Autumn Foraging - 6 Wild Foods You Can Find This Season

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Autumn is the perfect season to cosy up with hot cup of tea, invite some friends over for a wine and cheese platter and perhaps treat yourself to a home made apple crumble for dessert.

The most exciting part is that you can forage and make these things for yourself, all you need to do is step outside. Keep reading to learn more about autumn foraging in New Zealand.

🌿Related5 Easy Ways To Start Wild Foraging

1. Rosehips

Rosehips are the perfect addition to your autumn foraging list this season. The ideal time to pick rosehips is after the first frost. Rosehips are an amazing source of vitamin C and have a high amount of antioxidants. They were used to help supplement diets during WWII due to their high nutritive value. This is why we use them in our Daily Boost Tonic. You can dry rosehips and use them as tea.

2. Berries

While autumn foraging means we are nearing the end of the berry season, there are still some out there - in particular the hawthorn berry. Hawthorns are great for the circulatory system meaning your heart, blood and also things like your blood pressure (all things that can be affected by stress and sickness). We use hawthorns in our Mood Boost. Also, if you can find them, blackberries are still about and are great to make into jam, freeze and add to winter porridges, or smoothies.


3. Wild fruit

There are still many trees laden with wild fruit. Foraging in New Zealand in autumn, you’ll find that apples and pears are still in plentiful supply in the wild. With your foraged fruit you could make puree and freeze it for future use, make apple or pear crisps in the dehydrator or bake a classic apple crumble. The perfect dessert on a chilly autumn evening.

Wild apples are often more tart than commercially grown apples so bear that in mind when using them. You could add a cinnamon stick when boiling or stewing them to add a touch of sweetness. 


4. Mushrooms

Autumn signals the start of mushroom season. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, as well as adding a more substantial texture to soups, stews and broths. From late February to late May on your autumn foraging you will be able to find a range of mushrooms around.

There are a variety of books as well as Facebook groups that you can use to help with identification. 
You need to make sure that you are identifying your mushrooms safely before use. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Once you have found and safely identified them you could dehydrate some for future use.

5. Dandelion root

Autumn foraging is the month for root harvests - this can mean things like burdock root, valerian root or dandelion root. Most people have dandelions in their lawns - so it is an easy thing to forage.

Carefully dig up the dandelion root - they are very long so you may need to dig down quite deep to get it all out. Once you have a decent amount, bring them inside and scrub them clean. Chop them up into 1-2cm pieces and place in a dehydrator or in the oven on a lined baking try at a low temperature to dry out. Once fully dry you can grind the dandelion root in your coffee grinder to a powder and use with honey and milk.

Dandelion root is great for your digestive system and often roasted dandelion root has been used as an alternative to coffee as it has a bitter taste and can make a strong drink that can resemble coffee - however in my opinion just appreciate it as dandelion and don’t expect it to taste exactly the same as coffee.


6. Wild greens

Greens are still around! Plants like chickweed and miners lettuce are still growing so look out for them while foraging in autumn. They can be used just like any other salad greens. You can also add them to your stews, soups, stir-fries, smoothies or pestos. Parsley and fennel are great taste additions to your meals as well and can often be found growing wild. 


Autumn pesto recipe:

1/2 cup walnuts, cashews, or pine nuts
2-3 cloves garlic minced
3 cups chickweed loosely packed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Process until it is all blended together. Add more oil to make it thinner if needed - also if you have a smaller household halve this recipe. You can always freeze pesto as well - which is super handy in winter when greens are harder to find!


1 comment

  • Posted on by Roxanne Darrow

    Thanks for these great tips! When I was living in Chile, I loved eating the rosehip conserve that is popular there, spread on toast with butter, so good! Hoping to find a great wild rosehip source here in Nelson Tasman.

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