Foraging M - O

Hey guys, I'm back again with another foraging post, which I'm sure you were looking forward to. I just want to remind you all that the below information is second hand information that I've collected over the years through the internet and books, so please use caution when trying any of the below. Incorrect plant identification can be extremely dangerous, and can cause you to be very ill or worse case you could die. Use at your own risk.

Mallow

Mallow is a soft tasty leaf good in fresh salads. Use it like lettuce and other leafy greens. You may find the smaller younger leaves a tad tenderer. Toss in salads, or cook as you would other tender greens like spinach. The larger leave can be used for stuffing, like grape leaves. The seed pods are also edible while green and soft before they harden, later turning woody and brown. I hear they can be cooked like a vegetable. I’ve harvested and eaten them raw, and want to try steaming, pickling, fermenting, and preparing like okra.

Mallow Malva Neglecta

Edible parts: All parts of the mallow plant are edible — the leaves, the stems, the flowers, the seeds,
and the roots (it’s from the roots that cousin Althaea gives the sap that was used for marshmallows). Because it’s a weed that grows plentifully in neglected areas, mallows have been used throughout history as a survival food during times of crop failure or war. Mallows are high in mucilage, a sticky substance that gives them a slightly slimy texture, like okra, great in soups. Mallow has a nice pleasant nutty flavor. One of the most popular uses of mallows is as a salad green. (Like all herbs, pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)



Marigolds

Their flavor is citrusy. Usually only the petals are used. No green parts.  I also use them for yellow coloring in various dishes. They’re another flower called the “poor man’s saffron” the other being the Calendula.





Marsh-marigold

Leaves are edible when cooked; boil 10-60 minutes, until tender.
roots can be cooked and eaten. The variety in Manitoba is Yellow marsh-marigold. Grows in wet, open areas in montane, subalpine and alpine regions. Warning: eat in moderation, avoid uncooked young leaves and flowers.

Meadowsweet

Also known as: Maids of the Meadow, Meadow-sweet, Meadows Queen, Meadwort, Queen of the Meadow
An herbaceous perennial up to 1.2 m (4 ft.) high with long-stemmed leaves, it has large, dense, umbrella-like heads of creamy-white flowers that emit a sweet but sickly fragrance from early summer to early autumn.
You’ll find it: in wet, damp woods and meadows; also in marshes and fens and alongside streams and ditches.
Leaves: pleasantly aromatic, dark green leaves, each formed of two to five pairs of tooth-edged leaflets. Leaves have greyish-white undersides
Harvesting the leaves: cut while young and fresh and before eaten by insects.
Using the leaves and flowers: chop up young leaves and use to flavour soups. Dried leaves have been used to introduce aromatic aromas to wines, as well as to mead. Flowers when added to beer and wine are claimed to make a stronger and headier brew, and introduces sweetness when used in cold drinks and fruit salads during summer.
Medicinal Values of Meadowsweet
Young leaves and flowers are occasionally infused together to make a tea that is claimed to ease the common cold, soothe inflammatory problems and calm stomach complaints. The plant contains the chemicals that are used to produce aspirin.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is most commonly sought for its medical properties of preventing and repairing liver damage. But most parts of the plants are also edible and tasty. Until recently, it was commonly cultivated in European vegetable gardens. Leaves can be de-spined for use as salad greens or sautéed like collard greens; water-soaked stems prepared like asparagus; roots boiled or baked; flower pods used like artichoke heads.

Miner’s Lettuce

Flowers, Leaves, Root. Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. A bland flavor with a mucilaginous texture, it is quite nice in a salad. The young leaves are best, older leaves can turn bitter especially in the summer and if the plant is growing in a hot dry position. Although individual leaves are small, they are produced in abundance and are easily picked. Stalks and flowers can be eaten raw. A nice addition to the salad bowl. Bulb also can be eaten raw. Although very small and labour-intensive to harvest, the boiled and peeled root has the flavor of chestnuts. Another report says that the plant has a fibrous root system, so this report seems to be inaccurate.

Mullein Verbascum Thapsus

Edible parts: Leaves and flowers. The flowers are fragrant and taste sweet; the leaves are not fragrant and taste slightly bitter. This plant is best known for a good cup of tea and can be consumed as a regular beverage. Containing vitamins B2, B5, B12, and D, choline, hesperidin, para amino benzoic acid, magnesium, and sulfur, but mullein tea is primarily valued as an effective treatment for coughs and lung disorders.

Mulberries

Mulberry leaves have two types, one spade shape and a 5-fingered leaf. Both have pointed edges

Musk Mallow

Leaves are edible raw. Young leaves are tenderer and less bitter than older leaves. Young shoots are edible raw. Leaves are suitable as a soup thickener. Seeds are edible raw. Seeds have a palatable, nut-like flavour. Flower buds and flowers are edible. Fruits are edible. Grows in meadows, roadsides, disturbed sites and gardens.


Mustards

They all have yellow to white blossoms, sometimes pink, usually a simple cross which is there the family names Cruciferae comes from. They range from the Mustard that produces the seed that makes the condiment to the radish in our salad to the plant that produces what eventually is cleaned and deodorized into Canola oil. In northern climates they are a spring and summer plant. Wild radish and wild mustard look similar but have small differences. One is that Mustards grow tall, radishes like to serpentine. Radish blossoms cluster and have noticeable veins, mustard blossoms are singular, and the veins are not obvious. The seeds pods are different as well. Mustard’s pod is smooth, the radish jointed and why the mustard is called the charlock and the radish the jointed charlock. Their blossoms are both peppery and mustardy. They work best in cold salads or hot soups, the latter they can be tossed in just before serving. And of course, Mustard and radish leaves can be cooked up as greens.

Nasturtiums

The blossoms are peppery. In fact, the entire plant above ground is edible, even the seeds which can be pickled and used like capers. Multi-colored, low growing or trailing, Nasturtiums are often used in kid projects because the seeds are large, they’re fast to germinate and grow, safe, and edible.

Northern Water Plantain

Bulbous base of plant is edible raw. Plant has a strong flavour. Plant is best when dried and cooked. Grows in ponds and marshes. Warning: may cause a skin reaction and be poisonous to some people, use with caution





Onions

There are some 400 species in the Allium association if you include Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, and closely related ramps/leeks, the latter having wide leaves. Usually the flowers have a stronger flavor than the leafy parts, and the developing seed head even stronger flavor. Blossoms are usually white but can also be pink. Onion stems are round, as are chives but smaller. Garlic leaves are flat. Ramps and leeks have large leaves.

Oxeye Daisy


Young leaves can be eaten raw. Leaves have a strong taste. Spring shoots are edible raw. Roots are edible raw. Unopened flower buds can be used for flavouring. Grows in fields, pastured, disturbed areas and roadsides.

Homemade Bread

I've always loved making bread, but I've never really been good at it. I think it was a mixture of having old ingredients and having...