Preparing plants for cooking

Discussion in 'Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Food' started by Endure, Jun 8, 2016.

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  1. Endure

    Endure Expert Member

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    Plants can be cooked to enhance their flavor. Depending on the type of food obtained, it will be more appropriate one or aother cooking method. We must never forget that eating wild plants without being 100% sure of its edibility is playing the odds for a daily meal or a certain death for food poisoning.

    Roots and tubers. The roots are usually rich in starch and sugars. They can be boiled, baked or broiled. Toasted roots can be particularly tasty: first scald them until they start to get tender and then roast them over hot stones placed over bonfire. The root of dandelion roasted and minced can be used as a coffee substitute. Some roots are edible only after boiling, in order to destroy harmful substances such as oxalic acid; and most of them are too hard to eat raw. They will cook faster if we manage to cut them in small portions.

    Nuts. Nuts can be eaten raw or roasted. Chestnuts can also be baked or broiled. For acorns it is preferable to crush them before cooking. Many nuts, such as beech, contain very nourishing oils that can be extracted. To do this, you will take the fruit, peeled if necessary, and put it into a bowl of water and then boil it afterwards. The oil will rise to the surface since is less dense than water, and then you can collect it from the surface.

    Leaves, stems and buds. The tender leaves and sprouts of many plants can be eaten raw, but it tastes better if boiled. If those taste bitter, you should change the water several times to remove the bitterness. Be warned though, boiling also removes plenty of vitamins, therefore is up to you to decide whether or not is worth cooking. Although most plants are woody, some plants have edible soft stalks; the fibrous parts should be removed and then boiled. In general,leaves and stalks are more nutritious than buds.

    Tree sap. You can make syrups from tree saps. As long as the tree sap contains enough sugar, you can dehydrate it to prepare syrup. Another warning advice, you should know what you are doing with tree sap handling, there are too many poisonous saps out there.
  2. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member

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    There are many plants in which may be edible which we do not consume because many people don't know that they can be eaten. I guess that if i am in a situation where the regular type of food is not available, I would have to probably take the risk and try to eat some type of root or tuber which may seem edible. I would not have a choice because it's either that or die of hungry.
  3. ZoeZoundBarrier

    ZoeZoundBarrier Member

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    Your own garden is the main living space for wild palatable plants. Wherever area is frequently cleared is stacked with weeds that can be eaten. For example, dandelion, violets, henbit, dead-nettle and sow thistle are all plants that might grow in your backyard and are 100% consumable. Begin your experimenting with grass as it is always edible and work your way up.
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    In one of our trips to the boondocks where a family friend of my husband lives, I had tasted broiled sweet potato. I didn't expect that it would taste that good, so sweet and really delicious. Maybe their type of cooking enhanced the flavor because what they used for the stove are big stones with firewood in the middle. There's also the odor of smoke and probably taste too which gave the sweet potato the rural touch.

    I have also tasted rice that was cooked in a bamboo cylinder which also tasted more delicious or maybe it is just psychological. And the dish of pork in sour soup, oh my, I still remember how it tasted until now. Maybe if we are in a survival situation and we would have those food that I mentioned then we would feel that we might be in a picnic.
  5. My3Sons_NJ

    My3Sons_NJ New Member

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    A number of fungi can also be edible but it requires a lot of detailed knowledge to know which ones are edible and which ones are poisonous. In a temperate climate, you'll often find wild strawberries which can be eaten without risk.
  6. PriscillaKing

    PriscillaKing Expert Member

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    People spend so much money (and make themselves ill) trying to kill "weeds." Hah. When gardening I just eat the weeds...

    Actually, of course, it's more complicated than that. I eat dock, dandelion, plantain, and similar. Some things, like Bidens, cinnamon vine, and poison ivy, I burn. (In the barrel, where they make a nice lining in between yucky garbage, if any, and the all-metal pot resting on the wood.) Then there are dead fruit tree branches, and privet prunings, which *are* the wood.
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