You can go out and pay a couple of pounds for a bag of spinach that may have been sat on a supermarket shelf for a week. Or at this time of year, you can walk out of your door get a bit of fresh air and pick some wild edibles such as dandelion. Dandelion is free.  Dandelion that is freshly picked is full of vitamins and minerals. Nutrients that will feed and nourish our bodies.  

Im writing this in early March. Spring is on the horizon. The ground is warming up and mother natures plants are sending all their energy up through the roots and into the new leaves.  Wild edibles are at the mercy of predators, there are no farmers spraying them with chemicals to save them from insects.  They are not drip fed the correct nutrients. Wild plants have to grow a strong root network to search out for what they need to survive.  It is survival of the fittest out there. Wild plants are bursting with vitality.  I could write about wild edibles all day and still be full of enthusiasm.  Anyway back to that bag of spinach. Where did it come from and when was it picked? Its likely it wasn’t born here in the UK but we wont get onto air miles on this post. What I do want to mention however is that for every day that passes from when a plant is picked, there is a loss of nutrients.  It is estimated that spinach can lose up to 90% of its vitamin C within forty eight hours! 

Ok so now we know how good dandelion is for us, how are we going to eat it?  Its not exactly tasty. Actually its down right bitter!  When I started eating dandelion, I would eat a teeny bit whilst out walking, or as the season progressed I could wrap a leaf around a blackberry and get it down me that way. Now I just munch on them whilst i’m enjoying my walks.  But my favourite way to consume them is in a smoothie.  I am lucky enough to have a Vitamix.  I started off with a cheaper blender but it didn’t work for my style of smoothie and soon broke down….actually I think there may have been a small fire inside it as it started smoking so I put it outside for the binmen.  I have no interest in putting water in my smoothie, why dilute it?  I want to be able to put my greens in the bottom, maybe an apple or a banana next and the rest of the smoothie will be frozen fruit.  I like them to be so thick that I can stand a spoon in them!  

So what did I have in my smoothie today?  Well I picked some delicious dandelion. Seriously look at this picture.. that is food porn at its finest.. or maybe its just me 🙂 

Dandelions in my smoothie

Then in with homemade yoghurt.  Next thing in was an apple, cut into half.  Now time for the frozen fruit.  We had a load of pears last year so I cut them up and vacuum packed them. I’m running low now but i’ve been enjoying them all through winter.

Dandelions in my smoothie

 I also picked and vacuumed packed a ton of blackberries. I have bitter sweet memories of picking them late last summer as I had my old dog with me. She would lay patiently munching on any blackberries I threw her way.  She went over rainbow bridge a couple of months ago and I miss her very much.. it wont be the same this year without her by my side.

So there you have it. I have a quality nutrient dense smoothie. No additives. Very little cost to make because most of the ingredients are foraged or in the case of the yoghurt, just the cost of a little organic whole milk.

Best bit is because it is so thick I eat it like a meal and i’m full until well after lunchtime. 

Let me know your favourite wild edibles. Maybe you have a great recipe to share?

Kara May. My best friend and foraging partner. Now by my side forever.