Words from Molly Leslie
Eating plants is key to any vegan diet.
Eating plants for free is next level vegan living.
Imagine not having to buy spinach again, or blueberries and imagine being able to experience nature whilst out gathering your dinner. If this appeals to you then foraging is definitely an activity to add to your food routine.
Foraging has become a habit on any walk I take now; I never used to scour the ground for nettles or dandelions. But now when I see these leafy greens, I whip out a bag and fill it up for a tasty side dish or salad piece for my dinner.
I team fresh spring greens like beech leaves and wood sorrel to make a zesty salad and I wilt nettles, an excellent alternative to spinach, and wild garlic with (vegan) butter. Add to a bowl of well salted rice and tofu and you have a nutritious and delicious meal.
Foraging has been a way of life since humankind evolved in Africa about 2.5 million years ago, but it has somewhat changed since then. Foraging was once the only way to survive, moving from pasture to pasture to seek out the best berries and the most abundant fruit trees. These days I just take my chances to see what I can find in the woods and fields. You would be surprised what’s out there.
My meals are now usually topped up with something wild and foraged, either from the garden or from the local area. Whether it be bilberries chucked on top of porridge, a wonderful substitute for pricey supermarket blueberries. Or pineapple weed, which does actually taste like pineapple, tossed on top of a salad. And of course, elderflowers, my once expensive habit of drinking elderflower and gin has been tapered down as I can now forage elderflower and make my own cordial, which I freeze for a year-round supply.
Once you start looking it really is amazing how much free food there is waiting to be found. As well as being a fun activity, adding foraged food to a vegan diet can help to support the daily intake of vitamins and minerals needed to be healthy and happy.