Category Archives: foraging

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!

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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

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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

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idea first spotted on the home baked blog
 



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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

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



nettle soup

Don’t worry – they don’t sting when cooked! Nettles are very nutrient rich and of course – free! Don’t gather them beside a busy road where they will have been contaminated by traffic fumes. If you keep cutting them from springtime you get a regular supply of fresh leaves, though they can get a bit insect infested during the summer! Below are two recipes for soup:

Version 1 – a “cream of” style soup:

Ingredients: nettleschives

2 tablespoons of vegetable margarine or oil
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Freshly picked and washed young nettles (several good handfuls – picked with gloves and caution!)
2 cups soya milk (tesco value is cheap and organic too)
1 cup water or stock
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil or marg. for a few minutes then stir in the nettles (no need to chop or remove stalks) until they soften. Stir in the flour and gradually add the soya milk and water or stock, stirring all the time. Add seasonings and liquidise. Delicious…

 

Version 2 – a versatile recipe using potato to thicken, ingredient quantities are totally adjustable:

Do an onion and 5 garlic cloves in some oil, add half head of celery, 2 potatoes, cover with water, bring to boil and simmer til soft then add bowl of gathered nettles, some chives and parsley (optional – feel free to experiment with other herbs), stock cube, salt for a few minutes and blend.

Other wild food recipes on site: dandelion fritterscreamy carrot and wild garlic soup and wild garlic pesto

Another good nettle recipe, Minty Pea and Nettle Soup is to be found here on the vegan family house site.