Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Crab Apples

Crab Apples can be a very nutritious and flavoursome food if prepared in the correct way. They can be used to create wines, jellies and even cheeses. The crab apple is quite different to the traditional apple; the fruit is a lot smaller and is quite sharp in taste. You wouldn’t normally eat a crab apple straight from the tree because of the sharp taste, though if the fruit is very ripe it will taste quite nice and sweet.

There are normally two different varieties of crab apple, one type is called Sylvestris, quite a little and round apple which will turn yellow when ripe. This type is native to Britain. The other type is called Mitis, which is larger and more rounded then the other variety.

Crab Apples are usually ready from around late September, but due to our changing weather system they will be ripe enough to collect now. They can usually be found in hedgerows or single trees growing in the wild, they like to grow in old woodlands where they are undisturbed.

It is highly recommended that you start to collect the crab apples from the trees around this sort of time when they seem to be very ripe and mainly very red in colour. If they aren’t collected soon they will become over-ripe and birds/insects will happily eat them, else they will just fall and probably rot on the ground.
We will be updating this blog with an excellent crab apple wine which will be very simple to make, so try to collect a few bagfuls of crab apples ready for the recipe.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Hazelnuts Ready For Collecting

Now is the perfect time to be harvesting and collecting Hazelnuts (or Cobnuts) from trees and hedgerows in the wild. There are many different Hazelnut trees growing throughout the United Kingdom, especially in places like Kent, Dorset, Worcestershire and Devon. They are still grown commercially in many of these locations, though when cultivated or grown this way the nut is usually larger, and is referred to as a Cobnut.

The Hazelnut trees contain quite small, green, roundish-shaped leaves. They are often found in old woodlands, and are usually found in hedgerows. Sometimes they are used specifically to form a hedgleline, as they are very easy to manipulate and grow at quite a good speed.


The nuts themselves will be covered in a leafy green shell, and will normally be found in clusters of around 3 nuts at a time. At this time of year the hazelnuts will be quite green, but when left for a little longer they will start to turn brown.

The hazelnuts need to be cracked open (carefully use a nut-cracker as they are quite tough) and inside you will find the edible nut, or kernel. These will taste quite sweet and crunchy when green, though most people prefer them when brown - they taste a lot nicer when roasted too.


It is highly recommended that you start collecting these Hazelnuts now - else you risk losing the lot to the squirrels and other hungry creatures. If collected now, they can be stored in a warm dry place for several months.

In a few weeks time we will update the blog to include some delicious Hazlenut recipes - so be sure to check back soon!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Stinging Nettle Beer

Stinging Nettle beer is quite a unique drink because it can be drank after just 7 days from the moment that you collected the nettles - most alcoholic drinks take months or years to ferment. Unlike many other wines and beers, nettle beer doesn't need time to improve the flavour, it will probably taste best after just over a week.
Nettle beer tastes a little like ginger beer, and is a nice refreshing drink - especially when served cold with ice.

stinging nettles

Nettle Beer Ingredients

1 gallon of young nettles (8 x 1 pint jugs of nettles)
2 lbs malt
1/4 oz root ginger
1 gallon water
12 oz of sugar
1 oz dried hops
1 lemon
1 tbsp of yeast, activated

Nettle Beer Recipe

Start by gathering the stinging nettles and put them in a saucepan (nettle leafs and stalks) along with the gallon of water, quater ounce of root ginger, 2 pounds of malt and 1 ounce of dried hops. Boil these ingredients together for around 15 minutes.

Next, strain the liquid into a bucket or polythene vessel. Add the 12 ounces of sugar, and then the juice of a lemon. Stir all of these until the sugar has dissolved into the mixture. Wait until the liquid is around 30 degrees C and then add the tablespoon of activated yeast.

Cover the mixture and leave it in a warm place for about 3 days to allow it to ferment. Remove any of the froth that rises to the surface of the mixture, this is best done by skimming with a clean instrument.

Gather some strong bottles which will be used to contain the beer. Start to strain the mixture into these bottles, and then store in an upright position in a cool place (somewhere like a garden shed, garage or basement). Leave it to ferment for an extra week or so before drinking the nettle beer.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Welcome To The Wild Foods Blog

Thanks for visiting our brand new Wild Foods blog. Here we will contain wild food information and recipes for anyone to view and try out.

Be sure to come back soon and have a look at our latest wild food recipes.

Please contact us by leaving a comment below if you would like us to include any specific recipes.

Thank you.

wild foods mushrooms

Wild Food Books