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 The wild asparagus season is pretty much over. We harvested a total of 57 pounds this year, most of […]

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. https://www.instagram.com/p/BkInL6JAoId There are so many reasons to gather mulberries. First of all, they’re incredibly healthy.  Mulberries are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins 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  […]

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 […]

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 […]

Wild foods list of each of Samuel Thayer's foraging books: Incredible Wild Edibles, Nature's Garden & The Forager's Harvest

Which Wild Edible Plants Are Covered in Samuel Thayer’s Foraging Books?

Samuel Thayer’s foraging books Nature’s Garden and The Forager’s Harvest are well loved by foragers, and his upcoming book, Incredible Wild Edibles, promises to be another great resource.  Thayer doesn’t cover the same wild edible foods in any of his books.  Each book goes into great detail about a few dozen wild foods to forage, […]

Acorn Ice Cream (paleo and vegan)

Recipe: Acorn Maple Ice Cream (Paleo & Vegan)

I thought I’d share another acorn recipe from my acorn book, in case anybody else has a stash of newly foraged acorns waiting to be put to good use.  This is an ice cream recipe I developed, and like the acorn drop biscuit recipe it is also vegan.  There is a traditional acorn ice cream […]

The Fascinating History of Racahout, an Acorn Delicacy and Cure-all

The Fascinating History of Racahout, an Acorn Delicacy and Health Remedy — and the Modern Knock-Off It Inspired

As many readers know, I have been writing an acorn foraging guide and cookbook.  My research led to a fascinating bit of history this week when I stumbled upon a reference to Racahout des Arabes, which was apparently once a very popular hot drink or hot cereal (depending on how much hot milk you used) made […]

Acorn drop biscuits

Acorn Drop Biscuits

It’s acorn season, and anybody who follows my Instagram knows that our family has been foraging, processing and cooking with acorns all month.  Acorn processing #fallforaging #forageandharvest #wildedibles #foraging #foragingfamily #septemberforaging #fallflavors #acorns A post shared by Alicia Bayer (@magicandmayhem) on Sep 4, 2017 at 11:04am PDT I made up a batch of acorn drop […]

It's acorn season!

It’s Acorn Season!

Our family has been busy lately with one of our favorite wild edible foods of fall — acorns. Acorn processing #fallforaging #forageandharvest #wildedibles #foraging #foragingfamily #septemberforaging #fallflavors #acorns A post shared by Alicia Bayer (@magicandmayhem) on Sep 4, 2017 at 11:04am PDT Yes, you can eat them, and they are absolutely delicious.  They’re also nutritious […]

It’s Elderberry Season!

Daryl and I have been faithfully checking our elder patches for the past few weeks and he brought home a bag of our first elderberry bounty for the year this week. This particular clump of elders is bordering a nursing home that has given us permission to pick their pears and elderberries.  He harvested them […]

#fyfo100 checklist of 10 ways to afford organic foods

The Top 10 #FYFO-100 Strategies for Eating Organic for Less

I’ll mostly be focusing on 10 main ways to save money on healthy and organic foods in the FYFO-100 series (Feed Your Family Organic for $100 (or less!)). Everybody has different circumstances, so different strategies will be better for different families. You do not need to do all or even most of these to save […]

FYFO 100 Feed Your Family Organic for $100 (or less!)

FYFO- 100: Feed Your Family Organic for $100 a Week (or less!)

Yes, you can feed your family healthy, organic, non-GMO food and not go bankrupt doing it! Welcome to FYFO-100, where I’ll share how we feed our family of 7 for around $100 a week. Every few days, I’ll share more tips for how we make it work. You can go all-in and learn skills like […]

Elderberries: The Beginner's Guide to Foraging, Preserving and Using Elderberries for Health Remedies, Recipes, Drinks and More

Now in Paperback!

  My elderberry book is now available in a paperback edition!  We heard from many people who wanted a physical copy of the book, especially to make use of it while foraging and for the cookbook section.  I worked over the past couple of months to create the best possible paperback version, with black and […]

Elderberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Elderberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Elderflower season is coming to an end and that means elderberry season is coming soon!  Make sure you use some of this year’s elderberry crop to make some elderberry jam and elderberry pie filling, because they’re so wonderful in recipes like elderberry cream cheese cupcakes (and elderberry thumbprint cookies, and elderberry fluff, and elderberry frosting….). […]

How to make elderflower syrup (or elderflower sparkling wine)!

How to Make Elderflower Soda (or Elderflower Sparkling Wine)

Have you heard of elderflower soda?  This is a traditional elderflower delicacy that is so popular in Romania that it inspired Coca-Cola to release their own version, Fanta Shokata (though theirs contains no real elderflowers). It is also known as Socată or Suc de Soc. Here’s the recipe to make your own, which is another […]

What to forage in May

31 Wonderful Wild Edible Foods to Forage in May

There are so many fantastic wild edibles to forage in May! Many of the best wild foods can only be found this time of year, such as wild asparagus and morels.  Greens are still mild and delicious, and more and more favorites are starting to show themselves. Here are 31 wild edible foods to look […]

Make your own elderberry schnapps from dried elderberries

Make Your Own Elderberry Schnapps!

Here’s another easy recipe from my new book, Elderberries: The Beginner’s Guide to Foraging, Preserving and Using Elderberries for Health Remedies, Recipes, Drinks and More (available now on Kindle and in paperback). This is a beautiful, deep purple schnapps that is so simple to make with either fresh or frozen elderberries.  See the directions at […]

elderberry cream cheese spread

Elderberry Cream Cheese Spread

Here’s a quick, easy and delicious recipe to make use of elderberry jam that you may have put up.  I featured it in my new book, Elderberries: The Beginner’s Guide to Foraging, Preserving and Using Elderberries for Health Remedies, Recipes, Drinks and More, which went live on Amazon at the Kindle store on Friday and […]

30 Wild Edible Foods to Forage in April

30 Wild Edible Foods to Forage in April

April is a fantastic time for foraging wild edible foods. The weather is generally beautiful, and it’s great to get back out in the outdoors after a long winter. Greens like dandelions and nettles are tender, mild and at their peak for cooking, teas, salads and medicinal uses. Many of the best wild edibles can […]

20 Herbs you can grow in shade

30 Ways to use mint

Mint is one of those workhorses of the garden. Once you plant it, your hardest job is keeping it from overtaking everything else in the yard and figuring out what to do with it all. It grows easily in most of the country and robustly returns to zone 4 Minnesota gardens every spring, where it […]

Famous herbalists teach how and why to use motherwort

Motherwort is a commonly found plant that is excellent for treating heart issues, menstrual problems, menopause symptoms, stress and anxiety, among other issues. It has been historically used extensively in China, Europe and North America, and still offers exceptional benefits for a whole range of issues today. Motherwort, whose latin name is Leonurus cardiaca, is […]

25 Fantastic foraging groups and pages on Facebook

Has your family tried foraging yet? Foraging for wild edibles is a great way to get healthy, pesticide-free, tasty food for free, plus try wonderful new tastes and get out in nature. There are many great books out there to give you basic information about foraging and I recommend you check out a pile of […]

How to make acorn flour

Late summer and early autumn are acorn harvesting time in Minnesota and much of the country.  If you’ve never tried making your own acorn flour from this plentiful, free, nutritious food source, you’re in for a treat!  It’s a lot of effort, but the results are delicious. Acorns were a large part of many Native […]

How to tell the difference between ramps and lily-of-the-valley

New foragers sometimes worry about telling the difference between highly sought-after ramps (wild leeks) and their poisonous look-alikes, Lily-of-the-valley. It’s always wise to be leery when you’re new to foraging, but once you know what to look for you don’t need to worry. There are quite a few ways to accurately tell the difference between […]

Famous herbalists tell the benefits of nettles

Famous Herbalists Teach How and Why to Use Nettles

Here’s a wonderful video where famous herbalists such as Rosemary Gladstar, Susun Weed and Matthew Wood teach why they love nettles, how to harvest it and use them, their many health benefits and more. The video begins and ends with herbalists David Hoffmann and Isla Burgess talking about why nettles are their favorite plants. During […]

Natural recipes: Elderberry honey syrup

Every family should keep a jar of elderberry honey syrup in their refrigerator. This simple, natural elixir is fabulous at preventing and treating illnesses and it couldn’t be easier to make or more natural. What’s so great about elderberry syrup? Elderberry syrup is one of the best things on the planet to fight illness. It […]

How to forage and cook with spruce tips (with video for spruce tip jelly)

Spruce tips are wonderful spring edibles that are not only tasty and unique, but also great for us. They are rich in Vitamin C and have been used traditionally for years to soothe coughs and sore throats, as well as to alleviate lung congestion and to treat lung and kidney infections. Best of all, they’re […]

How to cook ramps

How to cook with ramps

It’s ramp season, and whether you buy ramps at the farmer’s market or forage them yourself in the wild, this is the time to take advantage of this delicious (but short lived) delicacy. What are ramps? The Huffington Post says: Here’s the short answer: ramps are a wild onion that grow during the spring in […]

How to cook pheasant’s back or dryad’s saddle mushrooms

Pheasant’s back mushrooms can be incredibly easy to find this time of year and incredibly tasty — but you have to know which ones to use and how to prepare them right. Many foragers are told not to bother with pheasant’s back mushrooms, also known as dryad’s saddles. While it’s undisputed that they are edible […]

31 Wild foods to forage in July

July is a fantastic time to forage for wild edible foods. Whether you’re in the country or the city, there are wild foods all over that are tasty and nutritious. This is a good month for wild fruits, such as black raspberries and wild plums. Wild greens are still plentiful, such as purslane and lamb’s […]

Foraging mulberries with kids

Foraging with Kids: How to Easily Forage Mulberries

Mulberries are some of the greatest wild edibles to forage. They’re nutritious, delicious and easy to gather. Most kids find them irresistible too. Mulberry trees can be found in parks, woods and neighborhoods all over the U.S. and the berries and trees are easy to identify. When you find one tree, you’ll start seeing them […]

50 Reasons You Should Forage for Wild Foods

If you’re not foraging for wild foods, you’re missing out on opportunities left and right. Foraged foods are spectacular in so many ways, from saving money to exposing you to foods can’t find elsewhere to giving you awesome health benefits, just to name a fraction of the benefits. Foraging helps you, your family, your health […]

15 more ways to use your foraged walnuts

I’m still busy cracking the walnuts I harvested last fall (I have over 14 cups of meats so far), and I’m still finding creative ways to use them. Here are some more easy recipes I discovered online. Many of them involve maple syrup, because the maple sap has been running and it’s another great treat […]

Let’s get cracking! (those walnut meats)

Spring is FINALLY arriving in Minnesota, and it’s time to get back into the foraging mindset. Nothing’s ready to be picked yet, but I’ve got 3 large bags of walnuts that have been drying since last fall, and it’s warm enough to start opening them. So let’s get cracking! Materials: dried walnuts from last fall’s […]

Foraging walnuts 101

Have you ever walked through a park in the fall and stumbled over what looks like green tennis balls? Are you ready to make use of the black walnuts you see scattered all over your neighborhood? Gathering them is easy, and you’ll have a stash of delicious and nutritious treats when you’re finished. Finding the […]

Early summer foraging: Mulberries

It’s mulberry season! Mulberries are delicious treats that are easy to harvest and great to use in all kinds of recipes. I’ve written about them in the past, because mulberry picking is a great activity to do with the kids — and kids love to eat them! I detailed how to find and gather mulberries […]

inexpensive corn for freezing

It’s August, and farmer’s markets and roadside stands are full of fresh sweet corn. It’s delicious, of course, but it also can be very expensive if you want enough to put some away in the freezer. Fortunately there’s a simple solution. Ask. Quite often, the corn they have for sale there is the freshest corn […]

Looking out for asparagus

The next time you’re driving along in the country, look out the window for clumps of spindly, dark green plants that look like wispy Christmas trees. Congratulations — you’ve found wild asparagus! It’s one of the most unknown of wild foods, which is a shame. It’s delicious, easy to harvest over quite a long period […]

11 Must-try ways to preserve elderberries

We’ll be picking wild elderberries soon, and after we get them off the stems we’ll need to cook with them or preserve them. This article is about preserving them for later. Why preserve them? According to Wildman Steve Brill: “Avoid unripe, green berries–they’ll get you sick. Even raw ripe elderberries make some people nauseous. Cooking […]