Category Archives: foraging

Brambling Free!

Underground, overground, brambling free! The brambles of Wimbledon Common are we…

I don’t know if Wimbledon Common is a good source of brambles (blackberries) but many hedgerows are this time of year, and that means: fruity purple cakes. With chocolate chips. Just because.

 

Bramble Chocolate Chip Cakes
Ingredients:
300g Doves Farm Gluten free Self Raising flour
100g caster sugar
a couple of handfuls of freshly picked brambles
about a third of a cup of soya milk
about a third of a cup of sunflower oil
100g of chocolate chips (we used Moo Free)
water to mix to a good thick batter – though you don’t want it too runny

Mix the flour, chocolate chips and sugar together (keep some chips back for sprinkling on top). Blend up the brambles with the soya milk and mix this in along with the oil, adding some water if the batter is too thick. It should be purple!

Divide between 12 cake or muffin cases. Place in a muffin tin if using paper ones; silicone reusable cases are better in many ways, not least of which is that the cakes will not stick to them like glue as gluten-free mixes are prone to do. Top with the remaining chips. Bake at 200C/400F for 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and browning. And slightly purpling!



Spring is almost Sprung!

snowdrop

Spring is almost sprung, it’s just waiting there on the verge! While it’s still cold we’re tucking in to hearty and warming meals such as our new recipe: Sausage and Bean Pie

Wild garlic is beginning to poke its shoots up in the woods; some areas may be further along than us so don’t forget our wild garlic soup and pesto!

Also looking ahead to Spring on the Free Food page, we’ve added links to SimplySeed who sell seeds at 50% less than High Street prices.

The Household Tips page has been tidied up a bit; don’t forget you can add your own tips in the comments section of the page.

Featured link: Approved Food, sellers of clearance food and household items, a source of many cupboard filling bargains! http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/?afid=7341ac

Enjoy the Sunshine!
All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk

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Wild Food Season is here!

crocus

Spring certainly seems to have sprung here in Scotland and, most exciting, we gathered some wild garlic in the woods yesterday! We made pesto for lunch, recipe here.  You can also make soup.

Nettles are also beginning to poke their new green growth through the earth. We have two soup recipes for those here.

And before you know it, it’ll be time for the dandelion pancakes!

See our section on free food.

Perennial favourites: the make a few pounds page, the Days Out and Holidays page  and the food shopping tips section.

Featured link: Approved Food, sellers of clearance food and household items, a source of many cupboard filling bargains!

Enjoy the Spring and eat well!
All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
Sign up to receive the email version of these newsletters:



Crumble!

rhubarb crumbleFruit crumble is a wonderfully frugal dish. You can use virtually any fruit (perhaps not banana!) and it’s a good way to use up items that might be passing their best. Summer brings luscious pink rhubarb, perfect for crumble. Autumn delivers apples and blackberries/brambles, also delicious. Here is a basic recipe for a combination of rhubarb and apples, adjust as you require:

Filling:
2 or 3 apples, peeled and chopped (if you use eating apples you could reduce the sugar slightly)
4 or 5 sticks of rhubarb, chopped into chunks
4 tablespoons of sugar
Surprisingly, rose petals combine with rhubarb to give a beautiful flavour.

filling

Topping:
100g. flour (for a gluten-free version use Doves Farm gluten-free flour)
25g. sugar
75g. vegetable margarine
optional additions: grated lemon rind, sunflower seeds, rolled oats.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Place the fruit in an ovenproof dish and top with the sugar. For the topping: rub the flour into the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar and any other additions and place evenly over the filling. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about half an hour or until everything is bubbling: crispy on top, soft below. Lovely with custard or ice cream.

If you like this, you may also like our recipe for Apple Pie

creamy carrot and wild garlic soup

wildgarlic1Wild garlic grows on the edges of woodlands from March onwards and can be used for wonderful garlic flavour in many dishes. Also see wild garlic pesto

Ingredients to serve four people:
six large carrots, scraped and chopped
four sticks of celery, chopped
a good bunch of wild garlic leaves
a handful or two of cashew nuts depending how creamy you want it
salt to taste

Place carrots and celery in a pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer for a few minutes. Add the wild garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until everything is tender. Pour into blender jug with nuts and salt. Blend and enjoy.

Tips: If your blender is not very strong, try soaking the cashews in water overnight to soften them. You can use 3 or 4 cloves of normal garlic in place of the wild garlic. Add a bunch of coriander for a popular classic!

Other wild food recipes on site: dandelion pancakes and nettle soup

wildgarlic2
 



dandelion fritters

Very simple, the main ingredient is free and surprisingly delicious! The flowers have a slightly bitter juiciness to them that is rather pleasant.

Gather as many freshly opened dandelion heads as you want small fritters. Give good shake outside in case of insects and wash and dry under cold water. Mix a pancake batter up: place a cupful or so of self raising flour into a bowl then gradually add soya milk (probably about half a cup) while whisking with a fork until you have a nice thick batter. Heat a small amount of of veg oil (really just enough to coat the base of the pan) to a medium heat in a frying pan and then fry the fritters. I found it easiest to throw one flower at a time into the mix, coating it well with batter and then taking it out in a spoonful, and popping it all in the pan. They cook quite fast – once small holes begin to appear on the pancakes flip them over with a fork and cook the other side.

variants: this basic pancake mix can be used to house many different things – try chopped onion with other finely chopped vegetables (beetroot makes pink ones!) or make herby fritters.

A gluten-free version can be made by using Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising flour instead of wheat flour. A couple of tablespoons of buckwheat flour is a nice addition to any variety.

other wild food recipes on site: nettle soupcreamy carrot and wild garlic soup and wild garlic pesto

dandelionf

idea first spotted on the home baked blog
 



wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic grows wild in woodland areas – best harvested in April and May before the flowers are fully out, but still good then. Easily identifiable by their strong garlic scent! The leaves are good in soups, stews, sauces, anywhere you want a garlic flavour. The flowers are also good to add to cooking or fry into fritters.

For the pesto: gather a couple of bunches of wild garlic leaves, wash, place in blender with small bag of nuts or seeds such as pinenuts, brazils, cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, gradually adding enough olive oil to blend smoothly as you go. Once blended, mix into pasta. Pictured served with salad and some sesame seeds stirred in.

variants: you can use traditional basil or other herbs instead of or as well as wild garlic adding lemon juice lessens the amount of oil needed other nice inclusions are nettles (yes really) and black pepper pesto is also nice mixed into boiled potatoes, in sandwiches, or diluted with vinegar/lemon juice and made into a salad dressing.

Other wild food recipes on site: nettle soupcreamy carrot and wild garlic soup and dandelion fritters

wildgarlicnew

Many other wild garlic and wild food recipes are to be found on the tasty herbalist blog