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10 Delicious Foods You Will Find When Spring Foraging In New Zealand
1 Thyme Flowers
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Nettle can be thrown into your vinegars to help with mineral absorption, stir-fried, or added to your scrambled eggs to increase your zinc intake. Dried nettle can be added to baking, home made crackers and bread. To keep things simple you could just add fresh nettle leaves to hot water for a mineral boost - adding heat removes the sting. If you wanted a delicious introduction to nettle you could try our Daily Boost Tonic which has the added benefits of rosehips and kawakawa.
Plantain is coming up on our farm in Mihiwaka and this lovely plant supports not only your respiratory system but also your skin. Both broadleaf (Plantago major) and narrowleaf (Plantago lanceolata) plantain can be added to salads, or infused into oils to help with irritated or itchy skin. The seed heads contain psyllium (the fibre bulking agent) that can be used for supporting digestion.
Foraging in spring means you’re bound to find some chickweed. With oval leaves and small white flowers, chickweed is prolific once it starts growing. Spring is the perfect time to add it to your salads, pestos or even as a fresh tea to help with mineral intake. The best way to harvest chickweed is to cut it from the base that way you don’t get dirt in your salads.
Cleavers is that sticky plant you may have thrown on your siblings or people at school when you were young. It has an amazing ability to stick to clothes and actually helped with the invention of velcro.
Spring foraging for cleavers will help support your lymphatic system after the winter months of carb heavy foods. The best way to use cleavers is to leave a sprig in cold water overnight. In the morning remove the cleavers and drink the water. This plant does not like heat so you will not often find it in a dried tea form.
6 Dandelion Flowers And Leaves
Your lawn might be awash with yellow right now. Dandelions have amazing health properties and are abundant in this season, which makes spring foraging easy. You could pick these beautiful flowers and leaves and steep them in water to take some of the bitterness out before adding to salads. The bitter taste of dandelions is great for supporting digestion. You could also infuse them in apple cider vinegar for a vitamin and mineral boost to your day.
7 Miners Lettuce
A deep green and nutrient dense plant that supersizes the minerals and vitamins in your spring salad. Add it to your pesto or stir fry to improve your magnesium and vitamin K levels.
8 Onion Weed
This plant is often found growing wild, so keep an eye out when you are spring foraging. Onion weed tastes like a mix between spring onions and garlic. Add it to your stir fries, scrambled eggs, scones, quiches. You can use both the blades and the flowers, although the flowers have a much more mild flavour. They make a beautiful savoury addition to salads.
Spring foraging means nasturtiums. This is one of the many plants that have edible flowers, so you can start adding some colour to your greens. You can add the leaves to vinegar, salads or even in fresh rice paper rolls. They have a peppery taste that can help balance meals, and also can be taken as a fresh tea to help with coughs.
10 Wild Fennel
Foraging in spring is a great way to add fresh flavour to any meal as there are plenty of herbs about, fennel being one of them. Not only can it flavour your cooking you can also use it as a digestive if you’ve eaten too much, add it into your baking or make a tea. You will see the bright yellow fennel seed heads that can be collected and dried for use later on.