What to eat now..

 

Now is the perfect time to pick dandelion leaves and flowers for dandelion wine, soup, bruschetta topping or the roots to make dandelion coffee – a great alternative for those who are not keen on caffeine.  Here are some great recipes from Friends of the Earth, I will be trying the soup over the weekend. Happy foraging!

DANDELION WINE

3 qts dandelion flowers

* 1 lb golden raisins

* 1 gallon water

* 3 lbs granulated sugar

* 2 lemons

* 1 orange

* yeast and nutrient

Pick fresh flowers, trim of stalk, if extra careful trim off all green.  Put flowers in a large bowl. Set aside one pint of water,  bring the rest of a gallon to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the dandelion flowers and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave for two days, stirring twice daily. Pour flowers and water in large pot and bring to a low boil. Add sugar and the peeling of the citrus (peel thinly and avoid any white pith.). Low boil for one hour, pour into fermenter. Add the juice and pulp of the citrus. Allow to cool. Add yeast and yeast nutrient, cover, and put in a warm place for three days. Strain and pour into secondary fermenter. Add raisins and fit fermentation lock. Strain and rack after wine clears, adding water to top up. Leave until fermentation stops completely, rack again. Two months later rack and bottle. Age six months to a year.

DANDELION BLOSSOM CAKE

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup Dandelion Blossom Syrup

1½ cups oil

4 eggs

2 cups Dandelion blossom petals

1 can crushed pineapple

½ cup walnuts

½ cup coconut

Sift together the dry ingredient. In separate bowl, beat the sugar, dandelion syrup, oil and eggs together until creamy, add the pineapple, walnuts, and coconut, and mix well. Stir the dry ingredients into the mixture until well blended. Pour batter into a greased, 9×13 cake pan and bake at 350° for about 40 minutes.

DANDELION SOUP

4 cups chopped dandelion leaves

2 cups dandelion flower petals

2 cups dandelion buds

1 Tbsp butter or olive oil

1 cup chopped wild leeks (or onions)

6 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups water

2 cups half-n-half or heavy cream

2 tsp salt

Gently boil the dandelion leaves in 6 cups water, then pour off the bitter water.  Boil gently a second time, pour off the bitter water. In a heavy-bottom soup pot, sauté wild leeks and garlic in butter or olive oil until tender. Add 4 cups of water, then the dandelion leaves, flower petals, buds, and salt. Simmer gently 45 minutes or so, add the cream and simmer a few minutes more, garnish with flower petals.

My greener life – resolutions for 2014

New_Year_Resolutions

So this year I have read up about ethical consumerism of which I am very passionate, carbon offset credits and carbon footprints, and supply chains. I have modified my consumption trying to buy more high welfare (both human and animal), local, small business, upcycled, recycled, organic and handmade. I have also almost stopped using plastic bags completely.

So, what will I be looking at this year you ask, well please see my resolutions for a greener 2014:

  • Cut out more plastic – I will be looking at the things I use and buy and trying out going ‘plastic free’
  • Try not to buy anything that cannot be recycled
  • Stop using paper cups when I get coffee either sit in or buy a reusable take away cup
  • Have at least one vegetarian day each week

I will probably also continue to be fascinated by supply chains and where products come from, how they are made etc (I blame the last book I read).

I would love to hear your green resolutions, drop me a line on twitter @lucylloydslater

Thanks for reading,

Lucy

Image courtesy of the Guardian