If you roam through forests, across meadows, and through your own garden with a knowing eye, you will find many a treasure of nature for your kitchen. Edible wild plants enrich the diet with aromatic foods rich in vital substances.
Pure from nature: edible wild plants
Sure, you can find edible plant products in abundance in the produce and fruit section of the grocery store. Going into nature yourself and collecting wild plants for your plate is worthwhile for many reasons. On the one hand, it is great fun to go on a journey of discovery and to try unusual dishes such as nettle soup. On the other hand, edible wild plants contain many vital substances that can benefit our health. However, the prerequisite is that you can identify wild plants and avoid potentially polluted collection areas in areas with heavy traffic. Agricultural pesticides applied directly to fields could affect edible wild herbs and flowers. If you are not sure, it is better to use your own garden. There, too, you can find, for example, edible flowers from daisies, lavender, or jasmine as well as wild herbs.
Determine first, then eat
Beginners in the world of wild plants can go on a herb hike with trained guides or go on a search with a wild herb book or an identification app. Lists for edible plants and seasonal collection calendars provide the most important information for preparing a spicy wild herb salad and other delicacies. In the beginning, it is advisable not to use too many different wild plants at once and to use them more like spices in the kitchen, otherwise, the aromas can quickly become overloaded: edible wild plants taste much more intense than cultivated plants.
Start with well-known varieties such as dandelion, goutweed, and chickweed – these grow in many gardens as annoying weeds and can be destroyed in an ecologically friendly way. You can also sow wild plant seeds and even harvest your own crops on the windowsill.
This is how edible wild plants can be used in the kitchen
Edible wild herbs are wonderful spices for numerous dishes, from soups to Persian herb salads. They can often be used to reduce the use of salt, which suits everyone who wants or needs to eat a low-salt diet. You can mix the herbs freshly cut into small pieces with the food, flowers as a whole are a great eye-catcher on dishes. The treasures of nature are also a tasty ingredient for smoothies. For preservation, edible wild plants can be dried, placed in oil, salt, or vinegar, or processed into a spice paste or herb butter. Medicinal herbs can be used in tea, tinctures, or skin care ointments. You can read here how to make your own birdseed from grains, nuts, and oatmeal.