(Side note- This was called Just Like The Cavemen Did! But I decided to change it to be more simple).
First off, don’t forget the 4 main rules for foraging-
1. Make sure wherever you harvest is at minimum 100 ft. from a road cars drive on.
2. Make sure wherever your picking is public property (don’t pick on someone’s private land unless you’ve OK-ed it with the owners!)
3. Make sure where your picking is not somewhere that gets sprayed! You do not want chemicals all over your yummy wild food.
4. Give back to the earth and do your part to help keep the environment clean and healthy. Don’t take without giving back!!
Queen Anne’s Lace (aka) Wild Carrot!
You’ve probably seen this delicate flower along side of roads or in fields and you’ve possibly even picked it! It really is a beautiful flower and very common. It’s not something you’d look at and think, ‘Hmmm, I bet that would help prevent cancer, detox my body, taste delicious, help pass kidney stones, work as a diuretic and look pretty in a bouquet!’ But it does all that, and more! It seems more like a magic plant from an enchanted forest then a weed!
So, how do you identify it?
First off, there are large, white flowers on tall, green, hairy stems. The leaves are very feathery and whispy. In the center of each flower you will generally find a small, purple flower bud. This is know as ‘Queen Anne.’ Way back when women of high class would wear large, white, lacey collars, which is where the flower got its name. Queen Anne wearing her lace collar. They generally grow by the side of the road or in large, sunny fields. Somewhere there is poor soil.
The one poisonous look alike to Queen Anne’s lace is poison hemlock. And it is DEADLY! So make 100% certain you are picking Wild carrots and NOT Poison Hemlock. Its smaller and bushier and it looks a little different. The flowers are similar however, so make sure you can easily identify both before you accidentally pick some.
It you want to make a detox tea and fritters, all you need are the flowers and leaves. So you can just cut the, off. If you want to make root tea, you (obviously) need the roots. I suggest harvesting the roots after a rain so the ground will be softer and it will be easier to pull them out of the ground. I just picked the entire plant and brought it all home with me since I’m using all of the parts.
These are SO GOOD!! They are light and fluffy but satisying and very flavorful, they smell like popcorn when they’re frying. It tastes like your eating something that costs 50 bucks a plate. They are m favorite food. Plus, pollen is a super food!!
You will need-
Queen Anne’s Lace flowers
Eggs from pastured chickens
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Coconut oil for frying
Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and lightly whisk the eggs in another. Dip the flowers first in the eggs then into the dry mix. (I used the butt where the flower hatched to the stem as a handle to dip and put in the oil.) Place in a skillet with an inch deep of oil over high heat. (Don’t start cooking until the oil is sizzling). Fry them up flower side down, stem side up for 30 seconds to a minute, or once they become crispy and golden brown Eat while they are warm and crispy!
The roots are known commonly as wild carrots. When you pick them they smell just like carrots. This post would end up pages long if I delved deep into all the medicinal benefits reaped from the roots of this plant, so I will stick to a few and if you’d like to read a more detailed list, click here. There are studies showing it has anticancer activities as well as being useful in treating HIV, infertility, diabetes, Leukemia, migraines, Spina Bifida and even all the way down to treating the common cold. Its very versatile.
In order to make root tea there are a few steps.
First, wash off the roots and remove all the dirt. Chop them up as small as you can. This may prove to be more difficult then it sounds. I suggest garden shears. Get them fairly small. Wash them again and spread them evenly on a baking sheet or pan and bake in the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Let them cool and add a tablespoon to a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey/mint or anything you prefer.
Leaf tea can be used as a diuretic (helps you pee), to cleanse/detox your body and to prevent kidney stones and shrink the ones already built up. However, use caution when drinking leaf tea/eating the seeds as it can do more harm then good when your pregnant. They have been used as the morning after pill of ancient times. There are really no other contraindications.
In order to make leaf tea, dry the leaves in whatever method you like best. You can use the lowest setting on a dehydrator, or go the old fashioned way and tie them upside down to dry. I like the latter because it looks pretty in your kitchen. Once they are dry just use as a tea and let the leaves steep for 20 minutes before drinking.
~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent