RECIPE – GRUEL or SAVOURY OATMEAL
Your back yard has plenty of good food.
To some they are weeds, to others they are food! Before there were shops and before there was agriculture, humans ate. Some people believe that before agriculture humans were mainly gatherers. To hunt down animals was not an easy task and they could go for days without being able to eat animal flesh. They gathered food all the time, readily available all around them in the forest and fields – plants. The leaves, the flowers, the fruit and the roots, many edible and full of protein and everything required for life. Yes, I’ll say it again, protein, carbohydrates and minerals required for life, they even have the necessary fat in them. Unfortunately with domestication and the agricultural revolution we lost the knowledge of our ancestors. This important food became weeds – plants to be gotten rid of, eliminated, sprayed with all kinds of chemicals … if only we knew what we were destroying and the many health benefits that are available outside our back door. I always knew that dandelions leaves were edible and that the roots could be dried and ground to make a hot drink. Yet, I rarely ate them. Like most people, I did not consider the food that was growing wild in my garden as food… until I was told about wild garlic. That got me looking at many other plants.
Wild Garlic, from the riverbank…now in my backyard The flavour is nicer if the leaves are picked early in spring before flowering. Garlic to me is one of those sacred elements. Ever since I acquired the taste, I eat a lot of it, some family members think I eat too much garlic… never!. So the thought of wild garlic, wow, I had to try this. It was wild but was not growing in my backyard. It was from a riverbank not far from my home. I just transplanted some. I am told that once it takes hold it will grow and spread everywhere, Yes … I could not believe my luck!
Later, browsing through a few books, I found a recipe for gruel, oats & nettles. Wow, as it happens we had nettles in our garden. So I when out and carefully picked a bunch of the leaves, making sure not to be stung. For some reason my skin is very sensitive and I feel the sting for a day or two.
I then made Irish traditional nettle & oat, savoury porridge. It was so good I could not believe it.
Another very nutritive plant with plenty of protein, fibre and carbohydrate, not to mention vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, sodium. A natural multivitamin tablet …it is all here.
Saw this interesting article when i was reading the the CBC news online… looks like I might be onto something …
A savoury porridge for those who need to do hard work!
Savoury Irish ‘Oatmeal Polenta’ ( my title )
Ingredients – 1/4 cup of pinhead oats / steel-cut or 1/3 cup of rolled oats – 1 cup of plant milk – 1 cup of water – 1 cup of finely chopped nettles ( and any other garden greens ) – a dash of salt – a drop of olive oil Method 1. Pick your leaves from the garden, approx. a cupful when chopped 2. Rinse them lightly, shake off the water and finely chop them 3. Heat the oil and toast the oats a minute or two in your dry pot, do not let them go brown 4. Add the green and stir them in with the oats for a minute, wilting and softening them. 5. Add the water and plant milk. 6. Bring to the boil, then simmer until it starts to thicken, 10 to 15 minutes 7. Take off the heat, add a pinch or two of salt to taste and allow to cool slightly Eat as is. I often end up eating the entire pot.Bon appétit !
Hmmm… It is mid-day and I am hungry. I am going to make this right now. In fact, along with the nettle leaves, I will add a few dandelion leaves, a few daisy leaves and a leaf .. I am looking forward to it now.
…the food we eat affects so much the animals , the environment & our health – our world.
Make a positive choice in your world …choose to eat more plants.