Love Spring – It’s the start of spring days; flowers are waiting to burst from their buds. The food we eat becomes lighter, more fresh and green. Say goodbye to hot comfort food of the winter months. We have also celebrated National Nutrition month, so here’s a couple of recipes to tickle your taste buds.
Take a walk to your local park or along the riverbank. You may be surprised what you can find to eat for free. Be careful of your pickings though as some leaves can look similar to ones that could upset your tummies.
Wild garlic is easily identifiable, forming lush green carpets in woodlands close to bluebells, and emitting a distinctive garlicky smell. It tastes much like regular garlic but has a milder flavour than cultivated cloves. The flowers appear in spring, adding lovely colour to a salad. Use the leaves to spice stir-fry, or use it to add flavour to soups.
It has great health benefits too, including helping to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also good for gardens thanks to its ability to ward off pests and diseases, and the juice can even be used a household disinfectant.
Nettles – Ohh those prickly nettles! The pros of nettles outweigh the cons. They can be used to make tea, soup, pesto and much more. Packed with vitamins and minerals, nettles contain more vitamin C than oranges. Nettles should be harvested before the flowers appear in early spring and only the youngest leaves should be chosen.
- 50g wild garlic leaves (shredded)
- 20g fresh young nettle tips
- 10g walnuts
- lemon juice (add to taste)
- oil (add to taste)
- parmesan or a hard goats cheese (add to taste)
How to make:
Put the wild garlic, nettles into a food processor, ‘blitz’ until roughly chopped. Drizzle in the oil add the grated cheese and lemon juice. Simple!
Dandelion – They have a bad reputation in the garden as a weed, but you can eat them! They are versatile, healthy and are freely available. The whole plant can be eaten: leaves in salads, sandwiches. The flowers can be used in delicious omelettes, stir-fries or any veggie dish. If you can’t wait for the buds to open, they can be marinated and used like capers for flavour. Make dandelion coffee by grinding the dried roots and use as normal. It’s totally caffeine-free.
- 1tbsp chopped dandelion
- 1tbsp chopped wild garlic
- 1tbsp chopped onion
- 2 thin chopped slices of pancetta
- 2 tbsp of oil
- 80g risotto rice
- Warm Water
- 1 teaspoon of wild garlic pesto
How to make:
Cook the onion in the oil until translucent, add the pancetta and cook for another 5 min. Add the dandelion and wild garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the rice and toast it for 1 minute. Then add 2 ladles of water, adding more when it gets absorbed by the rice. The rice should take 20min to cook.
When the rice is cooked add the wild garlic pesto and serve.
So forget the supermarket stuff this year, take a healthy walk with the family and Forage for Free. Its FUN, FREE and Fantastic..!