Our Foraging Adventures Part 3~Cordial, Cookies & Salves
We are still in love with foraging and learning as much as we can. Towards the beginning of June we had our sights on finding Elderflower and Honeysuckle, it's funny how we never really paid attention to where things grow until this year and both me and my daughter were amazed to discover that Elderflower & Honeysuckle is everywhere! The smell of Honeysuckle is one of my absolute favourite smells and I was so excited to try to make something with it. We headed out one sunny morning to collect enough of each to have a go at making some jam and cordial.
When we got home I used this Elderflower Cordial Recipe recipe from Vegan On Board but added Rose petals as I had seen another recipe adding them into it and since we have a garden full of roses I wanted to experiment! Also I had citric Acid on hand so wanted to try a recipe where its used. Nixie really loved cutting the little petals off of the Elderflower to get rid of as much stem as possible. For the Honeysuckle Cordial I used this recipe from The Runaway Spoon and for the jams I used the same recipe as I did for the Rose Petal Jam but used less balsamic vinegar. I wasn't a huge fan of the Honeysuckle Cordial but enjoyed the Elderflower Cordial and both jams.
Back in May we had foraged Yarrow and Plantain after learning about all of their medicinal properties. I had no idea that both of these plants which I've seen everywhere and have completely overlooked had so many medicinal properties!
According to author Linda Kershaw in her book Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies: “Yarrow has been used for thousands of years as a stypic-a plant that stops bleeding….The plants contain alkaloids that have been shown to reduce clotting time and have been used to suppress menstruation. They also have sedative, pain-killing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic constituents…..Yarrow leaves have been used in washes, salves, and poultices for treating burns, boils, open sores, pimples, mosquito bites, earaches, sore eyes, and aching backs and legs.”
Plantain is sometimes called the “band aid” plant because – thanks to the presence of iridoids – it has a very soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on skin. It also contains aglycone and aucubigenin – which have documented antibacterial activity – and allantoin, which supports skin healing.
After letting it infuse in almond oil for about 6 weeks we were ready to make our salve. We used about the same amount of soy wax as liquid maybe a little bit more and then did the freezer test until we got it to be the right consistency. We also added some drops of lavender essential oil. I am truly amazed by the salve we made, I've been using it on every scrape, cut, bug bite, and even blisters and it has speeded up healing exceptionally! It's my absolute favourite and I don't leave the house without it!
Another day Nixie had spotted some white clover and wanted to know what we could make with them and after a little research I found out we could make some strawberry (using strawberries from our garden) and White Clover cookies so we headed back to to where we had spotted them and this time Nixie brought her sketch pad so that she could draw some pictures of it before collecting them. I love that she's started doing this, completely on her own accord too. These were a definite hit and we will definately be making them again! check out the recipe here (we made it vegan by substituting the eggs with with apple sauce (1/2 cup), used stork in place of the butter and nut milk in place of the dairy milk)
On another foraging outing we found samphire! I cannot believe I never knew about this delicious treat, it has become my new favourite vegetable. Steamed with butter and lemon drizzled on top is the absolute yummiest. Nixie and Forrest are fans too!
Me & Nixie had an amazing morning one day learning about logos and brainstorming ideas for our own, it was also the first time where she understood what brainstorming itself meant and thought it was a really funny word. We sat down and said all the words that come to mind to describe what foraging means to us and doodled lots of pictures with different things that symbolise it. In the end she came up with the design of our logo with a hand surrounded by hearts like a flower and she came up with the name Foraged Love. Although she does want it to be coloured ad the hand is meant to have all the colours of the rainbow in it. But for now since we are just printing them at home this will do. If only I could have bottled up the expression on her little face when she saw the logo finished and as stickers to be put onto our salves...it was just the best, she was so proud and seemed super impressed!!
We are really into making salves and have made a few different ones now:
*Plantain and Purple Dead Nettle with Lavender & Tea Tree essential oil salve. Purple Dead Nettle is good for itchy, dry, irritated, chapped, or sore skin.
*Rose and Red Clover with Rose Geranium & Frankincense essential oil which is great for itchy, dry skin. Red Clover can speed healing on your skin and can help psoriasis & eczema. Rose Petals are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and filled with antioxidants that benefit skin health. They also help moisture retention and are extremely soothing to the senses as well as the skin. Frankincense is wonderful for mature skin and may even reduce scarring.
*Daisy & Lavender Salve which is good for bruises and I've been using it on Forrest and Nixie and it really works!
and last but not least we had another little forage for Samphire, Nixie had seen it in a new area while we were on one of our walks but we didn't have scissors with us so didn't want to harvest it right then and there so came back when we had the things we needed. and it was a good day too, not only did we find Samphire but we also foraged more Yarrow & Plantain for our next batch of healing salves!