It is said that wild foods contain 50% more nutrients that conventional produce and up to 20% more than organic produce!! This should tell use something. All those dandelion greens in your yard that are viewed as nothing more than a weed and often sprayed with harsh chemicals are one of the most detoxifying foods we can add to our diet. Wild foods like ramps, mushrooms, asparagus, and fiddlehead ferns grow throughout the US, but are often passed by. Our everyday diet can be jolted with nutrients and valuable minerals by some easy to find additions. Everyday at the Tol we are given a few dishes of foarges wild foods. Below are some of the wild plants found around the Tree of Life grounds.
Amaranth, a wild green found in mass quanities here in Patagonia, is high in protein, lysine, calcium, iron and fiber. Amaranth oils are high in "squalene", a powerful antioxidant used as a dietary supplement for diabetics and those suffering from hypertension and metabolic disorders.
Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit-
With a vibrant purple color the prickly pear cactus fruits and pads are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that may help keep blood sugar stable. This low gylcemic fruit tastes great pureed or juiced through a Champion Juicer. Also, like blueberries,or Acai fruit, the prickly pear is high in antioxidents.
With a fuzzy like texture, Lamb's quarter is another wild food that is a great addition to your diet.
Generally seen in old western movies, but tumble weed is a great addition to your diet. It has a sharp green flavor and is full of nutrients.
Grown throughout the United States, purslaine can be seen in almost every garden. What is dissapointing is that most people consider it a weed and rip it out of the ground. Purslaine contains high Omega 3's, making it one of the highest sources of omega 3's in the plant world. It gives off a sightly tangy lemon flavor when eaten.
Used by the Native Americans as a sweetner, mesquite is a low glysemic pod that grows on trees throughout the south west. In Arizona, these bean like pods fill the trees in the spring before drying out in the hot summer sun around late June. Once harvested, mesquite is generally ground into a powder. Mesquite is often used in BBQ recipes, but in the raw food world, it is a perfect addition to nut mylks and desserts. For a sweet treat, pick a dried pod from the try and chew away!!
Indian toliet paper......need I say more?
So what do we do with wild foods? The easiest way to use these wild foods is in salad. Collect a handful, chop them p a bit and add them to fresh organic greens. A pinch of salt, lemon juice+ olive oil, and your good to go! Eating raw, wild foods will add vital nutrients to your body and give it that extra boost you have been waiting for!!
For more info on eating wild, or if in New England and interested in a wild food forage,