Foraging Series: Part 3- Jewelweed!

Part 1- Staghorn Sumac
Part 2- Queen Anne’s Lace

The 4 main rules of 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!!

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Let me enlighten you with my amazing poetry skills with my haiku about jewelweed-

I love jewelweed
Jewelweed is an awesome
Medicinal plant

Alright, so my amazing poetry skills aren’t so great, but jewelweed is!

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A jewelweed bush

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Flowers

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The side of a flower

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The leaves, and if you look closely you can see a seed pod under one of the leaves in the center of the photo. It looks like a bean pod.

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Close up of a flower head on

Jewelweed is also called spotted touch me not, touch me not and they are impatiens.

These bushes grow rampant where I live. The bushes grow extremely large and everywhere. In the woods and along the roads are the most common places for them. Its very distinct and has saw blade edged oval leaves with trumpeting flowers. The flowers can be yellow (like the ones I have pictured, these are called pale jewelweed) or light to dark orange to reddish. But aside from they will all look exactly alike. The flowers are spotted and the plant itself has knobby joints- everywhere a stem meets another stem there is a little knob. Its like knees and elbow. But plant-ish.

Aside from the medicinal benefits of this plant, the best part is the seed pods. All throughout my childhood we called these plants poppies. Not because they look like poppy flowers, because when you touch or gently squeeze the ripe seed pods they explode (in order to disperse its seeds). Its tons of fun. Look for a fat seed pod (they are ripe this time of year, so go now!!) and explode them. There is no plant out there more fun. Watch this video to see it happen =)

The jewelweed plant is natures poison Ivy (and poison oak) relief. It usually grows right near poison ivy. If you apply jewelweed lotion or salve prior to going into the woods its can actually prevent you from getting poison ivy. Don’t tell me that’s not awesome. Or if your unfortunate enough to get the stuff, soap, lotion or salve with stop the itching and heal the poison ivy. It also does wonders for just about every other rash. My daughter suddenly got a very bad diaper rash (I think it came with being sick) and my regular homemade ointment didn’t help, my plantain salve didn’t help so I tried jewelweed lotion and it cleared up in an hour!!

I’m gonna teach you how to make-

Jewelweed Infused Oil

This oil can be used as a base for soaps, salves, ointments and lotions as well as completely on its own.

You will need-

A large handful or jewelweed
Organic olive oil

Roughly chop the jewelweed (stems, leaves, flowers and all) and place them in a skillet or sauce pan. Cover them in a thin layer of olive oil (I used about a cup) and bring to a bubbling simmer. Let them simmer uncovered for an hour stirring every 10 minutes or so, you want them all to be wilted. Put everything into a mason jar and pop a lid on it. Let it rest anywhere from over night to a week then strain out all of the leaves and leaf pieces. And that’s it! Make whatever you like out of it. If you want to make a salve replace plantain oil in this Epic Healing Salve and make jewelweed salve. Or use a mixture of both! To use it on its own, just rub it on the affected area as needed.

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Cooking infused oil

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Finished, un-strained oil

How to eat Jewelweed

Here’s the deal, jewelweed really isn’t more then a trail side snack when your out walking. It may come in handy sometime though! You can eat the seeds from the seed pods. As you may notice, the seeds fly everywhere when you touch a ripe seed pod. So hold the whole seed pod in your hand to catch them. They are quite tasty!! If your free a whole afternoon in a large patch of jewelweed you can collect a bunch and put them on a salad or bread =) Yummy!

So have some fun with this amazing plant =)

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesdays!

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor. Nor do I claim to be. Use caution when picking wild plants and DO NOT pick anything unless you are 100% certain you are picking the correct plant. If you have allergies to any of the plants I feature, do not use them. If you are worried about the medicinal effects of any of the plants featured, please consult your doctor. Do your own research before deciding what is best for you.*
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Quick and Easy Fried Potatoes…. And the giveaway winner!!!

2 great things this post… Delicious fried potatoes and the giveaway winner!!

First off is the winner of the 6 half gallon Mason jars!!

Drumroll please…….

Marcia G., entry number 76- mg—-@yahoo.com!

Congratulations!! You won my first giveaway! I sent you an email, just get back to me in the next week (by September 3rd) with your mailing address and I’ll get em shipped right out to you!! Go brew some fantastic teas, or store some yummy food, or decorate your house with em!

Thanks to everyone who entered!! If you didn’t win and would like some, they are available over here on Amazon (and they are even on sale)!

Now its recipe time! It’s been like 2 weeks since I posted a recipe, I’m feeling pretty slack, but I’ve been working on my wedding… Which is in 12 days! So much to do…

Quick and Easy Fried Potatoes

You will need-

4 medium/large organic potatoes
3 tbsp. coconut oil for cooking in
1.5 tbsp. organic garlic and herb seasoning (I like this stuff best)
1 tsp. organic cilantro (dried, if you use fresh, use a little more)
1 tsp. organic oregano (dried, same thing as the cilantro)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, makes em spicy!)

First off slice your potatoes into thin circles, don’t peel them. As thin as you can make them. Then roughly chop them into quarters. Very roughly. I just piled them up and cut randomly. They’ll get mushed when you cook them, don’t waste time making them perfect. Pour the coconut oil in the bottom of the pan and dump all the ‘taters on top. Dump all of the seasonings on and stir them. Make sure they are all thoroughly coated in the oil and the seasonings.

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Cover them and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Stirring once every 5 minutes. Not stirring them the whole time gives them a chance to get browned, and covering them makes them cook faster.

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Yummm!!

If you add free range/pastured eggs, you can make them a main dish. You can also add onions at the beginning and cook them with the potatoes. And of course bacon and cheese make everything better =)

Enjoy!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Real Food Fridays!

WELCOME!!!

We’re your co-hosts

Joyce @ It’s Your Life

Lydia @ Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen

Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary’s Kitchen

And me… Courtney @ The Delinquent Crunchy

In case you missed “What is Real Food” here’s a recap…

Here’s a great reference from Food Myths:

Do you ever think about how far the food you eat travels?  Who grew it?  Who picked it?
How much in processing it’s been through before you took a bite?

Mary’s Kitchen

Real Food is:

-Supports fair farm worker wages

-GMO Free

-Little to no processing/processed ingredients

-Supports local markets/vendors and isn’t transported long distances to get to my plate

-Honors fair trade principles when I buy from other regions

-Meat
and dairy should be humanely raised and on real food themselves-Not
genetically engineered feed, drugs, hormones and antibiotics.

Link up your Real Food posts!  The party runs from Thursday at 7pm EST through Monday at Noon.  If you’re interested in co-hosting let us know!
Please follow your hosts and  consider adding the Real Food Friday button.

Real Food Peach Cobbler Muffins!!

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Ah summer! When the delicious peaches are ripe and juicy!

So ripe and juicy in fact, that you find it necessary to pick 30 pounds of them at your local pick your own orchard!!(or is that just me??)

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Which leaves you scouring the internet for any and every peach recipe you can find to use up all of the peaches you didn’t can. So let me help you out by giving you this absolutely delicious recipe for-

Peach Cobbler Muffins

You will need:

Muffin-

2 cups fresh (or home canned) organic peaches cut into small pieces
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. good quality baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 stick or 1/2 cup of butter (from grass fed cows would be best!)1/2 cup organic, unbleached sugar
2 free range eggs
2 tsp. homemade or good quality organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw milk
1 tsp. organic cinnamon

Topping-

3 tbsp. organic unbleached sugar
1 tbsp. organic whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon
2 tsp. coconut oil (at least 76 degrees so its in its liquid state!)

Beat the sugar, eggs and butter together until there are no large lumps. Add in everything except the peaches and mix until its combined. Then fold in the peaches. Scoop into well greased muffin tins (or use unbleached muffin papers).

Whisk together the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle a bit over each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Served with some homemade whipped cream or a tall glass of cold, raw milk (or on their own!), these are delicious!!

Go pick some peaches and enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Jackfruit!

If you remember way back 2 weeks ago, I made a post about exploring the shops of the Strip District in Pittsburgh PA. You may also remember I got a fantastic, enormous (as a matter of fact, it is the largest tree borne fruit in the world) fruit known as the jackfruit.

Use my hand as a size reference

Use my hand as a size reference

It weighed about 19 pounds, and getting it apart ain’t no easy feat!!

It took over 2 hours to clean the whole thing. But it was totally worth it! Deliciousness all around!

In order to clean it you have to cut it into big chunks. Once its in big chunks, you have to peel out the yummy, yellow fruit, which are basically seed pods. However, the fragrant pods are tangled up in sticky, sappy, totally 100% evil fibers.

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Honestly, the fibers are like sticking your hand to a leaking pine tree. The trick to navigating the jackfruit, is to oil one of your hands. The hand that’s not handling the knife. Cut with your dominant, non-oiled hand and pull apart seeds and fruit with the other. I just rubbed some coconut oil on my left hand and cut with my right. (Oh, and I oiled the knife).

After I got the hang of it, it wasn’t that bad. From the whole jackfruit I filled a gallon sized container completely to the top, almost overflowing with fruit and an overflowing quart mason jar with the seeds.

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Seeds!

Seeds!

If you want a more in depth description of how to cut it, head over here and check out this post on how to do it! It’s a great tutorial!

So what did I do with mine you ask?

I made sorbet, froze a ton for some deliciously tropical smoothies and boiled the seeds for snacking.

Let’s start with the seeds. (Which are a lot of work, as is everything with the Jackfruit it seems). Once they are all removed from the pods, rinse them off and put them in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. They are done cooking when you can easily stick a fork in them. They get similar to the texture of potatoes. The difficult part is peeling them of their tough outer skins. Most of the skins on mine split open, making it easier to peel, but not all of them. Just peel the milky white skin of the outside and enjoy the delicious insides. The thin, brown skin is edible, just so you know.

The final product will look like this:

Seeds on the right, inedible  skins on the left

Seeds on the right, inedible skins on the left

For the sorbet, I pureed 3 cups of fruit, mixed in 1/4 cup of sugar, and added enough water to make it smooth. Then I processed it in my ice cream maker for about 20 minutes and stored it in the freezer. Yummy!!

It can be stored in an airtight glass container in the freezer for a couple of months. But it can get pretty hard, so you may have to take it out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before you serve it.

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And lastly, if you want to freeze it for smoothies, here’s how. (This method actually works very well for most, or all, fruit). Chop it into small, 1/4-1 inch pieces and spread them all into an even layer on a cookie sheet and set it flat in the freezer over night.

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Transfer it to a freezer safe container and store it for 8-12 months. Just pop some out and add it to a smoothie any time you like. I think jackfruit goes wonderfully with banana, mango and pineapple.

We also made these jackfruit lime popsicles-

Yum!

Yum!

Get the recipe for them over here.

Head on over to your local Asian foods store and pick up some jackfruit!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Chicken Tacos with Super Spicy Tomatillo Sauce

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Yum! Like oh my goodness yum.

Me and my fiance were both sweating when we finished eating them from the tomatillo sauce.

First off, some of you may not know what a tomatillo is. Its kind of like a green tomato in a husk. Like an ear of corn and a tomato had a baby. Its a staple in Latin American cooking and is quite delicious. You peel the husk off and just eat the fruit inside. You may have to look in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store or a specialty store to find them. If your paying attention though, they are readily available.

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Tomatillo Sauce

2 lbs. Fresh tomatillos
4 Cloves of garlic
1 Bunch of fresh cilantro
1/4 of a large onion (or 1/2 a small onion)
3 Cups of water
4 large Jalapeno peppers

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Remove the outer paper from the tomatillos and wash them off. Cut everything except the cilantro into large chunks. I cut the tomatillos in half, the peppers in thirds and roughly chopped the onion. Put them all in the water and bring to a boil.

Look how deliciously fresh this looks!!

Look how deliciously fresh this looks!!

Turn it down to just below a boil and cook for half an hour. Let it cool until its manageable, add in the cilantro and blend it until its smooth. This sauce is super spicy and goes on ANYTHING! Use it as a healthy substitute for classic taco sauce, use it on chicken, beef, pork, in carnitas, on enchiladas, on pretty much anything you’d like to be spicy. Its honestly the most amazing sauce ever. Plus you can eat it hot or cold.

Beautiful green sauce!

Beautiful green sauce!

Chicken Tacos

2 Boneless chicken breasts from free range chickens
1/4 of a large onion (or half a small onion)
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, chopped
3 Tsp. ground cumin
1 Shredded carrot
The juice from 1 lime
4 Tsp. dried cilantro or half a bunch fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. Coconut oil (to cooking in)

(Note, use organic ingredients for the best result!)
(Another note, either grate the carrots or use a vegetable peeler and peel the whole carrot into long thin strips and chop the strips so you don’t have big chunks of carrot.)

Start out by chopping up the chicken breasts into small cubes and put them in a pot in the coconut oil, jalapeno and onions. Start cooking on medium high heat.

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As its cooking add in all of the other ingredients. Continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked and all the juice is cooked off. When the chicken is mostly cooked through start chopping it up with the spoon your cooking with. It chops easy when its cooked. And that’s it! Top with tomatillo sauce, cheese and lots of greens. I personally think arugula and spinach taste the best with tacos.

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Serve it with a delicious…

…Mason jar lemon-limade slushy

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Put the juice of one lime and one lemon in a mason jar and add 1 tablespoon of organic sugar. Add two slices of lemon and fill it the rest of the way with water. Put the lid on it and shake it vigorously until the sugar is dissolved and pop it in the freezer for 3-5 hours, or until it starts to freeze. It’ll turn itself into a slush.

Super amazing dinner =)

Enjoy!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on the Get Inspired Blog Hop and Tuned in Tuesday!

The Strip District, Pittsburgh PA

Before I get too deep into this post, I’d just like to point out this has nothing to do with strippers. ‘The Strip District‘ in Pittsburgh is merely a strip of road, (hence, ‘strip’) with a bunch of cute little food shops and stores.

If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I suggest you go take a look.

Also, some of these are definitely not real food, just interesting things I came across. Some I plan to cook with and some are just funky so I bought them… Cuz I’m an impulse shopper and I love strange things.

First up is the dragon fruit. Super beautiful, interesting little fruit from Thailand. They have the texture of a kiwi and taste very sweet. It was actually quite good. They are really hard to find over here in the US, but we went in an Asian grocery and found the little bugger hiding in there.

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Next we have some squid ink pasta. Just three ingredients- Flour, eggs and squid ink. It gets its dark color from the ink. Yum!

As well as some Chinese hot peppers and Pakistani hot peppers. I love hot peppers.

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Then some yummy tea balls. These little sucker are awesome. Put em in hot water and they open up into a flower of tea and flavor. They look as beautiful as they taste. I got a few mint ones and a few butterfly flower ones. Can’t wait to enjoy some!!

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Brown rice noodles, sesame oil, a package of seaweed, the dragon fruit, a cassava, instant jellyfish and the peppers.

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The cassava. A root vegetable from South America and Africa packed with vitamin C. I won’t delve into it too much, since you’ll be seeing a post on what I make from it and I’ll tell ya more then! =)

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Jackfruit! Super huge, super cool (super expensive!) fruit from many Asian countries. I found him in the same Asian grocery we got the dragon fruit. I can’t wait to chop this (18 lb!) baby up and make things from him. Yet another blog post I will be writing…. However I will tell you that the jackfruit’s flesh is used as a vegan meat substitute. The texture is supposed to be just like chicken.

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Crappy picture, but apple juice from just one kind of apple. They had all different flavors. However, you would have had no idea of different flavors if you didn’t have a few to taste test at the same time. In that case they were noticeably different!

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Totally not healthy or real food, but a Kinder bueno, basically a Nutella kit-kat. I honestly have no idea what was in it because the whole wrapper was written in Italian! But it was nifty and yummy!

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Lastly alligator, wild boar and pheasant jerky and sticks. They were all ‘pheasantly’ delicious. (Hehe, see what I did there….)

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I love interesting food!!

I can’t wait to cook up my jackfruit and cassava and share with you!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

The Final Real Food Challenge Days

Well, its been fun! I enjoyed reading all the others’ blog posts and seeing how they did! I enjoyed all the real foodie goodness!

Thanks for hosting Mary!!

So for the final days I did cheat a bit. I was traveling to Pittsburgh to visit my grandma for my bridal shower and they made cookies at the shower. They were homemade but used refined white sugar…. And I ate waaaaaaaay to many =)

But we did have grass fed, free range beef tacos with tons of greens on top for lunch as well as homemade organic, heirloom tomato salsa. (Delish!!!)

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I also had some super delicious green salsa made from heirloom tomatoes (BEST salsa EVER!! Thanks mom!) on some oven roasted organic nachos with some freshly shredded cheese. Yummmmyyy!

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Honestly, that’s the highlights of the last days. Nothing else was exciting (or it was just the same as other days).

Check out how the other bloggers did on their challenge!

Lydia over @ Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen (She’s also joining me for the Couch to 5K challenge!!)
Joyce over @ It’s Your Life
Maureen over @ It’s All Connected
Melinda over @ Auntie Em’s Guide to Life
Kristina over @ Mother’s NicheTaylor over @ Mama Has PINK Hair

And of course the host of it all, Mary from Mary’s Kitchen!

I loved it!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delilnquent