Foraging for dock seeds and making dock seed flour

Cooking with Dock Seeds

Dock seeds are prolific everywhere you look right now, so this is a great time to gather them and make dock seed flour.  If you haven’t ever cooked with dock seeds, they’re an easy and healthy source of wild flour to forage. Dock grows as an invasive weed all over the world.  You can often […]

pineapple nettle smoothie

Pineapple Nettle Smoothies

We try to use nettles a lot around here since they’re so healthy, so tasty and grow so plentifully all around us.  One of the kids’ favorite ways to enjoy nettles are in smoothies.  Yes, really! You probably know how healthy stinging nettles are for you, but most folks don’t realize you can use them […]

zucchini fritters (easy, gluten free, vegan version too)

Cooking From the Garden: Easy Zucchini Fritters

Got boat loads of zucchini this time of year?  Here’s a delicious and easy way to make use of them.  Zucchini fritters are kid-friendly and tasty, and the recipe can easily be converted to gluten free (the way we make them), paleo and/or vegan. The recipe is very simple and adaptable, not even really a […]

Trees of Power Review

Trees of Power: A Must-Read for Foragers, Homesteaders and Environmentalists

A somewhat nerdy looking new book was quietly published this year that has the potential to not just greatly improve your life, but greatly improve the world.  I admit that sounds like a bit of hyperbole, but Trees of Power offers a really inspirational look at how the trees that are all around us can […]

Easy two-ingredient sorbet

Easy Two-Ingredient Sorbet (Vegan)

Here’s a super simple recipe that the kids like to make for fruit sorbet.  I even let them make it for breakfast, because they think they’re getting a treat and I know it’s healthy. Just blend frozen fruit (pineapple is a family favorite and what’s pictured here) with sweetened vanilla non-dairy milk of your choice.  […]

Foraging Recipe: Ramp Salt

Wild Ramp Seasoning Salt

Here’s one of my favorite ways to use wild ramps, and you can use it to enjoy the wonderful flavor of ramps all year long.  Dry the leaves and grind them with coarse sea salt for a simple but delicious wild ramp salt.  Simply dry wild ramp leaves until crisp and then put them in […]

10 Edible Flowers and How to Use Them

Flowers can turn meals positively magical.  From drinking out of tulip cups to to scattering flower petals in Wildflower Pound Cake to tossing brightly colored nasturtium petals in a salad, edible flowers can take an ordinary dish and make it extraordinary. There are plenty of flowers that are edible, but you need to be sure […]

Instant Pot Roasted Cauliflower Head Recipe

Instant Pot Makes Roasted Cauliflower Heads Quick & Easy

We love roasted cauliflower heads in our family but it takes a lot of time and effort to roast them traditionally to cook up tender and bake throughout.  I’ve discovered that the Instant Pot can eliminate most of the cooking time and delivers perfect roasted cauliflower heads in much less time. It turns out the […]

Jack's gluten free impossible crust apple or pear cobbler

Jack’s Impossible Crust Apple Cobbler (Gluten Free)

This is a fantastic simple and delicious recipe for apple or pear cobbler where the batter makes its own crust.  Our fifteen year old son, Jack, made it last week and proclaimed that it was his favorite dish so far that he’s baked (which is saying a lot, as the kid loves to bake). We […]

Easy Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend

Our Easy Homemade Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend

Tired of spending too much money on gluten free flour mixes that are expensive, gritty, low in nutrition and high in cheap ingredients like white rice flour?  It’s so easy to mix up your own gluten free flours for tastier baked goods with more nutrition — and they cost far less money. Here’s the recipe […]

Does Cattail Starch Contain Gluten?

Most foragers know that cattails are an excellent wild food, so much so that Euell Gibbons called cattails “nature’s supermarket.”  Foragers eat the hearts of the young stalks and the immature flower spikes, the pollen and the root starch, which can be used for a versatile cooking flour.  That said, many foraging sites say that […]

What Foraged and Home Grown Foods Do We Eat In the Winter?

Since next to nothing is fresh in the garden or the wild in winter in this part of the country, this is the time we rely on the root cellar and pantry. Canned, dried, frozen and root cellar foods are all staples for winter cooking for our family, including lots of wild foods we foraged […]

Our 2018 foraging wrap up

Our 2018 Foraging Wrap-Up

This past year was a pretty good year for foraging for our family.  We foraged several hundred pounds of wild foods total, including some that were new to us.  We also foraged quite a nice variety of wild foods and medicinal plants — 35 different kinds! We foraged in our own back yard, in parks, […]

Acorn Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free)

Acorn Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free)

I brought acorn spice cupcakes to my latest acorn presentation last week, and lots of people have asked for the recipe.  Here it is, excerpted from my acorn foraging book.  This recipe works with either gluten free flour mixes or regular wheat flour.  Most of the recipes in my book are gluten free or have […]

FREE printable foraging record keeping sheets!

FREE Printable Foraging Record Pages

Once you get started foraging, it’s helpful to keep records of what you gathered and when.  We usually keep a running list on the fridge, but I decided it would be fun to have some nice looking printable pages to start keeping a more permanent record of all of our wild food harvests.  Since I […]

Foraged and Home Canned Foods We Eat in the Winter

Easy and Delicious Summer Fruit Cobbler

Foragers and back yard gardeners often have the happy blessing of buckets of fruit to make use of this time of year.  Here’s a wonderful recipe to make use of blueberries, mulberries, black raspberries, mulberries, peaches, strawberries or any other fruit that you have a bounty of. Sometime around mid-July every year, we pick over […]

Acorn Rice Patties recipe

Recipe: Acorn Rice Patties

It’s acorn season, which means one of the best wild foods out there is abundant and free right now.  Acorn rice patties are delicious ways to make use of acorns and also happen to be vegetarian and gluten free. We usually have dried acorns and acorn flour on hand for cooking all year long, but […]

Easy Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Easy Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

It’s zucchini season, meaning that even if you don’t grow zucchini you probably have more than enough giant zucchinis to find something to do with.  Here’s a delicious way to make use of it.  This zucchini bread recipe is simple and quite versatile.  You can use your favorite gluten free flour mix or a blend […]

Tales from a Foragers Kitchen

Rodale Pulls Foraging Cookbook That Gives Dangerous Information on Elderberries, Acorns and Mushrooms

A well-known Instagram star’s popular new foraging cookbook has been pulled by its publisher, thanks to the fact that some actual foragers got a hold of it and alerted readers to some dangerous (and seriously unpalatable) recipes inside it. Tales from a Forager’s Kitchen: The Ultimate Field Guide to Evoke Curiosity and Wonderment with More […]

The Fruit Forager's Companion: Ferments, Desserts, Main Dishes, and More from Your Neighborhood and Beyond

A New Favorite Foraging Book: The Fruit Forager’s Companion

When I received a digital ARC of Sara Bir’s The Fruit Forager’s Companion, the only thing I didn’t like about it was the fact that it was deleted after the review period and I didn’t get to keep a copy.   I absolutely loved this book and plan to purchase a copy of my own. […]

Unbiased Review: Modern Pressure Canning

Unbiased Review: Modern Pressure Canning

I have experience with pressure canning but I’m always happy to find new recipes and learn more. When I got an opportunity to read a temporary digital Advanced Reader Copy of the new book, Modern Pressure Canning by Amelia Jeanroy, I was happy to check it out. While this book has basic information to get […]

June foraging wrap up

Our June Foraging Wrap-Up

The first month of summer is past now and I thought I’d do a little update on what we foraged in June this year.  This might not include everything, but these were the major foods. Asparagus View this post on Instagram The wild asparagus season is pretty much over. We harvested a total of 57 […]

what to do with mulberries

Wonderful Ways to Use Mulberries

It’s mulberry season!  Whether you have a mulberry tree in your back yard or local park or you have generous friends or neighbors, these sweet treats are all over right now. There are so many reasons to gather mulberries. First of all, they’re incredibly healthy.  Mulberries are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and […]

How to cook and preserve chicken of the woods mushrooms

What to do with Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms?

We were thrilled when Daryl brought home two big bags of chicken of the woods mushrooms yesterday.  While we harvest lots of pheasant back (dryad’s saddle) mushrooms and morels, this is our first time finding chicken of the woods and I was so excited as I’ve heard for years how much they taste like chicken […]

Make your own homemade fruit leather

Easy DIY Fruit Leather

  Whether you have buckets of wild mulberries or an excess of peaches that you can’t possibly eat in time, fruit leather is a fabulous way to make use of it.  Fruit leather is wonderfully simple and you can customize each batch with whatever fruits you have and flavors you’re craving. Not only is fruit […]

How to easily identify elderberries, elderflowers and elder shrubs

Now Is the Time to Easily Find Elderberry Shrubs!

If you’d like to forage your own elderberries later this summer, now is the time to start looking because elder flowers are blooming (or are just finishing) and the elder shrubs so easy to spot.  Here’s everything you need to know to find elderberries and elder flowers. Whenever people find out that our family harvests […]

Must Modern Cider Making Be Chemical-Laden and Complicated?

As an avid home brewer of wines and ciders, I was excited to read an ARC copy of Modern Cider: Simple Recipes to Make Your Own Ciders, Perries, Cysers, Shrubs, Fruit Wines, Vinegars, and More, by Emma Christensen, through Net Galley. I am always looking for more recipes and for ideas to simplify the process. […]

how to make elderflower syrup

How to Make Elderflower Syrup for Elderflower Cakes

If you’ve been following the royal wedding (or even if you haven’t), you’ve probably heard about the spectacular elderflower cake that pastry chef Claire Ptak designed for the much-anticipated wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The wedding cake is to be served at the Reception. It was designed by Claire Ptak and features elderflower […]

Famous herbalists tell the benefits of nettles

What We’re Foraging This Week (5/14)

Minnesota started the foraging season late this year since we had snowstorms throughout April, but we’re now happily doing some major foraging.  Here’s what we’re finding lately. Ramps Prepping ramps for dinner. . . . . #ramps #rampseason #foraging #wildfoodlove A post shared by Alicia Bayer (@magicandmayhem) on May 11, 2018 at 4:08pm PDT Daryl  […]

Upcycling Outdoors: 20 Creative Garden Projects Made from Reclaimed Materials

Review: Upcycling Outdoors (20 Creative Garden Projects Made from Reclaimed Materials)

Looking for some upcycling inspiration for your yard and garden?  Upcycling Outdoors: 20 Creative Garden Projects Made from Reclaimed Materials, a new book by Max McMurdo, is a fun, inspirational and educational read. I read a temporary digital ARC of this book through Net Galley. I really enjoyed it, but found it had limited use […]

Stephanie Tourles's Essential Oils: A Beginner's Guide: Learn Safe, Effective Ways to Use 25 Popular Oils; Make 100 Aromatherapy Blends to Enhance Health; Soothe Common Ailments and Promote Well-Being

Review: Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide

The world of essential oils has become increasingly complicated since the rise of multi-level marketing EO companies in the past couple of decades.  I started using essential oils regularly about 15 years ago, when a trusted friend in a natural parenting forum posted about how wonderful lavender oil was for healing wounds.  It really was […]

Composting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond

Review: Composting for a New Generation Will Get You Excited About Composting — Really!

If you’ve always wanted to compost but didn’t know where to start, or if you’ve been composting for years but want to switch up your methods, a great new book has you covered. Michelle Balz’s  Composting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond is a phenomenal book to answer any questions […]

20 Herbs you can grow in shade

20 Herbs You Can Grow in Shade

Just because your yard is partially shaded doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own herbs this summer. Plenty of herbs actually prefer partial or dappled shade, especially in warmer climates.   You often hear that herbs are sun-lovers, but its surprising how happy many herbs are in shade. In our zone 4 Minnesota garden, we […]

The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California's Most Iconic Market

Review: The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook Gives Recipes for Exotic Produce and Wild Foods

I was able to read a digital copy of The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California’s Most Iconic Market this week through Net Galley.  I was excited to read it, not because I have access to an elaborate produce market like the famous Berkeley Bowl, but because some of the […]

chipotle guacamole

Chipotle’s Easy Guacamole Recipe

We’re big guacamole lovers here, especially when avocados in season and affordable like this time of year.  Guacamole is fantastically healthy and is also a great non-dairy way to cut the heat in Mexican dishes.  Our whole family loves Chipotle (it’s a very affordable way to get healthy, tasty food on the go, and it’s […]

How to Make Dandelion Syrup

How to Make Dandelion Syrup

Daryl has made dandelion syrup several times with our kids and it’s always a big hit.  Not only is it fun, but the syrup tastes delicious and it’s full of vitamins from the dandelions.  It’s also a great vegan substitute for honey, with a similar color and taste. Although it’s the dead of winter right […]

What’s in Season in February — and What to Eat Local in the North

Lots of fruits and vegetables are in season in February, and it’s still also possible to eat local foods with a little bit of creativity. Why eat foods that are in season?   It pays to eat foods that are in season — to help save money, to help the environment, to get the freshest […]

A Week’s Worth of Healthy, Frugal Organic Dinner Ideas

A Week’s Worth of Healthy, Frugal Organic Dinner Ideas

Wondering what to plan for supper this week?  Here are some healthy, frugal meals you can make if you’re vegan, paleo or anywhere in between.  Even if you buy all organic ingredients, these are meals that are easy on your budget.   1. Soup — Use any veggies, leftovers, grains, meats or beans you have […]

How to Divorce Your Grocery Store

Here’s an easy way to dramatically lower your grocery costs and still eat well.  At the start of each week (or whenever your local stores change their sales), check out the sales flyers for any grocery stores near you.  Only check for grocery items that you either use regularly or would use if they were […]

How to make pumpkin puree

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Sure, you can go buy those orange cans of pumpkin puree at the grocery store, but making homemade pumpkin puree is so much more satisfying! It’s also much easier than you might think.  Best of all, this time of year it’s incredibly cheap, even if you didn’t grow your own pumpkins.  My kitchen table is […]

Fabulous free permaculture book teaches DIY urban rainwater harvesting

Fabulous Free Permaculture Book Teaches DIY Urban Rainwater Harvesting

Here’s a wonderful free booklet to help you use permaculture principles to harvest rainwater and put it to use in your yard and gardens.     The wonderfully-illustrated 8-page primer was created by by Joe Linton (of LA Creek Freak) to accompany a workshop he did in 2008.   The guide draws heavily from Brad […]