So I am having the best time wandering around the garden and our local park looking for wild edibles to forage!
Wild foraged foods are one of the best ways of increasing diversity in the gut, our gut microbes love the variety and exceptionally high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and polyphenols!
I am currently loving dandelion flowers which grow everywhere and have a long flowering season so no need to rush out before they all disappear! They will be around for months!
I have to admit I am not a fan of dandelion leaves, they are just too bitter for me to enjoy but the flowers are another thing altogether! And it turns out they have way more polyphenols and antioxidants than the leaves or roots!
They have anti-inflammatory properties, are diuretic, increase bile production so benefit digestion too and they are protective against cancer by interrupting tumour growth so plenty of reasons to eat them!
They are a fairly invasive plant and so many people spray them and treat the grass with pesticides which is not what you want to be doing,
If you can't beat them, eat them.....
If you are foraging dandelion flowers, pick them away from roadsides where they are likely to have been sprayed with pesticides, dog pee and traffic fumes! Also dandelion flowers are a great source of pollen for the bees so pick from densely populated areas and leave plenty for our insect friends.
So here is a great recipe which you can adapt to suit your taste, the key ingredient is dandelion flowers and you will need around 150g of them which is quite a lot! I used a couple of eating apples, dried figs and a handful of goji berries, some freshly zested ginger and turmeric and the zest of a lime, organic apple cider vinegar and some organic sugar. Oh and a couple of bay leaves because I have loads of them!
You could use cooking apples, dates, raisins, orange or lemon zest and any fresh herbs you have available!
So here is the basic recipe, I cut down the amount of sugar to 65g since the figs and apples add sweetness but feel free to increase it if you want a sweeter chutney.
I don't really know if this is a Chutney or a Relish so I'm just calling it a chutney, its cooked in apple cider vinegar and has fruit in it!
Wash the dandelion flowers and remove the stalks but leave the green bit, although its a bit bitter the sugar in the recipe masks it so just remove any straggly green bits.
150g dandelion flowers, washed
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 medium white onion, chopped
80g dried figs or raisins
1/4 cup of goji berries (optional)
1 tablespoon finely zested or grated ginger
1 tablespoon finely grated turmeric or 1tsp turmeric powder
zest of a lime
65g to 100g brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
200mls apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
Simply add all the ingredients to a medium sized pot, bring to the boil then simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Leave to cool then transfer to glass jars and store in the fridge.
Enjoy with crackers and cheese, on sourdough avo toast, on a sandwich, wrap, baked potato or with any hot dish or salad
🍃 Health educator🍃