Foraged and Home Canned Foods We Eat in the Winter

Making Windfall Applesauce

Note:  This article was originally published in Daryl’s Cooking with Kids column at examiner.com in September, 2013.  Some links are affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission on purchases made through our links. Making fresh applesauce is something every kid should get to do. We are lucky enough to know several people with apple […]

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 […]

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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Azure Standard's Organic Fruits and Veggies Box

Is Azure Standard’s Organic Fruits and Veggies Box Worth the Cost?

If you don’t have access to affordable organic suppliers like Bountiful Baskets or a good local CSA, Azure Standard is one option to get a monthly box of assorted organic fruits and vegetables.  The box costs $33 (as of August 2017), plus a small delivery fee (generally about $10 for my order of about $120 […]

25 Garden crops to plant in August for your fall garden

25 Herbs and Veggies to Plant in August for Your Fall Garden

If you want to extend your back yard bounty of fresh veggies, now is the time to start your fall garden.   There are many garden crops that can handle some frost and some that can tolerate temperatures well below freezing. Root veggies such as carrots, beets, kohlrabi and turnips actually taste better after some […]

#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 […]

Seven Plants That Naturally Remove Lead from Your Soil, Ponds and Wetlands

Seven Plants, Weeds and Flowers That Naturally Remove Lead from Your Property

If you have soil that’s been contaminated by lead, you know that it’s probably not safe for vegetable gardening and it can also be a hazard to children and pets who play on your property. Lead can be a serious problem in gardens, ponds and wetlands, in addition to posing health risks for growing kids. […]

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 […]

20 Vegetable, herb and edible flower seeds you can still plant in June

20 Vegetable and Herb Seeds You Can Still Plant in June

Think June is too late to start seeds in your garden this year? No way! There are still lots of veggies you can direct seed in your garden.   Indeed, many garden plants grow much more happily in June when the soil has warmed up. Some bean varieties mature in as little as 35 days, […]

Natural Ways to Defeat Grasshoppers

10 Natural and Organic Ways to Defeat Grasshoppers

The recent hot, dry weather has brought a small plague of grasshoppers to my garden for the first time in years, and I’ve been working hard to defeat them.     We garden organically and I didn’t want to douse our family’s food sources with pesticides and poisons. Also, they’re just not terribly effective. Timing […]

Quick and easy gluten-free buns (vegan)

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Buns (Vegan)

Store-bought gluten free buns are expensive and generally taste something like dish sponges.  The good news is you can easily make your own.  This recipe is my go-to recipe for quick gluten-free buns.  It’s also egg-free, dairy-free and soy-free (and vegan!), so it’s great for folks with multiple allergies.  I tend to make these at […]

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 […]

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 […]

Quick mix and match mini donuts (gluten and dairy free)

Quick Mix-and Match Glazed Mini Donuts (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

Our 9 year-old, Alex, asked last night if we could make mini donuts together for breakfast for everybody today.  I said yes, and dug out this recipe that I came up with a few years ago.  This is a really easy but delicious recipe that also includes lots of fruit and/or veggies, since each batch […]

Roasted Tomato Sauce (Simple and Delicious!)

Nothing smells better on a fall day than roasted tomato sauce. With back yards and farmers’ markets brimming with fresh tomatoes right now, this is the perfect time to make up a batch.  Once you try, you’ll never want make tomato sauce any other way! If you’ve never made roasted tomato sauce, you don’t know […]

25 Garden crops to plant in August for your fall garden

If you want to extend your back yard bounty of fresh veggies, now is the time to start your fall garden. There are many garden crops that can handle some frost and some that can tolerate temperatures well below freezing. Root veggies such as carrots, beets, kohlrabi and turnips actually taste better after some frost, […]