blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Southwest Michigan ain’t North Florida

No leaves on the trees
Stinging Nettles

It’s been several weeks since I arrived in Watervliet, Michigan and one thing is for sure… I ain’t in Florida any more. Often times when I travel I convince myself that if I pack certain items of clothing and selectively leave other items behind that I can control the weather. This technique has yet to work. I did pack some “chilly” weather gear just in case though so in actuality I wasn’t 100% committed to my weather control philosophy. I am grateful I did though because it was cold and wet the first week I was here, then it warmed up, then got cold and then got wet and cold. Now it’s just cold. No worries though because I have truly be able to experience a Spring complete with all of its fresh green shoots and wild edibles.

I broke out the foraging books once the sun came out and boy did I find some good stuff. Nettles, wild onion, mustard garlic and chickweed are some of my favorites. I even lucked upon the highly sought after morel mushroom. The funny thing was I practically tripped over them. They were growing in one small area right in front of the front door of where I was staying. 2 weeks have gone by and I haven’t seen a trace of them anywhere else and believe me I’ve been looking. Another awesome thing about my Springtime in Michigan is that they grow tons of asparagus here. I’m crazy about fresh raw asparagus. It actually seems ridiculous to me that anyone would want to cook asparagus knowing just how good it is raw. I’ve been known to put it in the dehydrator after smoothering it in coconut oil and sprinkle it with pink salt and nutritional yeast. That’s good eating I tell you what! And guess what? It’s another prized wild edible and I found one… not some, one. It was delicious too.

Wild Asparagus

Along with the greens there have been an amazing array of flowers coming up, some of them edible like violets and dandelions and others just beautiful. For this post I’m just going to feature the edibles, next post the beautifuls. Here’s a tasty recipe for a wild nettle and onion pecan pesto that will make your big toe shoot out your boot.

Warning: Sting nettles sting… hence the name. It is best to collect them while wearing gloves. The stinging hairs on the nettle plant are neutralized once they have been crushed or food processed. Fresh nettles can be added to green smoothies or used in a pesto recipe like the one below. It also can be dehydrated and used for making nettle tea.

1 Cup pecans or walnuts

Morels

3-4 Cups fresh nettle tops – tender leaves, lightly packed

1/2 Cup wild garlic or onion greens – looks like chives, peel the older growth back to reveal tender onion shoot inside

1/4 Cup olive oil

1 T white/light miso – I prefer chickpea

1-2 T nutritional yeast

1 t apple cider vinegar

2 t pink salt or to taste

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and process with the S-blade.

Serve stuffed inside of peppers, on veggies or on raw crackers. Recipe can be thinned with nut mylk and used as a sauce for noodles.

Onion and Nettles
Making Pesto

BTW, my new book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox comes out on June 7th at books stores nation wide. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think. I will be hosting a Detox Retreat in Michigan featuring the program outlined in the book from August 12-18. More details to come… Keep it Live!