Oak trees is that some lengthy preparation is required for most species. Also some species are much better suited for harvesting and preparation then others.

Quercus rubra acorns
Quercus rubra acorns

The edible acorn is also the tree’s number one identification feature. It is true that many oak trees have unique leaf shapes but there is no single rule regarding leaf shape that can confirm identification. The acorns are produced and drop to the ground in the fall in temperate climates. Other areas may have different life cycles.

Where I live the 2 most common oak species are red oak(Quercus rubra) and white oak(Quercus alba). Both of these are great oak trees for harvesting because they drop large abundant acorns. When harvesting almost any species the acorns will need to be prepared. This requires shelling them then leaching out the bitter tannin that is in the acorn. The first step is to harvest the acorns right after they fall, you can harvest them later but often insects and decay get to them over the course of a few weeks to months. For small batches the best thing to do is just cut them in half or quarters and pull out the edible part from the inside of the shell, then discard the shells. Next crush the acorn ‘meat’ with a rock or mortar and pestle. The goal is to get as close to a powder as possible. Then you have to find some way of leaching the ground acorns by washing them continuously with cold water(hot water tends to cook the tannins into the acorn ‘meat’). A common method is to pour cold water through a mesh bag containing the ground acorns multiple times. If You can set up a system where water continuously runs over it then it will be less effort on your part. Some people have traditionally put a sack of ground acorns in a river or stream and let the running water do the work. Once the acorn powder is leached of most tannins it’s ready to consume or save for later. Cooking is recommended to kill any bacteria from preparation or less than ideal storage.

2. Wild Onions and Garlic (Genus: Allium)

The genus Allium is a very interesting genus, it contains all types of onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots. These plants grow extensively in the northern hemisphere in temperate climates. There is one very reliable identification feature and it must be used because there are toxic look a likes to some Allium species. The reason this is a good survival plant is because the bulb is the calorie storage unit for the plant and this is one of the parts that we consume, although the entire plant is edible as well. Some caution should be advised because eating large amounts of certain Allium species can cause stomach upset. There are toxins in the plant but humans have evolved to tolerate them whereas other animals like cats and dogs have not.

Allium vineale - Wild Garlic Bulbs
Allium vineale – Wild Garlic Bulbs

All Alliums are herbaceous plants with an underground bulb. Leaf shape is not a very good identification feature. Leaf shape varies dramatically from wide and flat to hollow and tubular. There are some very toxic look a likes such as lilly of the valley (Convallaria majalis) and death cama (Toxicoscordion venenosum). The absolute best identification feature for Alliums in general is their fragrance when crushed. To confirm that you’re dealing with an Allium crush a leaf or bulb and smell it. It almost always smells distinctly of onion or garlic. If it does not or you are unsure then discard it. It’s better to discard a true Allium then to accidentally eat a toxic look a like.

All parts of the plant are edible but different parts are best to harvest at different times. In my area the 2 most common species are crow garlic(Allium vineale) and the ramp(Allium tricoccum). The ramp (aka wild leek) is unique in that it does not reproduce quickly and therefore has been over harvested in some of its area. There is a ban on harvest imposed by certain local governments. Be mindful of any restriction that your region might have. Typically Allium species are growing the most vigorously in spring and fall in temperate climates. It’s traditional to harvest and plant bulbs in the fall but as mentioned before, all parts are edible all the time. In my opinion Allium flower tops and bulbils(mini bulbs sprouting from the flower tops) are an excellent part of the plant to forage for and are underutilized.

3. Raspberries and Blackberries (Genus: Rubus)

Blackberries and raspberries are familiar to most of us but many people are unaware that there are hundreds of unique wild species growing worldwide. Besides for being called blackberries and raspberries other names given to members of this genus are dewberries, wineberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries and brambles.These fruits are not particularly high in calories but do offer a tasty addition to your harvest. Another foraging secret regarding these species is that most of them have edible stems and leaves when young. They do not become toxic but as the thorns and stems harden the stems quickly become more difficult to prepare and consume.

Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius)
Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius)

These plants are easy to identify when the berries are present in the summer. The berries will always look like blackberries or raspberries. Botanically this means that they are aggregate fruits being a combination of multiple separately pollinated tiny seeds covered in fruity flesh. Other fruits like mulberries also look like this but rubus fruits are the only ones that look like this along with a thorny non-woody stem. Plants in the rubus genus grow in a number of different forms such as arching shrubs, ground-trailing vines and colonies of upright stems. These plants typically do not grow as woody shrubs, trees, or vertically climbing vines.

In my location there are at least 5 distinct species of rubus that I come across on a regular basis including multiple species of blackberries, wild black raspberries(Rubus occidentalis), at least 2 species of dewberries, and wineberries(Rubus phoenicolasius). The berries ripen at different times of the year ranging from early summer to late summer. The stems also harden off at different times of year and have varying levels of bitterness when eaten. Stems can also be peeled of their skin and thorns then boiled to consume. You will likely get more calories from the stems then from the fruit but you will likely get more nutrients from the fruit then from the stems.

4. Wild Cherries and Plums(Genus: Prunus)

This is another single genus that includes many species that are familiar to people such as cherries, plums, peaches and nectarines. The seeds of all wild Prunus fruits should not be eaten. They contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide and could potentially result in death if a number of seeds or stems are thoroughly chewed and consumed. This genus also includes almonds but wild bitter almonds contain much higher concentrations of hydroden cyanide in the seed than domestic almonds. It is not recommended to consume wild bitter almonds. For all plants in this genus except for the almond the fruity flesh covering the seed is eaten. Domestic almonds are a variety selected for less of the toxin. The Prunus genus is a large group of plants with edible berries that are native to temperate climates of the northern hemisphere. These fruits often grow plentifully on a tree and can add a substantial fruity flavor to foraged meals. Wild cherries for example were a staple wild fruit for native american tribes. It was used in pemmican which is a high calorie portable native american food made from animal fat and dried fruit.

Prunus serotina, Black Cherry leaves, fruit and twigs
Prunus serotina, Black Cherry leaves, fruit and twigs

The first step to identifying wild Prunus fruits is to first confirm that the fruit is indeed a botanical drupe. A drupe which is also called a stonefruit contains 1 single seed covered by the fleshy part of the fruit. This identification feature is important because it will help distinguish Prunus fruits from others like glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus). keep in mind that wild Prunus fruits are often much smaller than their domesticated relatives. Prunus trees have leaves that are simple(no lobes) with a finely serrated(toothed) leaf margin. Another common occurrence with Prunus trees is the presence of a disease called black knot. Black knot forms a black gnarly growth on twigs and stems. Not all individuals will be infected with black knot but seeing a tree infected with black knot will aid in your identification because that disease only affects trees in the genus Prunus.

I am personally familiar with 2 species of wild growing prunus plants in my area. These are the black cherry(Prunus serotina) and the chokecherry(Prunus virginiana). These 2 species look very similar and have a very similar life cycle with slightly different fruit ripening times in the summer. Another difference between these 2 species is that black cherry typically tastes better than chokecherry. Even the black cherry fruit flavor does naturally range from very bitter to not very bitter. If you find a tree with a pleasant taste you can return there every summer year after year. Both species are very common within their range which is another reason they could reliably be utilized by native americans.

5. Pine(Genus: Pinus) and Spruce(Genus: Picea)

These edible evergreens are extremely underutilized plants. The mature needles may be too unpleasant to eat right off the tree but there are a number of edible parts of these trees. These edible parts contain significant calories and are harvested when other foods aren’t available like in winter and early spring. You’ll often hear that you can make a tea out of the needles from these plants, although that is true it is the least interesting edible component of these trees in my opinion. On most species of both pine and spruce you can eat the immature female cones during the winter. You can also eat the male catkins(with pollen) and young foliar growth in the spring. Another edible component that is often overlooked is that the inner bark of any part of the tree is edible. This is one of the best trees to eat the inner bark, although the bar isn’t raised very high since inner tree bark is usually tough and bitter with only a few exceptions. I should mention that a few pine trees such as ponderosa pine(Pinus ponderosa) and lodgepole pine(Pinus contorta) needles contain toxins. Despite that the inner bark and immature cones still have a history of being used as survival foods.

Young Pine Cones of White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Young Pine Cones of White Pine (Pinus strobus) – they are edible at this stage

Identification of plants in each of these 2 genera is unique to that genus. Pines are typically distinguished from other evergreens by their parallel grouped needle. Different species have different numbers of grouped needles. For Example White Pine(Pinus strobus) has 5 parallel needles per grouping. Spruce have single needles coming direcly from the branchlets and stems, this is not a good identification feature since other evergreens such as fir and douglasfir look very similar. I’ve created these Youtube videos to help you identify pine, spruce, fir, and douglasfir. The good news is that fir and douglasfir have similar edible properties to spruce. Do not mistake the very toxic Yew(Genus: Taxus) for any of the edible evergreens. Yews may look superficially similar but once you learn the identification features then you can easily tell the difference.

A few of the species that I am most familiar with on the east coast US are eastern white pine(Pinus strobus), norway spruce(Picea abies), and colorado spruce(Picea pungens). In temperate climates the immature cones tend to be optimal for harvest and consumption in late winter and early spring. The cones are 1″-2″ in length at this time. The immature cones seem to be one of the highest calorie edible parts of this tree. In the spring and summer they quickly dry and get too hard to eat. When spring arrives you can eat the edible new growth as long as it is soft enough to eat. They are still edible later in the year but are just too hard to be enjoyable. The edible inner bark of the tree can be harvested and eaten anytime but is best when the tree is not in drought conditions. To harvest the edible inner bark you will need to damage a trunk or branch so don’t go around ripping bark off trees haphazardly. Only do this in survival situations or on trees that are being removed anyways. Pine and Spruce are very common in temperate and northern climates around the world so you should be able to start getting familiar with these species in your local neighborhood.

Conclusion

Many cliche portrayals of people living off the land show them living off of berries indefinitely. Although I have included berries in this list anyone in a survival situation will benefit from the knowledge that you can also prepare the stems of blackberry and raspberry bushes to be eaten and that these stems are likely more calorie rich. Anyone needing to survive off the land will also benefit from the other foraging secrets I’ve revealed here such as all the edible parts of a pine or spruce tree and how to definitively identify a wild Allium. It’s hard to find calories in survival situation but hopefully you’ll be a little more equipped after reading this.



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Wild Leek – A Beloved Spring Wild Edible

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Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)
Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)
(Photo by: Hardyplants/Wikimedia Commons)

Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum) have reached an almost legendary status in some parts of the Northeastern US and Appalachia. Although these relatives of onions and garlic can grow in large colonies care should be taken when harvesting. They are perennial plants that are slow to spread. Once the root is harvested it could take a long period of time for the remaining plants to replenish the population. If the population is eliminated in an area it may never return. Wild Leeks are one of the first edible greens to come up in the spring which would have been an irresistible harvest for native Americans and homesteaders of the past.

Edibility and culinary use

Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum) Harvested
Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum) Harvested
(Photo by: dano272/Flickr)

All parts of the plant are edible and tasty. The onion and garlic genus: Allium has evolved an onion or garlic taste and fragrance to repel any animals that might be looking for a snack. Luckily humans countered that by evolving a taste for plants in this genus. Many other species have not evolved this liking of Alliums and are repelled by them. Throughout the millions of years of ape and human evolution harvesting and eating Onion and garlic species very early in the spring when nothing else is available has almost certainly been a life or death situation enough times that we evolved a fondness for these species. The flowers and broad flat wild leek greens can be eaten the same way as any green part of an onion or garlic. The bulb can be eaten the same as any onion, garlic or shallot. In the case of wild leeks if you are not able to harvest wild leeks in quantity or often I would recommend cooking them in a way that lets their flavor stand out. Just frying them with a little oil and salt is a great way to taste the bulb without it getting lost in your food.

Health benefits

Wild leeks have generally the same types of health benefits as commercial leeks. First of all leeks, onions and garlic are loaded with beneficial nutrients. What really makes them stand out is the active compounds that give them their characteristic smell and taste but these compounds also have very positive effects in the human body. Alliums have a very long and diverse history of medicinal use but tend to be one of the first defenses against foreign bodies such as bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites. Alliums including wild leeks produce compounds with strong antibiotic activity against a wide variety of human pathogens.

Wild Leek Identification

Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum) Bloom
Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum) Bloom
(Photo by: Dan Mullen/Flickr)

There are a number of poisonous look-a-likes to this plant including the very toxic lily of the valley(Convallaria majalis). The toxic lily of the valley is relatively likely to be mistaken for wild leeks, they could easily be growing side by side. Unlike many other Allium species such as garlic and onion leeks have broad leaves that look similar to a number of other plants. There is one reliable way to identify any Allium species and that is its scent. Crush up a leaf and take a whiff. If a plant does not clearly and definitively smell like garlic or onion then assume it is not a wild leek or any other wild Allium species. Once you get familiar with looking at the details of the leaf vs other similar looking plants you will be able to identify this plant by looks alone but you will always be able to test your identification by smelling the plant. Wild leeks are a deep woodland species and can be found on the forest floor of undisturbed areas. Each small bulb supports a set of wide light green leaves early in the spring. They will flower later in the year with a single stalk per bulb and a spherical umbel of white flowers.

Cautions

Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)
Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)
(Photo by: Bev Currie/Flickr)

As mentioned in the preceding paragraph there are a number of toxic look-a-likes. The best way to be confident in your discovery is to crush up a leaf and smell the plant. As is true with anything in the leek, onion, garlic, and shallot genus: Allium, these species will have a strong distinct odor similar to onion or garlic.

Conclusion

Finding a large patch of wild leeks can be an exhilarating discovery. You can return year after year to harvest wild leeks from your hopefully secret spot. If you would like to ensure the survivability of the patch it is important to practice responsible harvesting practices. For example, only harvest a small portion of the total patch. Also, harvest intermittently so the adjacent plants will have the opportunity to fill in the holes in the colony. In Quebec people have not been practicing responsible harvesting in the past which has lead to wild leeks being classified as a protected species. Quebec legislation puts a limit on the number of bulbs one can harvest annually with the punishment of being fined if that limit is discovered to be broken. So with the right attitude toward forest stewardship, we can all enjoy this native national treasure for years to come.



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Greenbrier – Winter and Spring Wild Edible

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Smilax rotundifolia - Greenbrier Leaf
Smilax rotundifolia – Greenbrier Leaf

The roundleaf greenbrier(Smilax rotundifolia) is often underestimated as a wild edible. Even most of the published literature I have seen doesn’t hightlight the full utility of this plant as a wild edible. In reality this plant is an extremely useful wild edible at the right times of year. The roundleaf Greenbrier is plentiful in the eastern half of the US. The information in this articles likely applies to other species in the genus but Smilax is a diverse genus so there could be exceptions. Greenbrier is a visually unassuming plant especially when it’s mixed in with other prickery vines and shrubs such as multiflora rose, blackberry, raspberry, and barberry. roundleaf Greenbrier is a native plant and was likely a commonly used wild edible by native american people.

Edibility and culinary use

Smilax rotundifolia - Greenbrier Berries
Smilax rotundifolia – Greenbrier Berries

Most literature highlights the use of the roots as a starchy substance that can be added to foods. In my opinion this is somewhat of a secondary use compared to the other parts of the roundleaf greenbier that are edible. The new growth in the spring is an abundant and delicious vegetable. The texture is reminiscent of small asparagus but the taste is very mild with a hint of acidity. The new greenbrier growth can be eaten raw or cooked, just make sure it is new growth that hasn’t aged to the point that the thorns have hardened. The leaves are also edible in the spring and summer but they get tougher in the summer. The leaves too have a pleasant mild taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. There is another characteristic that is not often highlighted in most published literature and that is the edible berries that persist through the winter. There is not much substance to the berries since there are large seeds inside but any berry that persists throughout the winter and tastes good is something I add to my list of forageable foods.

Health benefits
This plant must be a truly wild edible because it does not have a common grocery store counterpart as is the case with plants like wild mustard greens and wild chicory plants. This fact makes it difficult to get good nutritional information. The good news is that according to www.pfaf.org there are no hazards associated with this plant. That and the fact that it doesn’t have any strong bitter components indicates that this is likely a very nutritious plant(extremely bitter flavors can sometimes indicate toxins). The mild acidic flavor could be ascorbic acid(Vitamin C) which is present in many wild edibles such as pine trees. Greenbrier has some history of medicinal use. A tea made from the leaves was traditionally used to sooth upset stomach and a poultice made from the leaves was used to sooth different types of external pain.

Identification

Greenbrier Vines
Greenbrier Vines

Once you know what to look for this plant is nearly unmistakable. There are a few main characteristics to look for. This is always a climbing vine with almost no growth toward the width of the vine, in other words it mostly grows longer, not wider. The width of the vine is usually not much bigger than ¼ of an inch in diameter. The vine is always solid green color, even in the winter although it may be speckled with dark sooty mold in a few places. The vine grows in messy bushy masses on wooded edges up to around 10′-20′ high. You should start being able to spot these masses from a distance once your familiar with the growth habit of greenbrier. The thorns have a characteristic shape and growth pattern. They are not crowded on the stem, they appear clearly separated , sometimes by a few inches. The thorns grow straight off the stem at roughly 90 degrees, they are not curved or tilted in any way. this will help you distinguish greenbrier from wild rose which has large curved thorns. Small tendrils can be seen on the vine assisting with it’s climbing behavior. The black greenbrier berries develop in loose bunches in the fall and persist through the winter, I have seen them stay on the vine all the way into march. You can see them from a little bit of a distance so you won’t need to climb through looking for them, but you might need to climb through to get to them.

Cautions
The only caution with this plant is the thorns. You can get your legs tangled up when you’re climbing through to get the berries.

Smilax rotundifolia - Greenbrier Thorns
Smilax rotundifolia – Greenbrier Thorns

Conclusion
Roundleaf greenbrier is an often underutilized native wild edible. This plant has edible parts that are available during much of the year, even in the winter when there are not a lot of other wild edibles available. Always practice responsible harvesting practices when foraging but with this plant You can harvest a substantial amount of new growth and berries because harvesting the new growth and berries does not kill the plant and it is a common and resilient plant so you don’t need to worry too much about hindering plant growth or reproduction. So this winter and spring take a look at wooded edges for the messy vine masses that are characteristic of roundleaf greenbrier, they are perennial so once you find them you can return year after year.


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Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
Read more.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
Read more.
Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers
Read more.
Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea
Read more.
Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber
Read more.
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits
Read more.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed
Read more.
Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible
Read more.
Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible
Read more.

5 Trees With Edible Inner Bark

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Eating the inner bark of certain trees is something that is often referred to as a “good” source of food in survival situations, especially in the winter when not much else is available. I wanted to investigate this claim so I made a list of 5 of the most common trees in the northeastern US that have edible inner bark. I sampled each of these trees as well as putting together a video to go along with this article.

White Pine(Pinus strobus) inner bark
White Pine(Pinus strobus) inner bark

Sampling the bark was a little difficult because I had to only do this on trees or large branches that were going to die anyway. The reason for this is because the most substantial source of inner bark is lower on the trunk and cutting this part of the tree can damage all portions of the tree above it. There were 2 main characteristics I was looking for. The first is the taste of the inner bark, I wanted to see if it was reasonable for someone to consume a large amount of it. The second thing I considered was the amount of inner bark and ease of harvesting. I wanted to be able to get more information on the sugar and starch content, this is what would contain needed calories in a survival situation. It is casually mentioned in a few places online that inner tree bark contains 500-1000 calories per pound but I did not find verified sources with this information for each tree. Although while I was eating the inner bark I did try to notice weather the inner bark seemed to be mostly fiberous or if I tasted sugars and starches while I was eating it. The inner bark layer of a tree overlaps with the phloem on the tree, the phloem carries nutrients up and down the trunk from roots to leaves in the spring and from leaves to roots in the summer and fall so it makes sense that some of these sugars and starches would remain in this part of the tree over the winter. In this article I have arranged these trees in order from worst to best in my opinion based on the feasibility of eating a substantial amount of the inner bark.

This is the related video showing much of the things that are talked about in this article.

5. Eastern Hemlock(Tsuga canadensis)
I wanted to test out eastern hemlock because it is a common native forest tree in my area. The needles make a great tea so I assumed the inner bark would be tolerable. Based on my experience the inner bark is not tolerable. It tasted awful, and it was very bitter. This is a tree that I would recommend for tea but I found almost no use for the edible inner bark. I couldn’t consume enough inner bark to be able to judge weather it seemed to have starch or sugar. That being said it is possible that processing the inner bark more could make it palatable. For example drying, grinding and mixing with flour or boiling it in changes of water might work.

4. Spruce(Genus:Picea)
This tree has many edible uses, such as the resin, the immature cones, and the new growth in the spring. The inner bark layer on spruce trees is thick and soft which makes it relatively easy to harvest. The taste is strong but It’s something you could eventually get used to. I would consider this a good option for edible inner bark, but not the best mainly based on the strong flavor. After chewing the inner bark it seems that this tree does have a substantial amount of sugars and starches. It doesn’t taste sweet, but it’s a lot less fiberous than I expected, the material does eventually break down in your mouth and become easy to consume.

3. Black Birch(Betula lenta)
The good part about the edible inner bark on this tree is that the flavor is pleasant. Black birch is known for it’s “wintergreen” fragrance and flavor that is used in birch beer. The downside of using this tree for it’s edible inner bark is that unlike the other trees on this list birch inner bark is not soft, its rather dry and grainy, kinda like eating sawdust and it’s difficult to separate from the outerbark. I ate it raw by itself but I have heard that it makes a very good option when adding to other things such as dried grains or soup. Birch inner bark is known to contain a substantial amount of calories but probably not as much as spruce, pine, and elm. I don’t know definitively but I assume similar properties for other trees in this genus.

2. Pine(Genus: Pinus)

White Pine(Pinus strobus) inner bark)
White Pine(Pinus strobus) inner bark

The pine tree is well known as a tree with edible inner bark. The biggest downside is the strong flavor but it’s easier to get used to then spruce in my opinion. The inner bark is thick and easy to harvest. The species that I sampled and featured in the video is white pine(Pinus strobus) but I assume similar properties for other members of the genus. Some pines may contain minor toxins so check with a website like www.pfaf.org or another trusted site before consuming any specific species. White pine is extremely common in New England and many other parts of the country so it’s very useful to know the edibility of this species. I could definitely feel that I was eating something other than wood fibers, the chewyness and resin content of the inner bark leads me to believe that there is a substantial amount of calories in white pine inner bark.

1. Elm Tree(Genus: Ulmus)

Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) inner bark
Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) inner bark

I’m really excited to share this information about the elm tree. This was a completely pleasant surprise for me. I had known that elm trees have been used as a mucilaginous soothing agent but I hadn’t previously realized that the inner bark was edible. I sampled the siberian elm(Ulmus pumila) but I have read similar properties for other elms as well. The taste of the inner bark was very pleasant, it was even a little sweet with no bitterness or bad aftertaste. This plant is known to contain mucilage in the inner bark, this is a thickening agent that creates a gelatinous substance when added to water. So eating the inner bark of the elm does create a gelatinous substance which could be weird or offputting for some people. Its hard to say what the calorie content is but I did taste some sweetness which might indicate a significant level of sugars.

Conclusion
Based on my experiences with these tree species It does seem that the edible inner bark of certain trees can give some needed calories in a survival situation. If you completely debark a tree as high as you can reach you would be able to obtain a lot of edible material with some calories. This would probably not be a good long term survival plan but the inner bark could definitely be added to other wild edibles to give a more balanced diet. If You’re relying solely on inner bark You would still probably want to get some meat or get out of your situation as soon as possible. Another thing that makes edible inner bark a good survival food for the short term is that you can carry it easily without worrying about spoilage even in hot or cold weather. Something else that I also took away from this is that eating certain inner barks like white pine and elm is actually a good food for all situations, not just survival situations. I’ve learned to add fallen logs and trees to my list of things to look for when foraging. I feel there is still much more for the wider foraging community to learn about how to find substantial calorie sources in the winter. If you have any experience with edible inner bark please leave a comment and share any info you have.



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Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
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Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
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Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
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Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
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Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
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Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
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Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
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Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
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Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
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Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
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5 Easy to Forage Edible Winter Plants of the Northeast

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Foraging interest and activity always peaks in the fall. Then inevitably it declines quickly with the cooler weather. There is a lot of interesting plants to forage that are available in the winter and for some such as hairy bittercress they even continue to grow on days that are warm enough. Getting familiar with these plants will hopefully get us outside and engaged with nature even in the winter.

Berberis thunbergii, Japanese Barberry fruits and leaves
Berberis thunbergii, Japanese Barberry fruits and leaves (Photo By: Alpsdake / Wikimedia Commons)

Barberry(Berberis thunbergii)
I tend to be a little lazy when it comes to food preparation. That’s one reason I like to forage for barberry in the winter. It is one of the few berries like greenbrier that are available in the winter to just pick and eat with no preparation. I must admit the taste is complicated, it is mostly bitter, but with a little sweetness and a little acidity. The non-native barberry shrub is very prolific in the northeastern US and is considered invasive in much of it’s area. You should have no guilt harvesting as many berries as you want. You will likely first notice the bright red berries hanging on the shrub through most of the winter. Cutting through a branch and looking at the bright yellow wood inside is also a good identification feature along with the small and very sharp thorns lining all branches and stems. See our article Japanese Barberry, Invasive Winter Fruit for more information.

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
Norway Spruce (Picea abies). (Photo By: UnreifeKirsche / Wikimedia Commons)

Spruce(Genus: Abies)
This is one of a number of edible evergreen trees, others include eastern hemlock, fir and pine. Not all evergreen trees are edible. Yew shrubs which can sometimes take the form of small trees can be deadly toxic. The good news is that spruce are easy to distinguish from yews. It’s just good to at least be aware that they are out there sometimes growing side by side. The most common types of spruce in my area are Norway spruce, blue spruce and white spruce. These 3 are also very common across the country but it would be helpful to learn what species are common in your area. In the dead of winter spruce shoots can be used to make tea. The flavor takes a little getting used to but this quickly becomes a familiar warming tea in winter. When spring comes the spruce tree has other edible parts including young shoots and young cones. They have a strong flavor but usually not inedible and as with the tea the more you taste spruce the more familiar it becomes. See our article Spruce – Surprisingly Edible Abundant Evergreen Tree for more information.

Rose(Rosa multiflora)
Edible winter rose hips really only refer to multiflora rose as far as I know. They will sometimes hang on all the way into February depending on how quickly the cold weather sets in. All rose hips are edible but I haven’t seen others make it into the winter. If the weather gets cold quickly in december and the multiflora rose hips do not have a chance to decay they will stay on the plant for months into the winter and become sweet with the cold weather. If you have a warm winter they will likely decay in December.

Rosa multiflora
Multiflora Rose berries, also known as rose hips.

Multiflora rose is easy to identify once your looking at the vines up close. It is an invasive vine so harvest as much as you want. First you will notice the groups of rose hips projecting away from the vine. Then once you look at the vine you’ll see the large curved thorns that leave a distinctive oval scar when snapped off. Rose hips have small fibers protecting the seed. Multiflora rose hips are very small and can be eaten without a lot of concern for the small fibers. If you have the opportunity to easily harvest a lot of rose hips then making them into a tea works great. You’ll even be able to filter out the seeds and fibers through a cloth. In the early spring newly sprouted rose foliage can be eaten before it forms thorns. See our article Multiflora Rose, An Invasive but Nutritious Wild Edible for more information.

Hairy Bittercress - Cardamine hirsuta
Hairy Bittercress – Cardamine hirsuta(Photo By: Aung / Wikimedia Commons)

Hairy Bittercress(Cardamine hirsuta) and Pennsylvania Bittercress(Cardamine pensylvanica)
Hairy Bittercress is a small winter annual lawn weed which is a member of the cabbage family. A Winter annual is a plant that has the opposite life cycle than many of the summer annual weeds that are common such as crab grass and wood sorrel. Winter annuals like hairy and pennsylvania bittercress are generally seeded in the summer, they grow all the way through the winter in a semi-dormant state then release seed and die the next summer. Pennsylvania bittercress has most of the same characteristics as hairy bittercress but grows in wetter environments. These plants have a characteristic shape when young. They consist of a basal rosette of pinnately compound leaves. Each leaflet resembles a small rounded heart shape. In the spring and summer they develop flower stalks from the center of the foliage. Bittercress has edible leaves and roots, although its probably easier to just cut the leaves from the roots. Each plant is very small in the winter but they are often very plentiful and easy to harvest. The flavor is mild resembling other members of the cabbage family. See our article Bittercress, a Nationwide Herb for more information.

White Pine - Pinus strobus
White Pine – Pinus strobus (Photo By: MPF / Wikimedia Commons)

Pine(Genus: Pinus)
This is another edible evergreen tree. As mentioned before not all evergreen trees have edible foliage. The yew shrub is very toxic but it can easily be distinguish from spruce and the other edible evergreen trees. I write this paragraph with white pine in mind since it’s what I encounter the most and is extremely common in the northeastern US but the information applies to other pine trees as well. As with spruce, pine foliage also makes a great winter tea. The flavor is strong and does take some getting used to but it quickly becomes a comforting tea in my opinion. There are stories of native Americans eating young bark and inner bark throughout the winter. I have not found a way to prepare the bark to be palatable but its possible that it wasn’t very palatable to them either, or maybe they just got used to it. In the spring the shoots and young cones are edible. I have taken a liking to these but they too have a strong flavor. See our article on White Pine for more information.



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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

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eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
Read more.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
Read more.
Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers
Read more.
Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea
Read more.
Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber
Read more.
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits
Read more.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed
Read more.
Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible
Read more.
Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible
Read more.

5 Reasons Why Lab Grown Meat is Better

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What is Clean Meat?
For those of you living in a cave(which some of our readers probably do) and haven’t heard of the recent advances in lab grown meat, let me update you. Within the last 2-5 years “clean meat” companies as they prefer to be called have made significant progress toward the goal of affordably producing lab grown meat for the general public. A pound of lab grown meat still costs a few thousand dollars at best but now there are somewhat streamlined processes in place to make it. Companies like Memphis Meats are continuing to rapidly get prices down and increase production. These companies have their eyes set on meat production that will rival or even surpass the quality and price of traditionally grown meat. Many of them believe they will have products for sale within 5 years. All this without the need to mass breed and slaughter live animals.

First Cultured Hamburger
First Cultured Hamburger (Photo By: Nederlandse leeuw / Wikimedia Commons)

To be clear clean meat is actual meat, it is not a meat substitute. Clean meat is produced by a process in which cell cultures( typically cattle, pork or poultry muscle cells) are supplied with the environment and correct balance of nutrients to perform cell replication in a lab. Over time a few live cells can replicate into a raw living meatball but without an animal attached to it. The process is a bit more complicated involving the replication of stem cells that can turn into muscle cells but you get the idea.

The concept of growing meat in a lab seems impulsively repugnant to many. I for one find myself feeling nostalgia for the old ways of hunting and raising animals that almost every human culture has done for thousands of years. As I learned more about this new method of producing meat I developed a genuine excitement for the environmental, animal welfare and human welfare benefits that it could bring to humanity. This article will make the argument that lab grown meat is better than traditionally raised meat in almost every way.

1.Animal Welfare
This is an obvious one. Although I personally believe that humans do have the right to kill and eat animals under certain circumstances, the way it is most often done today is abhorrent. My opinion is that the life experience of the animal should be a high priority in meat production. I have seen farms where animals live till adulthood relatively peacefully outdoors, protected from predators and disease. I believe that these animals live in no less pain than they would in the wild. Most of us are aware that this is not the way that many animals deemed for consumption are treated. Pigs seem to have it particularly bad considering their assumed level of intelligence and understanding of the world. Meat animals in general are often locked in cages for much of their lives, separated from family, genetically bred to be too fat to live healthy lives and then killed in inhumane ways.

Clean meat production solves all these problems completely. Clean meat need not involve any other bodily organs than muscle and fat. There is no brain, no reproductive organs, nothing to give this living muscle tissue any kind of life experience. It can be likened to the life experience of a vegetable.

2.Disease Avoidance
For some reason when we think of lab grown meat it might seems it would be a “grosser” meat than traditional meat. Once we thoroughly consider the two processes side by side though the clean meat really does live up to its name. It is by far the “cleaner” meat. Clean meat production involves no bile, feces, tumors, parasites or any of the other vulgarities that are hopefully removed from traditional meat before consumption.

First Cultured Hamburger
First Cultured Hamburger (Photo By: Nederlandse leeuw / Wikimedia Commons)

Bacteria in particular will have an extremely difficult time inhabiting clean meat production. The meat can eventually be produced in sterile containment vessels so that it will not need to be touched by human hands during development. Each batch can be tested before distribution and destroyed if any contamination is detected. Bacteria, virus, prions, and parasites will likely be nearly non-existent in these environments.

3.Improved Nutrition
Animals take a long time to selectively breed for certain traits. Many of the meat production animals today are bred for their high fat content and speedy development. This doesn’t lead to the healthiest meat options for the developed world. According to webmd.com it is pretty clear that many types of red meat contain high levels of saturated fats which can increase the risk of heart disease if consumed regularly.

Clean meat can be selected to find the best balance between taste and nutrition. It could even be genetically modified for improved nutrition if that’s what consumers are looking for. Another added benefit is that the nutrient supply to the meat can be balanced or fortified in such a way to provide optimal nutrition for the consumer. Also there is no need to add growth hormones or antibiotics.

4.Diversified Meats
This benefits is for those of us that love eating meat. It relies on the fact that lab grown meat doesn’t require the death of any animals, only a small sample taken at some point, about the size of a biopsy needle. Virtually any type of animal can theoretically be used to make clean meat. The process will definitely have to be refined for each specific type of animal, but once it’s in place it will be easily reproducible. Many types of animals in the wild might taste better and be healthier then the big 5 that most of the world eats.

5.Reduced Land Use
Livestock grazing land accounts for about 788 million acres, that’s over 40% of the land of the lower 48 states. It might not seem like livestock grazing is bad for land, but in reality it can destroy eco systems and pollute rivers and streams. Reducing the amount of land that is used as grazing pasture will only increase plant and animal species and improve ecosystems. Not only this but according to scientificamerica.com 36% of U.S corn production is used to feed animals. Most of it(40%) is used to make biofuels and the left over grain from that process is also used to feed animals. Over 13 million acres a year of corn is harvested for animal feed.

Corn Field
Corn Field (Photo By: Antony-22 / Wikimedia Commons)

This reduction in the need for large acreage for farming of crops and animals would probably need to be done in conjunction with incentives that allow deforested private and public land to recuperate. If the price of clean meat becomes competitive with traditional meat then meat producers will have a great incentive to replace their herds with clean meat production facilities which take up only a small fraction of the land that would be required to produce the equivalent amount of traditional meat.

Negative Side Effects of Lab Grown Meat
To be fair there are a couple of negative side effects of lab grown meat. The most impactful will probably be the great reduction in available jobs in the meat industry due to the extreme increase in efficiency of lab grown meat production. This is an issue that the nation is facing in many industries. It is a huge problem that needs to be solved but it’s not specific to this industry and it’s not a good reason to forgo the benefits of lab grown meat.

The second negative side effect is that lab grown meat will not necessarily require less energy. The process might end up requiring more energy than traditional meat in some circumstances. This could contribute to global warming if we haven’t developed a cleaner form of energy production by that point.

Nature Vs Technology
I am someone who loves all things natural as well as traditional ways of doing things. That being said there are times when the best thing for the natural world is the most cutting edge technology available. Humans have been a destructive force for the natural world for at least the last 10,000 years. If we want to live on this earth with anywhere near the human population we have today without destroying it then naturalists like me should get comfortable with the fact that the solutions are going to start coming more from science and technology and less from tradition.



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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

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our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

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eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
Read more.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
Read more.
Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers
Read more.
Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea
Read more.
Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber
Read more.
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits
Read more.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed
Read more.
Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible
Read more.
Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible
Read more.

Wild Carrot – Queen Anne’s Lace

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The Wild Carrot(Daucus carota) also known as queen anne’s lace is the direct descendant of our domesticated carrot. These plants are meadow flowers that tend to be biennial but can live for 1 to 5 years depending on weather and it’s genetic makeup. Once an individual plant flowers it dies that winter. Carrot is a native European species which has been cultivated for at least 4000 years. Some of the oldest cultivated carrot seeds were found in Switzerland and Germany. There is also good evidence that carrots were cultivated in Afghanistan very early on. The wild carrot was brought to the new world during the migration of Europeans to America. It’s likely that it was unintentionally brought over hidden within farming supplies and probably was intentionally brought over as an aromatic herb. It currently grows in the vast majority of the United States and is considered a noxious weed in many of those states.

Edibility and culinary use

First it must be mentioned that a notoriously poisonous plant is a close look a like to the wild carrot. There will be more on this later in the article under the subheadings, Identification and Cautions.

Wild carrot’s close relative the domesticated carrot is known for its sweet and tender root. The root of the wild carrot is not very sweet or very tender but it is edible cooked and does contain starch. I have eaten wild carrot root and it is reminiscent of a regular carrot but eating wild carrot root is a bit more of a rustic experience. Choosing the right plant at the right time of year is key to maximizing your dining experience with wild carrot. First of all its pointless to harvest this plant for it’s root any other time than fall or early winter. At this time the one year old plants that have not flowered will be storing large quantities of starch in the root to prepare itself for growth and flowering the next year. To harvest just look for an individual plant that has no flower and dig it up by the root. Many roots will be small but hopefully you’ll find a few larger roots. It may be the case that roots from different locations taste better or worse as a result of soil nutrients, so harvesting from different locations may be worthwhile.

Carrot greens also have a long history of being cultivated as an aromatic herb that can be added to foods for flavoring and fragrance. This part of the plant can be harvested any time of year. It is similar to parsley but has a tougher texture. This herb works well in soups and other cooked foods that tenderize the foliage.

Health benefits

Carrots are famous for being good for the eyes. This is mostly only true in developing countries where people might have vitamin A deficiencies which can lead to serious eye problems including blindness. Carrots contain beta-carotene which is used by the body to produce vitamin A. This is also true of carrot greens.

Besides for their benefits in producing vitamin A carrot roots and greens are a serious source of many beneficial vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron. Even if you don’t go foraging for wild carrot greens this article might inspire you to at least start using carrot greens from the grocery store when cooking.

Identification

Queen Anne's Lace Flower
Queen Anne’s Lace Flower (Photo By: Kurt Stuber/Wikimedia Commons)

Wild carrot has a few lethally poisonous look a likes including the notorious poison hemlock and the closely related water hemlock. Therefore It is imperative to identify Wild carrot correctly but fortunately there are 2 very good identification characteristics that set it apart from It’s poisonous look a likes.

The best way for beginners to keep an eye out for wild carrot is to look for the familiar lacy white flowers in fields in late summer. Initially you can Identify wild carrot by the growth habit and leaf shape also, but these are not particularly unique looking. Once you believe you are looking at wild carrot there are a couple things you can do to confirm your identification. The first thing is to look at the center of the flower cluster for a very tiny purple floret. It isn’t always present on wild carrot but it usually is and it’s never present on it’s poisonous look a likes such as poison hemlock. The second characteristic that sets wild carrot apart from its poisonous look a likes is the fragrance. The root and foliage smell like you guessed it……. carrot. When you are harvesting the root you will have to rely on the fragrance heavily to confirm your identification since you wont be harvesting plants with flowers. There are many other minor details that distinguish wild carrot from other plants. This includes flower umbel pattern, stem color, amount of hair on the stem, root growth pattern, growing location, leaf shape and more. This is a specific case where I would encourage further research specifically into identification of this species by referencing an identification guide like this one.

Cautions
As mentioned in the preceding paragraph there are a few extremely toxic look a likes and a couple of good ways to distinguish wild carrot from those. Other than this very important caution the only other caution with this plant is that the foliage can cause dermatitis for some people when handled.

It should also be noted that as is the case with many plants such as onions there are minor toxins in the plant but would almost never be an issue for humans during normal consumption. Grazing animals can sometimes be affected after eating large amounts of wild carrot greens.

Conclusion
Wild Carrot is a very familiar wildflower for many parts of the country. The flower’s lacy characteristic contributed to it’s common name queen anne’s lace. This historic plant has been cultivated into a staple food for many cultures around the globe. The Wild version of the carrot has also worked it’s way around the globe as a field wildflower. Once you familiarize yourself with the wild carrot and it’s poisonous look a likes you’ll notice that it is often far more abundant than any of it’s poisonous look a likes. You can see the global range of wild carrot on this compiled map of growing locations. It is truly an abundant wild edible worldwide.



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Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
Read more.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
Read more.
Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers
Read more.
Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea
Read more.
Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber
Read more.
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits
Read more.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed
Read more.
Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible
Read more.
Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible
Read more.

Broccoli and Wild Garlic Recipe

Wild Garlic
Wild garlic is a name that actually refers to many edible plants. This particular Wild Garlic (allium vineale), also called Crow Garlic, is a very common species introduced from Europe and Africa. Onions, leeks, and shallots are also in the genus allium. Wild Garlic grows in many soil types, and is most active in spring and fall. See our article about wild garlic for more information.

Identifying Wild Garlic
The primary way to identify Wild Garlic is by smell. All allium species, including Wild Garlic, should smell like garlic, onion, shallots or leeks. This is especially true for the bulb. Don’t harvest the plant if you don’t smell this. There are toxic look a likes out there that don’t smell like garlic or onion. Wild Garlic has a hollow leafy structure with a single tube, much like chives. Wild garlic is easy to spot in early spring and late fall, as it is dark green in color before and after other plants produce their green foliage.

Cooking with Wild Garlic
Although Wild Garlic (allium vineale) is not the exact same species as the cultivated garlic (allium sativum) that you can find at any super market, it can be used in all the same ways. The bulb is slightly smaller and the flavor is a bit milder and less pungent. The flower head and bulbils that grow in its place can also be used if harvested in summer when it’s present. Also the green stems can be used like chives.

Health Benefits of Wild Garlic
Just like domestic Garlic, Wild Garlic is loaded with vitamins and minerals and has many health benefits. These include lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and aiding in the proper functioning of the digestive system. Wild Garlic also likely has antiseptic properties like it’s domestic cousin, and may help regulate blood sugar.

Cautions
All allium species are toxic in certain quantities to certain consumers. Humans have the ability to eat large quantities without being effected. However, grazing animals have been poisoned from eating large quantities. And take care around Felix and Fido, as garlic and other allium species are toxic to cats and dogs, and can be poisoned from small quantities. Also beware of the poisonous Wild Garlic look-alikes, such as Star Of Bethlehem and the death cama.

Ingredients
3 lbs fresh broccoli (stems cut off)
1/2 cup olive oil
2-4 lemons
8 wild garlic bulbs(each bulb is only about as big as one clove of domesticated garlic)
Ground pepper
Salt
Water

Directions
1. Rinse broccoli thoroughly. Roughly chop to separate florets.
2. Add to medium pot with 1/3-1/2 cup of water.
3. Heat over high heat to bring water to boil.
4. Lower to low heat, cover with lid and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
5. Peel garlic, finely chop and place in a bowl.
6. Juice lemons over strainer into measuring cup.
7. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice to bowl with garlic. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
8. Remove cooked broccoli and add to large bowl.
9. Pour garlic sauce over broccoli and gently toss to coat.
10. Enjoy.

Autumn Olive Fruit Leather Recipe

Autumn Olive Introduction
Autumn Olive (elaeagnus umbellata) is an invasive shrub that was introduced to the United States in the 1930s. By the 1950s it was promoted as a great food source for the wildlife and people of the Central and Eastern U.S. but it’s hearty nature and pervasiveness was underestimated. Autumn Olive’s abundant fruit production, ability to propagate in many soil types, and avian seed dispersal allowed the plant to grow so densely that is shaded out native species. Read our article focusing on autumn olive for more information.

Health Benefits of Autumn Olive
Interestingly, Autumn Olive fruit has a high fatty acid content, which is not common in fruits. Autumn Olive berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, C and E. They also boast antioxidants called flavanoids, and natural sugars and proteins.

Eating Autumn Olive
The only part of Autumn Olive known to be edible is the berries that ripen and turn from tan to red in fall. If you look closely you’ll note that the leaves and fruit are covered in tiny silver dots. The ripe berries are very tart and sweet. They are best used for baking recipes with fruity fillings, like pies. They also make excellent preserves, like fruit leather and jam.

Ingredients
8-10 cups autumn olive berries(harvested in the fall when the berries are red)
4-8 oz water
Sweetener (honey, agave nectar, sugar, stevia, etc.)

Directions
1. Place large pot on stove. Add berries and water.
2. Heat pot over high heat.
3. Stir and mash berries until liquid comes to simmer, about 3 minutes.
4. Reduce heat low and simmer until most berries have burst, about 10 minutes.
5. Use wooden spoon to push thickened berry mixture through sieve into large bowl. Or use food mill to remove seeds and stems.
6. Add sweetener to taste, if you prefer.

If using dehydrator:
1. Lightly coat 2 fruit roll sheets or parchment paper with vegetable oil.
2. Thinly spread berry mixture over sheets and place in dehydrator tray.
3. Set dehydrator to 135-140 degrees F and dry for 10 hours, or until fruit is no longer sticky.

If using oven:
1. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Spread berry mixture over sheets and place in oven.
3. If possible, set oven to 135-140 degrees F and dry for 10 hours, or until fruit is no longer sticky.
4. If lowest setting is higher than 135-140 degrees F, set to lowest setting and dry until fruit is no longer sticky.

To finish Fruit Leather:
1. Remove fruit leather and cut into strips with knife or pizza roller.
2. Roll up fruit leather and store in an air tight container. Store in freezer if fruit leather is still tacky.
3. Enjoy.

Linden Flower Tea Recipe

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The Linden Tree
The American Linden Tree (Tilia americana), is a medium to large tree native to New England. Also known as the Basswood Tree, other trees in the genus include the European Little and Large leaf species, and the Asian Japanese and Chinese Lime Tree species. Although not closely related to actual Lime Trees in the Citrus genus, Linden Trees are often called Lime Trees outside the U.S. See our article focusing on the linden tree for more information.

Linden Tree, Tilia cordata, Small leaved Linden leaves and flower bunches
Tilia cordata, Small leaved Linden leaves and flower bunches (Photo By: N p holmes / Wikimedia Commons)

Linden Health Benefits
Linden flowers, and leaves most likely, contain glycosides and antioxidants called flavonoids. Cultures have used the leaves, flowers, wood, and bark of the Linden Tree for medicinal purposes for centuries. Teas and tinctures made from Linden are commonly used to help with cold and flu symptoms, cough and soar throats. It has a generally calming effect, reduces sleeplessness and helps ease anxiety. Linden tea properties are believed to relieve indigestion, upset stomach, gas, bloating, nausea and vomiting. More medicinal uses include treating inflammation, allergies, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, excessive sweating and tense muscles.

Linden Cautions
Contact rashes from Linden tea are very rare. A slight narcotic effect might be felt if the flowers used to make the tea are too old.

Linden Flower
Linden trees boast distinctive heart-shaped leaves that are edible all spring, summer and fall. Linden flowers are light yellow, fragrant and delicate, and are a very popular flower for honey bees. The leaves can be eaten raw and make a great lettuce substitute in salads or sandwiches. Linden flowers are commonly made into a tea. Linden tea has a strong sweet and floral taste and can be consumed hot or cold. You can combine linden flower with other herbs like elderflower and spearmint to enhance the flavor.

Ingredients
2-4 tablespoons dried linden flowers
8 oz water

Directions
1. Add water to small pot and heat over medium heat to boil.
2. Add leaves to tea cup or mug.
3. Remove pot from heat and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
4. Pour hot, but not boiling water over leaves or tea bag.
5. Let steep for 3-15 minutes.
6. Strain loose leaves from tea.
7. Enjoy.



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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

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our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

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eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
Read more.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
Read more.
Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers
Read more.
Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea
Read more.
Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber
Read more.
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits
Read more.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed
Read more.
Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible
Read more.
Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible
Read more.

Staghorn Sumac Tea

The Staghorn Sumac Tree
Wild sumac is a shrub or small tree native to North America. Common to much of Michigan, the Great Lakes region and New England, Staghorn Sumac (rhus typhina) is easily identified by its fuzzy compound leaves and cone-shaped cluster of red berries. See our article on Staghorn sumac for more information.

Rhus typhina, Staghorn Sumac fruit cluster
Rhus typhina, Staghorn Sumac fruit cluster (Photo By: Rasbak / Wikimedia Commons)

Staghorn Sumac Health Benefits
Sumac is an ancient medicinal plant with antioxidant properties, and significant levels of Vitamin C. Native Americans used Sumac to treat colds, sore throats, fever, infections, diarrhea, dysentery and scurvy. Sumac has also been used to treat asthma and cold sores. It also lowers blood sugar, as it has hypoglycemic properties and can aid in diabetes management. Ground berries mixed with clay created a salve used on open wounds, and Sumac berries are also used in smokers by beekeepers.

Staghorn Sumac Cautions
People who have very sensitive skin or severe allergies may have an allergic reaction to Staghorn Sumac. Other plants in this family, including mangoes and cashews, can also cause irritations and inflammation. There is a similar looking plant that is infamous as a skin irritant called poison sumac, It will give most people the same type of rash as poison ivy. The leaves look similar but poison sumac has green or white berries that hang down in bunches not red berries that go upward in a pyramidal cluster. Another minor concern for some people is that small grubs can also take up residence inside of the berry clusters of staghorn sumac.

The Staghorn Sumac Fruit
Despite these berries having a fuzzy look and feel, the Sumac fruit cluster is technically edible. But it is only really enjoyable when prepared properly. Sumac is used to make a drink called Indian Lemonade, referring to indigenous or Native Americans. The fruit ripens and becomes a maroon color from late summer to early fall. Once ripe and ready for consumption, use berries to add flavor to pies, or steep in cold or room temperature water. Avoid hot and boiling water to prevent bringing out the tannins and developing a bitter taste.

Ingredients
3-6 sumac berry clusters
8-12 cups cold water
Sweetener (honey, agave nectar, sugar, stevia, etc.)

Directions
1. Place berry clusters in plastic sandwich bag and crush slightly, if you prefer.
2. Add berries to pitcher.
3. Add water to berries and soak 8-16 hours.
4. Pour liquid into large bowl through coffee filter or layered cheese cloth to remove solids(including tiny hairs and pieces of stem).
5. Rinse pitcher and add strained tea back to pitcher.
6. Add sweetener of choice to taste and stir.
7. Enjoy.

Veggie Banana Leaf Tamales Recipe

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Features of Banana Leaves
The huge leaves of the banana plant are used in cooking and cultures all around the world. The deep roots of the Japanese banana plant manage to stay alive below the frost line, allowing the plant to live in cold climates. After each winter season the tree grows to full size again, an astonishing 10-15 feet by the end of the summer, with the leaves reaching up to 6 feet long and 18 inches wide. For more information on the hardy Japanese banana plant see our article.

Banana leaves are used around the world to wrap up meals and steam them inside the leaves. They are often used to steam fish with other veggies or spices, and often used to make different types of meat and veggie stuffed doughy meals. Mexican Tamales, South American Pasteles, Indian Idlis, Filipino Bibingka, and many more recipes use banana leaves.

Health Benefits of Banana Leaves
Banana leaves contain antioxidants found in many plants and green tea called polyphenols. So cooking your food in this manner infuses your meal with additional antioxidants, as well as imparting flavor.

Food cooked in banana leaves
(Photo By: Dr d12 / Wikimedia Commons)

Tamales Wrapped in Banana Leaves
Tamales wrapped in banana or plantain leaves is common cuisine in Mexico and Central America. It can be a very long and involved process, so it is often a social event where several dozens are made at a time. The vegetarian filling can be substituted with pulled pork, shredded chicken, chorizo or carnitas. This recipe makes about 12 tamales, but you can easily scale it up and freeze the extras, as tamales freeze well.

Ingredients
1 lb fresh hardy Japanese banana leaves

2 lbs vegetarian or non-vegetarian prepared masa

Chile Sauce:
3 pablano chiles
1 medium garlic clove
1/4 tsp ground clove
Ground pepper
Salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Vegetable Filling:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion
4 medium garlic cloves
2 zucchinis
2 plum tomatoes
1 cup spinach leaves
Salt
12 oz Pepper Jack cheese

Directions
To prepare Banana Leaves:
1. Cut away thick edges of leaves.
2. Cut and remove central stem and rinse if using fresh leaves.
3. If leaves are brittle, carefully hold over lit gas burner or hot pan for a few seconds, until softened.
4. Dry leaves with towel or paper towels.
5. Cut leaves into 12 (8 inch x 10 inch) rectangles.
6. Cut extra leaves for steaming.
7. Set aside.

To prepare Chile Sauce:
1. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat.
2.Make a slit down the side of each chile using sharp knife.
3. Use tongs to open and place chiles open-side down in hot pan. Press with metal spatula for 10 seconds.
4. Turn over and cook another 15 seconds, until softened.
5. Add chiles and 1 1/2 cups warm water to blender.
6. Peel and add garlic, clove, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend 1-2 minutes, until smooth.
7. Pour blended chile sauce into sauté pan.
8. Heat pan over medium heat. Bring sauce to a simmer.
9. Add olive oil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare Vegetable Filling:
1. Add olive oil to extra large sauté pan. Heat over high heat.
2. Peel and chop garlic and onion. Chop carrots, zucchini and tomatoes.
3. Add garlic, onions and carrots to hot oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently with wooden spoon.
4. Add tomatoes and zucchini. Sauté for a 2 minutes.
5. Add spinach leaves and salt to taste. Stir until wilted, about 1 minute.
6. Remove from heat.
7. Add 1/2 cup chile sauce to pan.
8. Set aside.
9. Cut cheese into strips 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.

To assemble Tamales:
1. Lay down cut banana leaf, lighter, smoother side up.
2. Place a 1/3 cup prepared masa in the center of leaf. Press down with palm or wide wooden spoon to lightly spread.
3. Add 3/4 teaspoon chili sauce over masa. Add cheese.
4. Add 1/3 cup sautéed vegetables.
5. Fold longer sides of banana leaf over, tucking one edge under the other. Fold shorter sides under tamale to make snug package.
6. Tie with kitchen string to secure.
7. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

To cook Tamales:
1. Place steamer rack or wire cooling rack in bottom of extra large stockpot with lid.
2. Add water to pot until it almost reaches but does not touch the rack.
3. Cover rack with extra banana leaves.
4. Place tamales on rack in single layer, then cover with layer of banana leaves.
5. Cover last layer of tamales with banana leaves. Cover pot with lid.
6. Heat over high heat to bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
7. Cook for 45-60 minutes.
8. Use tongs to remove tamales. Use knife to cut kitchen string.
9. Carefully unwrap tamales from banana leaf.
10. Enjoy.



Featured Videos - eattheplanet.org

Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list

our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

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eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible
Read more.
Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy
Read more.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible
Read more.
Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers
Read more.
Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea
Read more.
Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber
Read more.
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits
Read more.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed
Read more.
Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible
Read more.
Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible
Read more.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Recipe

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Lion’s mane mushroom strictly refers to Hericium erinaceus but other members of the genus Hericium are very similar and can be identified and used in the same ways. This is a genus of edible mushrooms that also have medicinal properties. These mushrooms are easy to identify and have a great unique flavor. Mushrooms in the genus Hericium are sometimes hard to find but they grow in much of north america and the world so it’s beneficial for all of us to be familiar with this unique genus. You can read more in our article featuring lion’s mane mushroom.

Improves digestive health
The plant has proven to be very useful in promoting digestive health. It allows the stomach and liver to function properly. It also protects the liver. It is effective against chronic gastritis, duodenal ulcers and gastric ulcers. Many patients have used it to relieve mental apathy (also called neurasthenia). Its use as a fortifying tonic for health has also paid off.

Useful as a dietary supplement
Today, the fungus shows its effectiveness in clinical use. Doctors recommend it as a dietary supplement. The reason is the positive effect on mood, brain health and memory. Scientific studies have shown that the fungus can increase neurotrophic activity. Stimulates the growth of nerve or brain cells, thereby increasing neurotrophic activity. This effect improves your reputation as a cerebral stimulant and antidepressant.

Reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol

Lion’s Mane Mushroom is known not only for medical purposes but also for lowering cholesterol. A unique and submerged fungal culture lowers cholesterol by about 32%. The same culture lowers LDL cholesterol by about 45.4%. It also reduces triglycerides by up to 34.3%. More importantly, it increases HDL cholesterol by about 31%, which is good cholesterol. Eliminate the bad and increase the good cholesterol.

The other health benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom include:
anticancer effects
treating ulcers
decreasing the levels of serum glucose while increasing serum insulin levels
healing wounds

Ingredients
1 cup chopped Lion’s mane mushrooms
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

Method

1. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a small pan.
2. Once the coconut oil is warmed up, add the garlic powder and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Put the chopped Lion’s mane mushrooms in the pan and start cooking. The oil can be absorbed quickly by the mushrooms, that’s fine, do not add oil.
4. Season with salt and pepper, turn occasionally and stir to make sure all sides are cooked. Cook for about 10 minutes.
5. Enjoy

Featured Videos - eattheplanet.org



Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list




our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

Follow us on Twitter @EatThePlanetOrg


eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Read more.

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Read more.

Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible

Read more.

Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers

Read more.

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea

Read more.

Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber

Read more.

Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits

Read more.

Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed

Read more.

Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible

Read more.

Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible

Read more.


Jamaican Callaloo Soup Recipe

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Amaranth (genus: Amaranth) is a genus of plants that is native to America, Africa, Asia and Europe. It is a major food source in all these places because it can grow in many types of soils, and most, if not all, members of the genus have edible leaves, roots and seeds. This article is about Common Amaranth( Amaranthus retroflexus) which is native to America. Common amaranth is also native to the tropical regions of America, but as an annual weed whos seeds can overwinter in cold climates it has become naturalized in many other parts of the world, including the United States. You can read more in our article featuring Amaranth.

In Jamaica Amaranth is called callaloo. This should not be confused with other Caribbean islands who refer to completely different plants by that same name callaloo. Callaloo soup is an extremely common traditional food in Jamaican cuisine.

Health benefit
Amaranth is rich in fiber and protein, as well as many important micronutrients.
In particular, amaranth is a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Calories: 251
Protein: 9.3 grams
Carbs: 46 grams
Fat: 5.2 grams
Manganese: 105% of the RDI
Magnesium: 40% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI
Iron: 29% of the RDI
Selenium: 19% of the RDI
Copper: 18% of the RDI
Amaranth is packed with manganese, exceeding your daily nutrient needs in just one serving. Manganese is especially important for brain function and believed to protect against certain neurological conditions .It’s also rich in magnesium, an essential nutrient involved in nearly 300 reactions in the body, including DNA synthesis and muscle contraction .What’s more, amaranth is high in phosphorus, a mineral that is important for bone health. It’s also rich in iron, which helps your body produce blood

Ingredients

2 bundles (12 oz) Amaranth(Jamaican Callaloo) leaves and stems
1 lb sweet potato
½ cup white onion
12 oz pork salted meat
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup chive
½ teaspoon all purpose seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups almond milk
8 cups water
1 tablespoon butter

Method

1. Cut the salted meat; Soak for 1 hour.
2. Cook salt and fresh meat for half an hour in a medium or large pot
3. Cut the amaranth leaves. Wash thoroughly
4. Add to the meat; add, water and bring everything to a boil.
5. Add the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning
6. Reduce heat; Cook until meat and vegetables are tender.
2. 10 minutes before the soup is ready

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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list




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eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Read more.

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Read more.

Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible

Read more.

Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers

Read more.

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea

Read more.

Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber

Read more.

Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits

Read more.

Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed

Read more.

Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible

Read more.

Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible

Read more.


Breaded Puffball Mushroom Recipe

Check Out Our Latest YOUTUBE videos:


Puffball mushrooms are named because of the brown dusty spores that are ejected when the ripe fruit body bursts or gets hit. The puffballs belong to the Basidiomycota Division and include several genera, including Calvatia, Calbovista and Lycoperdon. When foraging, identifying true puffballs is extremely important because there are some lethally toxic look a likes. The good news is that identifying true puffballs is a simple task if you follow one rule. The rule is that true puffballs are pure white on the inside with absolutely no coloration or markings, especially not gill markings resembling other mushrooms. Follow this rule and you will be harvesting true puffballs. You can read more in our article about puffball mushrooms.

Puffball mushrooms are available from late summer to fall. Different species of puffballs mushrooms grow in many parts of the world. Giant puffball(Calvatia gigantea) are a great choice for this recipe, they grow in temperate regions of the US. They appear on fields and lawns. Some smaller species form circles of puffball mushrooms called fairy rings. Some of these rings in the United States are over 400 years old. As they mature, puffball mushrooms open or open due to natural forces and can release millions of spores.

Giant Puffball
Giant Puffball(Calvatia gigantea)

Health benefit
The nutritional and health benefits of this food are not adequately studied. However, there is an important health benefit to eating mushrooms in the genus Calvatia. A chemical called calvacine was found in some of these species. Calvacine is currently being studied as an effective anticancer drug because of its antitumor effect. The trials are ongoing and no significant progress has been made, but they prevent tumors when taken regularly.

Ingredients
10 slices white bread or replace with non-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour, for dredging
2 large eggs, beaten
1 large puffball mushroom or 2 1/2 cups of smaller ones.
1/2 cup coconut oil, for shallow frying

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. How to Make Breadcrumbs: Cut off the bread crust, throw it away, shred it into pieces. Spread the bread in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute with HIGH power to dry the bread. Pulse the dried bread or crumbs in a food processor with thyme, lemon zest, 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper.

3. Cut the mushrooms in slices or just keep the ball shape for small puffballs . Separate flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into 3 flat dishes. Lightly season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Dip each mushrooms pieces into the flour and shake off the excess. Then put the mushrooms prices into the egg to cover it a little and hold the mushrooms on the liquid so that the excess falls back into the bowl. Finally, add the mushrooms pieces to the bread crumbs, turn it over and press the bread crumbs on it. Insert a piece of wax paper.

4. Heat a large pan (12 inches in diameter) over medium heat. Add the oil. Place mushrooms pieces in the pan. Cook the mushrooms pieces without turning it until it turns brown (about 2 minutes). Turn the mushrooms pieces and cook on the other side till golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining mushroom pieces . When they are cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and serve or store in the refrigerator for later.



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Shiitake Mushroom Recipe

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The shiitake mushroom(Lentinula edodes ) is a fungus native to Japan. It is a popular mushroom in Asia, but has recently begun to enter the European and American markets. What makes this mushroom so interesting is that Shiitake, unlike many other popular mushrooms like Portabella, is very easy to grow.

Today, China is by far the world’s largest producer of shiitake mushrooms, supplying 80-90% of all commercially available mushrooms. Many other countries produce smaller quantities of these mushrooms, including Korea, Japan, Brazil and the United States. Worldwide, around 150,000 tons of shiitake mushrooms are produced each year. You can read more in our article about shiitake mushrooms.

Health benefit
Shiitakes are low in calories. They also provide good amounts of fiber as well as B vitamins and some minerals.

Here are the nutrients you get in four dried shiitake mushroom caps(15 grams) :
Calories: 44.
Carbs: 11 grams.
Fiber: 2 grams.
Protein: 1 gram.
Riboflavin: 11% of the RDI.
Niacin: 11% of the RDI.
Copper: 39% of the RDI.
Vitamin B5: 33% of the RDI.
Selenium: 10% of the RDI.
Manganese: 9% of the RDI.
Zinc: 8% of the RDI.
Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI.
Folate: 6% of the RDI.
Vitamin D: 6% of the RDI.

In addition, shiitakes contain many of the same amino acids as meat. They also contain polysaccharides, terpenoids, sterols and lipids, which are due to increased immunity, a reduction in cholesterol levels and an anti-cancer effect .All of these properties may vary depending on the location and culture, storage and use of mushrooms.

Ingredients
1 pound, shitakes, mushrooms
3 tablespoons avocado oil
2 white onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon garlic clove
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped mixed herbs like basil, Cilantro , Parsley all great with mushrooms
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped

Method
1. Thoroughly clean shitakes mushrooms.
2. Cut the shitakes mushrooms from 1/8 “to 1/4” thick.
3. Heat the avocado oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped white onion, cook for 1 minute and add the shitakes mushrooms.
4. Cook with constant stirring for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their juice and brown.
5. Add the garlic clove and apple cider vinegar, increase the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes until the wine has completely evaporated.
6. Mix the herbs; Mix well and taste. Add parsley and serve.

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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

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our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

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eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Read more.

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Read more.

Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible

Read more.

Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers

Read more.

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea

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Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber

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Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
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Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
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Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
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Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible

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Quick Sautéed Hen of the woods Recipe

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Hen of the Woods(Grifola frondosa) also goes by another name. “Maitake” means “to dancing” in Japanese. It is said that the mushroom takes its name from people who have happily danced to find it in the wild.
The Mushroom grows wild in parts of Japan, China and North America. It grows in the depths of oak, elm and maple. It can even be grown at home, although it does not usually grow as well as it does in the wild. Normally, the fungus can be found during the autumn months.
Although the maitake mushroom has been used in Japan and China for thousands of years, it has only gained popularity in the US over the past twenty years. People praise this mushroom for its promise of health, vitality and longevity. You can read more in our article about hen of the woods mushroom.

Health benefits
Compared to other mushrooms, Maitake has shown great results in the prevention and treatment of cancer and other health problems. Maitake also has a positive effect on overall immunity.
This Mushrooms is a kind of adaptogen. Adaptogens help the body to fight any mental or physical difficulties. They also work on the regulation of unbalanced body systems. Although this mushroom is commonly used for flavor in recipes, it is also considered a medicinal mushroom.

Maitake mushrooms are rich in:
antioxidants
beta-glucans
Vitamins B and C
copper
potassium
fiber
minerals
amino acids
Scientists are currently investigating the unique way in which the fungus promotes overall health and combats disease.

Ingredients
1 pound, hen of the woods, mushrooms
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons chopped mixed herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram are all great with mushrooms
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped

Method
1. Thoroughly clean mushrooms.
2. Cut and discard all hard parts.
3. Cut the mushrooms from 1/8 “to 1/4” thick.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, cook for 1 minute and add the hen of the woods mushrooms.
5. Cook with constant stirring for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their juice and brown.
6. Add the garlic powder and white wine, increase the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes until the wine has completely evaporated.
7. Mix the herbs; Mix well and taste. Add parsley and serve.

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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list




our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

Follow us on Twitter @EatThePlanetOrg


eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Read more.

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Read more.

Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible

Read more.

Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers

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Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea

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Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber

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Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
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Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
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Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
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Serviceberry Muffins

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Serviceberry is an interesting plant, it not only looks like blueberries but it also has a similar taste. These are from the rose family and often go by the name of Amelanchier. That is not the only name they are recognized by however, you can also find them labeled as June Berry, Shadblow Berry, Shadbush Berry, Saskatoon Berry , Sarvis Berry, Chuckle Pear and Shadwood.

Serviceberries are delicious. You could make a pie, breakfast muffins or just eat it raw. Today we would like to make a set of delicious muffin. These tasty muffins go well with a nice cup of coffee or it can be eaten as a dessert after dinner. This recipe makes 8 large muffins, if you wish to make more, you can double the recipe.

Not, familiar with ServiceBerries? Take a look at our article about serviceberry trees(Genus:Amelanchier) to learn more about this delicious plant.

 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

¾ cup of granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for muffin tops

½ tsp of kosher salt

2 tsp of baking powder

⅓ cup of vegetable oil

1 large egg

⅓ – ½ cup of milk; dairy and non-dairy both work

1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract

1 cup of fresh or frozen Serviceberries

½ tsp of ground nutmeg

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees Celsius).

Using a muffin sheet, line 8 cups with muffin cups.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients (baking powder, nutmeg, flour and salt) together and put to the side.

In a smaller bowl mix all the wet ingredients ( egg, vanilla, milk, and oil) together.

Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir slowly.

Once batter is mix together with a smooth appearance, add the ServiceBerries and gently mix them into the batter.

Once everything is incorporated into the large bowl use a ½ cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the muffin tray.

If you have one or two muffin cups that does not have any batter, pour some water into it when you place it in the oven.

Lightly sprinkle sugar on the top of each muffin.

Bake muffins 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are no longer wet and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out with crumbs, not wet batter.

When muffins are complete, transfer them to a cooling rack and enjoy!

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Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list




our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

Follow us on Twitter @EatThePlanetOrg


eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Read more.

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Read more.

Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible

Read more.

Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers

Read more.

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
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Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
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Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
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Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
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Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
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Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
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Garlic Lamb’s Quarters Recipe

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Lamb quarters is a very important crop in northern India but in the USA it is often seen as a weed. This leafy vegetable comes from the Amaranthaceae family and a common name that it also goes by is goosefeet. Occasionally people may call it pigweed, however pigweed is a different plant and has several varieties that are edible. Lamb quarters has a similar taste and consistency to that of spinach; it goes well with salads, steamed vegetables and/or a nice piece of steak.

This leafy vegetable can be cooked by steaming or simply by stir frying it with other vegetables. Garlic is a nice complimentary flavor that goes well with a little bit of salt to pack it with extra flavor. If you have never heard about Lamb Quarters, check out our article all about lamb’s quarters.

A word of caution should be kept in mind when eating this edible plant, when eating raw please eat in moderation since this plant has high amount of oxalic acid just like other familiar plants such as spinach. Oxalic acid can aggravate some conditions such as kidney stones.

Ingredients
½ lemon ( you will need the juice from this)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp unsalted butter
10 ounces of fresh Lamb’s Quarters ( Washed and patted dry)
4 cloves of garlic ( thinly sliced)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1) Over medium heat, place a saucepan and heat butter until it has fully melted.
2) Add garlic and cook until fragrant approx. 2 minutes.
3) Add Lamb’s quarters a handful at a time and stir gently.
4) When the lamb’s quarters appear to have wilted add the lemon juice and garlic powder.
5) Stir gently.
6) Add salt and black pepper to taste.
7) Serve with your favorite steak or eat it as a main course.
8) Enjoy!

Featured Videos - eattheplanet.org



Many of our readers find that subscribing to Eat The Planet is the best way to make sure they don't miss any of our valuable information about wild edibles.

Subscribe to our mailing list




our facebook page for additional articles and updates.

Follow us on Twitter @EatThePlanetOrg


eattheplanet.org is an affiliate marketer. We may earn commission from links to products and services on this page.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Read more.

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Read more.

Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Redroot Pigweed, a Humble and Underrated Wild Edible

Read more.

Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the fall
Sourwood Tree, Gorgeous Foliage and Tasty Flowers

Read more.

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea

Read more.

Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)
Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber

Read more.

Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Juneberry, Tasty and Nutritious Native Fruits

Read more.

Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant
Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed

Read more.

Field of Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea)
Ground Ivy, an Aromatic, Evergreen Wild Edible

Read more.

Field of henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit, The Elegant and Nutritious Wild Edible

Read more.