If you are an outdoor enthusiast, chances are you understand how important foraging is. One of the most amazing and surprising things about traveling in the wilderness is how it compels greater awareness of your surroundings. Whether you are doing it to save money, to find something new, or to broaden your palate, it is always adventurous to find tasty things to eat in the woods. Searching for the following foods can help save money especially when traveling in the wilderness.
These are among the most conspicuous and easy wild greens to find when you are out camping. The best time to pick stinging nettles is early spring. When foraging, go for the young, pale green nettle tops. It is important to note that after late May or June, the nettles will get somewhat tough and stringy. Be careful not to pick the nettles when they have flowered and handle them with care until they are well-cooked to get rid of the string.
If there’s ever a flower that can be used to mark the transition from spring to summer, it is the elderflower. Look for this flowers from late May to early July. A common use of these flowers is creating a cordial, but its fritters are worthwhile if you believe you have an adventurous spirit. The elderberries from the elder tree is also a valuable addition to your outdoor kitchen in the later periods of the year.
- Sea Vegetables
The edible sea vegetables – sea lettuce, seaweed, kelp, or nori – are usually rich in vitamins and minerals, and is often a delicacy in most parts especially Asia. Edible sea vegetation has been consumed in various parts of the world as it can be found just about anywhere along the coast. Foraging of the sea vegetables occurs in the intertidal zone, usually at the rocky shores. To get familiar with edible sea vegetables, it is imperative to seek advice from a local guide. You also need to be careful about the slippery rock to avoid injuring yourself when foraging. In addition to that, you’ll need to avoid picking the vegetables in places that are contaminated with industrial activities or sewage outlets. You can consume sea vegetables dried, cooked, or even raw.
What You Need to Avoid
While the foods mentioned above are relatively safe in term of identification, it is important that you are 100 percent sure that whatever you are consuming is what you believe it to be. For example, one of the delicious herbs, wild chervil, looks almost similar to hemlock which is a deadly plant that would include you into the list of ‘unfortunate ex-foragers’ at a much faster rate. Even when you are more than convinced that you picked the right fruit or vegetable, it is standard practice first to try taking small portions of the food rather than taking in a bowlful of what you have collected.
With the above information in mind, you also need to remember that foraged foods may be infested with germs. Washing could get rid of some pathogens, but cooking may be necessary to completely eliminate bacteria or other organisms in foraged food.