Pickled Wild Garlic & Dandelion

A super easy springtime recipe to help you reconnect to nature!

Once you’re able to identify plants like wild garlic, nettles, primrose, dandelion and purple dead nettle (amongst many others!) the Springtime landscape truly transforms. Our ancestors would’ve known the edible plants around them, where they grew, and the best time to pick them. Now, we’re lucky if we even live near an area abundant with plants and herbs, let alone knowing much about them. 

Reconnecting to nature reminds us how human we really are, and foraging reawakens a part of us that so deeply nourishes us physically and emotionally. Foraging helps us feel like a part of the landscape, a part of nature, and a part of the world we live in, rather than an outsider. As well as helping us feel literally more ‘at home’ in the part of the world we live, foraging also helps us intuitively learn more about the seasons, and provides us with nutritionally dense foods at the exact time we need them. Plants and helps that helps prevent hay fever for example, are abundant just as symptoms start to kick in, and spending more time out in nature and in sunlight can even prevent hay fever happening in the first place. 

After a long, dark winter, Spring is full of bitter greens, which help boost digestion and naturally ‘detox’ the systems. Historically, we would’ve survived on more heavy, protein-rich foods in Winter, so come Spring, this is a natural time to lighten up and make the most of plants rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamins C, K and B, as well as iron and antioxidants. This easy pickling recipe preserves the benefits of wild garlic and dandelion, for a delicious jar to help lower blood pressure, reduce water retention, boost digestion, lower inflammation and provide plenty of nutrients. 

The next time you’re out on a walk (from April through to June), look along the hedgerows and forest floors, and you’re likely to spot one of these ingredients. As always, make sure you’re 100% certain of what you’re picking and consult a professional before consuming anything at all! 

INGREDIENTS

Makes roughly 1 jam jar amount

  • 2 large handfuls of wild garlic greens and the unopened flower buds
  • 1 handful dandelion flower heads
  • Roughly 1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar or stevia
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional: 2 tsp mustard seeds, pepper corns and chilli flakes

METHOD

  1. Wash and sterilise your jar 
  2. Wash the garlic and dandelion, then pack them tightly into your jar 
  3. In a pan, add the vinegar, sugar and salt and warm to dissolve the granules
  4. Add the vinegar mixture to the jar, using a spoon to ensure all the greens are covered
  5. Add your chosen spices, and top up with any remaining vinegar
  6. Fasten the lid tightly, and leave to pickle in a cool, dark place for three to five days
  7. Transfer to the fridge and either continue pickling for a couple more weeks, or enjoy in the same way you’d use sauerkraut, gherkins and condiments!

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