Whether you are hiking, camping, backpacking, or enjoying any other outdoor activity, food is one of the must-haves. While you can always bring packed, ready-to-eat, or freeze-dried foods if you want to learn the fundamentals of wilderness survival, know how to identify wild edible plants. This way, you will know what you can and cannot eat for your peace of mind.
In this edible plant guide, we’ll talk about how you can identify which ones are safe. More importantly, we’ll list some of the best wild plants that you can eat.
Safety of Edible Plants
To start with our edible wild plant’s guide, let’s talk about how you will stay safe and sound even after eating. Many of you may be afraid of eating wild plants. While you have a reason to be scared, according to a botanist from Missouri Botanical Garden, most of the plants that you will find in the North American forests are edible. However, while they may be safe, some of them may taste disgusting and won’t provide the nutrition that you need.
As a rule of thumb, better be safe than sorry, so don’t eat any wild plant if you are not 150% sure of its name and safety. Stay away from the plant if you have even the slightest doubt about its safety.
To test the edibility of the plant, you should also give it a quick sniff. While these plants may be a great addition to your backpacking food ideas, don’t eat them when there is a strong smell that seems off. If it smells like something that is rotting, this is an obvious sign that you should not eat it.
You should also perform a quick skin test on your elbow. Hold the plant near your skin for a few minutes. Watch out for signs of redness, swelling, and burning sensation. If you feel anything wrong, don’t eat the plant.
Make sure that you pack a first aid kit to immediately respond to any problem that can arise from consuming wild plants when medical help is not immediately available.
Edible Plants Guide: What to Eat
In this section of our edible wild plant’s guide, we’ll talk about the best plants that you can eat. If you are preparing vegan camping food or vegetarian backpacking meals, these will also make excellent ingredients for a healthy and filling meal while you are outdoors.
If a healthy salad is what you have in mind for the best hiking and backpacking food, look for wild greens. Dandelions are among the most popular. This common lawn weed is also popular in the wild. Best of all, you can eat all the parts. From the yellow flower to the leaf to the root, you can eat everything. Choose younger plants as the older ones tend to be bitter.
Flowers are not only beautiful but can also be delicious. Daylily flowers can be battered and fried. Its typical height is from one to four feet and has a flower that lasts only for a day, so you can be assured of its freshness. The yellow dandelion flower is another wild plant you can eat raw without being concerned about your safety.
The best thing about fruits is that you can eat them raw right out of the tree. It is also easy to identify, so safety is not much of an issue. Rosehips, the fruits of wild rose bushes, is sweet and tangy. They are rich in Vitamins K and E, as well as magnesium and calcium. Persimmon, regarded as the food of the gods, is another plant we would like to include in our edible wild plant’s guide. It is sticky, sweet, and can provide the Vitamin C you need throughout the day. Pawpaw fruit, which is oblong-shaped and light green, is another fruit you can eat in the wild. Wild blackberries and blueberries will also be good. Almost all dark-colored berries in the wild are safe to eat.
Want to make your trail mix recipe when you are outdoors? Look for the best wild nuts! One of the most calorie-packed items in our edible plant’s guide is a hickory nut. One ounce contains 193 calories. It is sweet and fatty like pecan. Native hazelnuts and pine nuts can also be abundant in the wild and can be a great addition to your vegan backpacking food. They are also great if you are after gluten-free backpacking food.
Burdock root, a member of the thistle family, is one of the best edible roots. It has long and fuzzy stems with purple flowers. If you have the best camping stoves, the starchy roots can be used for stews or soups. Cattail roots also have an edible white starch. You can also eat the shoots and pollen of the cattail. The cattail has a brown cigar-shaped head and stout stalk.
Mushrooms are some of the most poisonous wild plants, so be extra cautious. One of the most popular edible mushrooms is chanterelle. It is a large, golden, and flower-like mushroom. The flesh is firm and aromatic, making it a great addition to casseroles and soups. Morels, which can be easily identified with their spongy brown cap and cone shape, will make a delicious addition to an omelet along with the best camping spices.
Globo Surf Overview
Now that you are done reading our best edible wild plants guide, we hope that you are ready to go outdoors and find foods you can safely eat! Get your hiking boots ready and start foraging now! Remember, if you are in doubt, don’t eat it! Better be safe than to end up being sorry!
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