Cocktails flavored with different plants and herbals are now all the rage among foodies and at popular restaurants. Beyond the garden, foraged, wild flavors can be gathered from the woods and fields to be blended into infused liqueurs, simple syrups and handmade bitters for the cocktail cart. The windfall of falling walnuts becomes noticeable in …

A PureMichigan summertime is made up of camping trips, picnics, and summers by the lakeshore surrounded by family and friends. But usually unwelcome visitors to the festivities include the pesky mosquitos, ticks and spiders – unavoidable in our forests and backyards. To fully ensure you will stay bite free, cover the skin up in lightweight …

A Winter’s Foraging Walk

Folks frequently ask, “Can you forage in winter?” and my response is always a resounding yes! While there aren’t the summer’s berries and flowers to be found in the deep snow of the Great Lakes; a forager can delight that there are barks, buds, and even sap to be gathered in the cold of January …

Nourishing With Herbal & Bone Broths

Broths! This may seem like the newest food trend but alas – herbal and bone broths have been in simmering on the stoves of healing kitchens across the globe and across time. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, broth is a key component to building yin deficiency and nourishing the body, and the Jewish bubbe knows that chicken …

Wild Flavors of Thanksgiving: Chestnuts

In Michigan and across much of the Midwest it’s a SNOW DAY! The snow out my window already blankets the ground with drifts in some areas over 2 feet deep! This makes me glad for the season’s harvests that already are packed away in my pantry for hearty winter meals — the acorn flour, the fruit …

Autumn Olive: An Underworld Fruit

Spent time in the woods gathering autumn olive berries yesterday from trees still heavy with ripe fruit. I hope we can reimagine these delightful fruits as life-giving and nourishing because of their abundance (or invasiveness, depending on perspective). The rain, falling leaves and dark day’s weather were symbolic of the slow transition to winter; these …

Unfurling

Early spring is bursting with all its wild edible glory right now. The woods are filled with fiddleheads, trout lily, morel mushrooms, wild ginger, field garlic, dock and white lettuce leaves. The fields have violets in bloom for salads and sunshine yellow dandelions ready for dandelion wine. Invasive edible plants like Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard still have …

Nutritious Nettles: A Foraged Risotto Recipe

While on my run last Saturday, I was delighted to discover these tiny shoots of nettle (Urtica dioica)!!  I found myself stooping down to snack on them fresh with complete disregard to the tiny sting, enjoying the nettle’s flavor that I haven’t enjoyed fresh since last fall! I think my running buddies thought I was crazy… Hands down, …

Kick the Ick: Cold & Flu Herbal Tips & Tricks

The sun has dropped to a low spot on the horizon. The days are darker and colder and the night is longer. Winter signifies a need for deep rest and nourishment. It’s a time of quiet. Soup’s on the stove, hot teas are being sipped. The proverbial fire is being stoked in the kitchen’s hearth. …

The Divine Honeysuckle

One of my most favorite, divine and seductive flowers is the Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica, Caprifoliaceae). It is a rambling vine that loves to climb and appreciates hot, dry waste places. It blooms right about Solstice — which I find apropos as it is a delightful plant with which to celebrate the sun’s highest point of …