Sassafras Root Beer

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It’s not every day that you use a potentially illegal substance to cook. Sassafras(Sassafras albidum) is the key ingredient to make root beer, but at the same time, it’s also used to produce ecstasy and MDA. The Sassafras tree is native to the Eastern United States. Despite the many controversies behind it, it’s no secret that Sassafras is a healing plant. In fact, it has been used for thousands of years by Native American tribes for its medicinal properties. To find out more about Sassafras tree, read our article Sassafras, An Illegal Substance That Grows Wild in Our Back Yards.

Sassafras is a very versatile plant. Every part of the plant is flavorful but each part of the plant has uniquely distinct flavors. The roots are the main ingredient for our recipe today. Hence the name, root beer. Sassafras root is used for its unique flavor and fragrance, giving the traditional root beer a flavor that is still mimicked today in commercial root beer soda.

Ingredients (Makes about 8-10 cups)
Several Sassafras roots from the saplings, about ¼-inch thick and cut into ½-inch pieces (should fill around ¾ to 1 cup)
½ teaspoon anise or fennel seeds
2 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
4 allspice berries
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
8 cups soda/seltzer water

Directions
Scrub the roots under running water to get rid of any dirt. cut up the roots to make ½-inch pieces. Make sure root bark is not removed and remains on the sassafras when cooking.

Fill a pot with 4 cups of water and place the roots inside. Then, add the anise seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice berries. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.

Pour in the molasses and stir the mixture thoroughly. Let the mixture simmer for 5 more minutes.
Turn off the heat and strain the mixture through a mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Clean the pot and then pour the liquid back into the pot.

Pour in the sugar and heat the mixture until just a simmer. Stir and make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool.

Fill a glass of your choice with ice cubes. Then, pour in the syrup along with the soda water in a 1:2 ratio. Serve immediately.

 



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Mission Statement
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USDA Hardiness Zone Map 1990
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Acorn Pancakes Recipe

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Oak Trees(Genus: Acer) are evergreen, broad-leaved trees that grow all over the world. The Oak Trees’ acorns are a staple food for Native American tribes and other indigenous tribes all around the world. These acorns are very common and plentiful, especially in the fall. Acorns are a great wild edible since they’re packed with calories from healthy fats. To read more about the Oak Tree Acorns, read our article Oak Tree Acorns, A High Calorie Wild Edible.

Collecting Acorns
Before we move on to the recipe, you should know that some acorn species can taste awfully bitter. This is because different species contain different levels of tannin. Get rid of the tannin by peeling the acorns, mashing them, then washing them continuously in cold water. Also, if you’re foraging acorns that have fallen on the ground, you might want to keep an eye out for weevil grubs. They are harmless and safe to eat, but most people get squeamish about them so take a look inside when you break open the acorns.

Ingredients (Makes 6-8 pancakes)
1 cup wheat flour
¼ cup acorn grits (leached, cooked, and drained)
1 large egg
¾ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon oil
¾ teaspoon orange zest

Directions
To make syrup: combine butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat and set aside for later.

To make pancakes: grease a skillet or a griddle using butter or non-stick cooking spray. Warm skillet over medium heat.

In a bowl, combine wheat flour, salt, and baking soda. This is your dry ingredients mixture.

In another bowl, whisk the egg along with the milk until well-combined. Then, add in acorn grits, sugar, oil, and orange zest. This is your wet ingredients mixture.

Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while stirring constantly. Don’t overmix the batter. The batter should still be slightly lumpy but well-mixed.

Using a ladle, scoop pancake batter onto your skillet. Make sure to leave enough room around the pancake so you can flip it later.

Let the pancake cook until bubbles form on the top. Flip and let cook for another 2 minutes. If one side of the pancake looks too dark, turn down the heat.

Continue with the rest of the batter.

Stack pancakes on a serving plate. Drizzle with syrup and serve immediately.



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Mission Statement
Read more.
Linden Tree, Tilia cordata, Small leaved Linden leaves and flower bunches
Linden Tree – Abundant Edible Leaves and Flowers
Read more.
USDA Hardiness Zone Map 1990
US Department of Agriculture(USDA) Hardiness Zones
Read more.
Cornus kousa, Kousa Dogwood Fruits
Kousa Dogwood Fruit, Tropical Flavor in Temperate Climates
Read more.
Cichorium intybus, Chicory
Chicory, Street Side Salad Greens and Tea
Read more.
PPortulaca oleracea, Purslane Leaves and Flowers
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Read more.
Rhus typhina, Staghorn Sumac fruit cluster
Sumac, Indian Lemonade
Read more.
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Portuguese Purslane Soup

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Also known as Little Hogweed, Purslane(Portulaca oleracea ) is a very common edible weed. It can be found throughout the US and Canada as well as other parts of the world. Purslane can be found growing in sunny areas. The plant can be identified by its thick succulent-like leaves. All above ground parts of Purslane can be eaten: stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and seeds. Those parts can be consumed in almost every way you can imagine, raw or cooked, in a salad or in a sandwich. To read more about the Purslane plant, read our article Purslane, A Wild Edible Weed with Many Culinary Uses.

Health Benefits
Purslane can be a great addition to your daily diet. It’s packed with more omega-3 fatty acids than other the vast majority of other plants. It also contains a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. However, while it’s certainly a healthy ingredient, please be aware that Purslane contains oxalate. Oxalate has been linked to kidney stones. Consult a doctor before consuming vegetables with high oxalate content, such as Purslane and spinach.

Ingredients(Makes 6-7 cups)
½ cup Purslane leaves
6 cups hot water
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 medium or large potatoes, peeled and halved
40g chourico, sliced
1/3 cup parboiled variety of rice
3 teaspoons coarse or sea salt
2 teaspoons pepper
juice from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
10 fresh mint leaves (for serving)

Directions
In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil. Add in chopped onions and sauté until they’re softened and golden in color. Add in chourico and carrot, continue to sauté until fragrant. Then add in garlic and continue cooking until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Pour in the white wine and cook until almost completely evaporated. Add in the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Toss and sauté for a couple more minutes.

Add in 6 cups of hot water and bring to a boil. Slightly lower the heat and cover the pot. Let the soup simmer on high for 20 minutes or so. Remove soup from heat.

Scoop out the potatoes and chourico slices, place them in separate bowls. Mash the potatoes roughly and set aside. Meanwhile, pour the soup into a blender or food processor and purée until completely smooth. Then, pour the soup back into the pot.

Add rice to the pot and boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir so the rice doesn’t stick. Cover the pot and let simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover, then add purslane and mashed potatoes. Bring to a boil and let simmer uncovered for 10 more minutes, or until the rice is just cooked. Stir occasionally. Lastly, add in cinnamon and the lemon juice. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Remove from heat and scoop soup into bowls. Garnish with mint leaves on top and serve while hot.

 



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



Mission Statement
Read more.
Linden Tree, Tilia cordata, Small leaved Linden leaves and flower bunches
Linden Tree – Abundant Edible Leaves and Flowers
Read more.
USDA Hardiness Zone Map 1990
US Department of Agriculture(USDA) Hardiness Zones
Read more.
Cornus kousa, Kousa Dogwood Fruits
Kousa Dogwood Fruit, Tropical Flavor in Temperate Climates
Read more.
Cichorium intybus, Chicory
Chicory, Street Side Salad Greens and Tea
Read more.
PPortulaca oleracea, Purslane Leaves and Flowers
Purslane, A Wild Edible Weed With Many Culinary Uses
Read more.
Rhus typhina, Staghorn Sumac fruit cluster
Sumac, Indian Lemonade
Read more.
Chenopodium album, Lamb's Quarters leaf
Lamb’s Quarters, A Great Spinach Substitute
Read more.
Lentinula edodes, Shiitake Mushrooms growing on a log
Shiitake Mushrooms, Easy To Grow In Your Own BackYard
Read more.
Musa basjoo, Japanese Banana growing in USDA Zone 5
Japanese Banana, The Only Cold Hardy Banana Tree, But There Is A Catch
Read more.