Foraging in January

Christmas is over, you’ve already broken your new year’s resolution and the weather’s foul but believe it or not there’s still plenty to be foraging in January. Make the most of those brief breaks in the rain and burn off some of that Christmas dinner.

So what can you forage in January? Here are our top five picks for the month.

Lets take a look at what we can be Foraging in January

You can click on the species below to be taken to our full identification guides;

Oyster Mushrooms 

A mushroom that’s common and can be found all year around. It is dead easy to ID and usually grows in large, overlapping clusters. You’ll find them growing on dead or decaying broadleaf trees and stumps and they are a great meat substitute.

Grey oyster mushroom, large cluster on elm-forager James

Three-cornered leek

One of the first plants to emerge and to look out for, it’s a non-native invasive species that can be used as a substitute for spring onions. The leaves have 3 sides hence the common name and it is normally found in damp environments at the sides of ponds and rivers.

3 cornered leek, nice shot of the plant in situ-forager James

Dandelion root

Winter is the best time to harvest the roots of Dandelion, the plant uses the root to store carbohydrates over winter. As long as the ground isn’t frozen solid they are pretty easy to remove but remember to seek the landowners permission beforehand.

dandelion, roots unwashed-forager James

Spruce needles

Yes you can eat your Christmas tree but the flavour comes from volatile oils that have most likely evaporated by now so go out into the wild and harvest some fresh ones. Conifers are an underused resource that are available all year round and safe once you can identify a Yew tree.

Spruce, nice shot of the needles-forager James


A tiny plant that packs a punch, you’ll find them everywhere including your back garden. Use it as you would rocket or watercress for a spicy, mustardy kick.

Bitter cress, growing in winter-forager James

Recipe of the month for our Foraging in January Finds….

Dandelion Root Roasted Coffee

Great for detoxifying your body after Christmas excesses, it’s simple, caffeine free, and tastes great. Once the roots are baked and powdered you could also use them to make our Dandelion root cheesecake or panna cotta.


  • Dandelion Roots


  1. Dig your dandelion roots, trhe easiest way to do so is to loosen the soil around the dandelion with a pitchfork before then digging out the root – if you don’t there’s a good chance the root will snap.
  2. Wash the roots, removing any dirt and mud
  3. Chop roughly into about 1cm cubes
  4. Place on a baking tray and put in a pre-heated oven to 180C for 45 minutes
  5. The key to doing this right is to leave the oven door open for the first 15 minutes
  6. Grind in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder and store in an airtight jar

To make the coffee


  • Ground and Roasted dandelion Roots – 1 tsp per person
  • Boiling Water – 250ml per person
  • Full Fat milk – to serve
  • Birch sap syrup – to taste (or honey)


  • In a coffee plunger place your roasted dandelion roots
  • Top up with boiling water and leave to infuse for 8 minutes
  • Serve with full fat milk and birch sap syrup to taste. 

Cooking with Foraged Produce is a Joy!

Maybe you'd like to join us for some hands-on Foraging
to help develop your larder of Wild Ingredients?

Wild Garlic and Cheese Scones

Find our Up Coming Courses here

Identification is key!

Maybe you'd like to join us for some hands-on Foraging?

Find our Up coming Courses here