Foraging for Natural Flavors
Growing significantly in popularity over the past few years, foraging is an outdoor activity that entails searching, identifying and collecting food resources in the wild. As consumers are increasingly concerned with suitability and transparency, wanting to know exactly what is in their food and where it’s coming from, foraging has become both a hobby and way of life for many. Join us at Advanced Biotech as we take a look at some of our favorite flavors to forage and the health benefits that come along with them.
Abundant, easily recognizable, and delicious, berries are one of the most popular foods to forage. They are often found in accessible areas and are available in a large variety with wild blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries growing in various different climates. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, berries make for a great introduction into the practice of foraging and are so versatile little will go to waste. From juices to jams, liqueurs, pies, and baked goods, berries boast a natural balance of both sweet and tart flavors. Look for berries in woodlands, hedgerows, and parks beginning in the late summer.
Wild garlic is another great choice for first-time foragers. Found across most of the US and UK, garlic is harvestable year-round and is endlessly versatile. Milder than domesticated garlic, wild garlic has a lighter, smoother flavor that is perfect for use in stir fries, stews, and soups. Wild garlic can also be preserved, and has unique health benefits such as reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Wild garlic is also thought to have antibiotic, antiseptic, and even antiviral properties, making it a highly sought-after resource. It’s also good for gardens due to its ability to ward off pests and diseases, and the juice can even be used a household disinfectant.
Elderflower are a type of small, white flower that has endless uses. These aromatic blooms can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or powered and can be used in everything from liqueurs, to jams, wine, ice cream, baked goods, tea, and even savory meat dishes. They are also a popular ingredient in homemade lotions and candles for their distinctively sweet floral aroma. Elder bushes are covered in sweet-smelling flowers by the end of June, and berries between August and October. They are often found in the woods and on roadsides.
Foraging is a rewarding activity that is good for both the body and the environment. And while wild food is generally good for you, taking precautions and getting some tips and advice from experienced foragers is essential in order to remain safe. Reducing food waste, eating organically, and seasonally are great ways to preserve the environment and maintain personal health.