By Lynnie Stein / March 6, 2021

The term “weed” has many definitions

One bush regenerator’s weed can be another person’s delight

It is just the way you look at it, so do not abuse those weeds – use and enjoy them.

Some see a weed, some see a wish

• Dandelion kefir pancakes

Dandelion blossom salads.

Fried Dandelion greens.

• Place a selection of wild leaves in a blender with kefir and fresh seasonal fruit (berries, banana, pineapple and mango) and blend to make a nutrient-rich smoothie.

• Ferment many green combinations for an enzyme juice – Wow!

This is a super-food, green smoothie! 

• Many weed leaves can be eaten raw – always confirm they are edible. Nibble on leaves   in the garden or add something extra to a creative plate by mixing with kefir cheese for a spread or use as a garnish on a meal.

• Purslane seeds to make seed cake.

Lightly sautéed Pusrlane leaves and the stems.

Add to Kefir cheese, tomato, fermented garlic, oregano, and olive oil.

• Add leaves to a cup of boiling water in a teapot, with additional garden herbs to give aroma and flavouring, like lemon grass, tulsi, ginger and native mint.

Stir, steep a few minutes, add optional kefir when cool and enjoy the health promoting benefits.

Fresh or dried pigweed leaves can be used to make tea.

Pineapple weed (closely related to chamomile) is very good as a tea.

• FPJ or Fermented Plant Juice is a fermented extract of the plant’s blood and chlorophylls.

Unrefined sugar is used to extract the essence through osmotic pressure. FPJ is a rich enzyme solution full of bacteria, invigorating plants, animals and humans.

•Sassasfras is a sub-alpine rainforest timber.

The bark and leaves taste of pepper, allspice and cloves.

The bark makes for great beer. Chin! Chin!

Add dried wild greens for St Patrick’s Day.

• Pickle the fresh leaves in apple cider vinegar, adding fermented garlic, ginger, onions and herbs for flavouring.  

• Our ancestors used as a potherb, by adding handfuls of fresh foraged leaves to soups, stews, steamed vegetables, curries and starchy grain dishes.

• Pioneer peeps learned to be excellent economists.

They often experienced difficult times due to unusual weather and crop failure.

With a shortage of food and no supermarkets they often foraged nature’s bounty.

• Incorporate leaves in recipes like kefir crème fraiche wattle seed quiche, wild garlic pesto, stir-fries, fritters, dumplings, casseroles, kefir spreads, dips, dressings, sauces and more.

• Wattle flowers (without stalks) can be added to kefir pancake mixture.

• Wattle seeds .. a reminder that not all wattle seeds are safe to eat! There are nearly 1000 species of wattle or Acacia around the globe.

• Dry edible foraged leaves, crush to a fine powder with your hands.

Put in containers for a stored survival food to add to soups, stews, dog food, beverages, etc.

• Pigface can be blanched and put in a light pickling solution.

The flowers contain sweet nectar and add a lovely touch to kefirs.

Pigface is said to be used to cut the fat of the echidna.

(EEK! Echidna for dinner).

•Thistles, nettles, mallows, miner’s lettuce, dandelions and watercress for salads.

• Add some dried powdered leaves to dried garden herbs in a saltshaker to use for flavouring meals and kefir cheese as a nutrient-rich salt substitute.

Foraged Algae

Of course, make sure you have obtained relevant permits and know what species you are chomping and the water it comes from is clean.

Seaweed is an important part of the marine eco system, we only take what we need.

Only remove the upper portions of the plant with knife or scissors, leaving the holdfast intact to allow the seaweed to regrow.

Sea purslane when cooked tastes like potato chips and compliments a kefir dip. Fermented seaweed tastes great. And super nutritious too. Peeps with hypothyroidism who avoid the cabbage family can offset its effects by adding iodine-rich sea vegetables to crucifer- based ferments, like kimchi and sauerkraut.

From sea to land with Edible Fungi. Mushroom Hunting …Truly wild mushrooms are foraged, only growing in particular places at certain times of the year.

Get in touch with the neighbours

Foraging is a way for peeps to engage with the lushness of their neighbourhoods, their daily commutes, or their favourite beach.

Our local river walks reveal plenty of tamarind trees with edible pods.

The leaves and flowers are also edible.

Tamarind resembling cat poo dangling in clusters of brown suede, but their flavour is sweet and sour and totally delicious.

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

Tamarind paste – the fruit is squeezed with hot water, and the seeds removed to create a paste.

Transform the seeds and peels, some raw honey and clean water into tamarind flavoured vinegar.

Tamarind + Turmeric Tonic

Good size piece of turmeric root, peeled and cut into chunks (Add some ginger root with the turmeric, for extra zing)

6 tamarind pods or 2 tablespoons tamarind paste

Juice of 2 lemons

½ cup raw honey

2 litres water (we prefer to use a mixture of brewed tulsi (basil) tea and lime juice in place of water)

Bring 1 litre of water to boil, heat turmeric, until water becomes a rich golden colour.

Make tamarind paste: Crack and open the pods and remove the fruit.

Simmer the tamarind fruit, stirring gently, to dissolves into a jam-like texture.

When the seeds have come out of the fruit, let the mixture cool.

Pour through a strainer to remove the seeds and seed peels and create the paste.

Add enough cool water to turmeric.

Bring the temperature to just warm and blend thoroughly to liquefy the cooked turmeric.

Add the tamarind paste to the blended mixture and blend again.

Add lemon juice and honey and blend once more.

Add enough cool water to bring the quantity up to 2 litres of liquid.

Distribute the blended tonic into small jars with tight lids, leaving ½-1 inch of head space.

Ferment at room temperature for 2 days, then refrigerate for storage.

The honey will gradually ferment, leaving the taste but not the sweetness. When you are ready to drink, swirl to distribute the solids, or strain before drinking if you prefer a clearer liquid.

Pour over food as a garnish or dressing or add to kefir smoothies, dips, cheese and dances in kefir churned ice cream.

•Russian salad is made with diced potatoes, carrots, peas, wild greens and dill pickles. Steam vegetables and dice dill pickles.

Add a generous helping of fermented wildflower buds to the mixture.

Home made mayonnaise or kefir is mixed in to give the best taste.

•When selecting flower buds for fermentation; pick buds that are still tightly closed, not flowers that have simply closed for the night, will have bits of petals sticking out.

Use these as you would capers.

To make classic dill pickles: cover fresh picked cucumber in a clean jar or crock with salted brine and add dill seeds and garlic cloves.

Use tannin-rich knot weed stalks in place of cucumber.

•The leaves and flowers are the best bit of wild garlic for pesto and if you leave the bulbs even more wild garlic will be there next year.

Grandma made pesto (Grune Sosse) with wild greens, garlic, sorrel, watercress and walnut oil.

Mixed with kefir green cheese (quark) and topped with poached eggs and kraut on the side.

Note: Always remember, while foraging can be fun, you should never eat something unless you are sure of all the facts.

Before you pick: Know the plant first, know its look-alike, know when it is edible, what part is edible, how it is edible (raw, cooked, fermented, and how) and how much is too much.

Never harvest plants near roadsides, polluted waters/areas.

Canna-kefir (This weed is for eating not smoking!)

Make some amazing edibles and get the maximum benefit possible from herb.

Cannabis kefir is a staple for any peeps utilizing homemade cannabis edibles.

Referred to as marijuana, ganja, weed or herb, cannabis just may be one of the safest medicines available today.

The best way to get the medicinal benefits from marijuana is to consume it in an edible (not smoking it!!!).

Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3000 years but only recently has it become a common and welcomed remedy for some patients.

Many studies are being conducted on the medical benefits of marijuana. These studies have proved that marijuana is a natural pain reliever and can help people with cancer, epilepsy, arthritis and other chronic diseases.

With more doctors and politicians advocating for medicinal marijuana has likely helped change some of the views of the public.

There has never been a single recorded fatality from cannabis use in thousands of years of human history.

We know not to be judgmental, when faced with the dance of cancer with our loved ones. If they were growing something that cured cancer on Mars, I would of built a space ship.

Canna-kefir can be created using an assortment of milks: cow, goat, coconut, almond, hemp and fermented tempeh, etc.

Homemade tempeh has a rich taste, like gourmet mushrooms with a lovely nutty flavour, incomparable to any commercial tempeh product.

You will need to acquire the tempeh spore, and hulled soybeans or a few hours of meditating time whilst you hull away.

Unlike cannabis oil that is concentrated and highly caloric, cannabis milk has higher water content and allows you to use greater volumes for the same cannabis concentration.

However, due it its lower fat content, THC activation may not be as effective as when making cannabis oil.

Depending upon your cooking and nutrition needs, you will want to be sure this weapon makes it into your arsenal. 

So many options, but here is a starting point

Just scatter the herb in best quality milk maybe add a tiny lump of kefir butter to improve the extraction and dissolving of the cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD).

Simmer (very low heat) for about 10-15 minutes while constantly stirring. When cool add a swirl of kefir crème fraiche.

Optional but wise for the taste buds Make a small amount of spicy herbal tea  

Add the strained milk pressing out the remaining milk from the soaked cannabis.

Just milk or kefir can make it taste a tad like broccoli milk.

Spice tea herbs -cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, dry ginger and nutmeg, you can also add fennel seeds, dried tulsi, black cardamom, turmeric, star anise etc.

Here is a starting point –dash of peppercorns, ¼ cup dried ginger and turmeric, 10-20 green cardamom, cinnamon stick, 10-20 cloves, dash of grated nutmeg.

Grind into fine powder in coffee blender or mixer.

Sieve powder and collect small pieces from sieve and grind again to fine powder, store in airtight container. (good on kefir ice cream).

Canna-kefir tea

4 teaspoons of spice tea herbs + 4 cups water + 8 tea bags (or equivalent loose) + 4 cups canna-milk / canna-kefir + 1/4 cup Manuka /raw honey, or un-refined sugar (optional)

Combine all ingredients except honey, canna- milk or canna-kefir, and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and add canna –milk / canna-kefir and mix, with optional choice of honey or un-refined sugar (rapadura).

Purists like to decarb the herb first (Decarboxylation) and infuse with kefir / milk .

Herb blends for canna-herbal tea Cannabis + tulsi (holy basil) leaves, canna-ginger, canna-ginger and lemongrass or canna- cardamom or canna- ginger-cardamom-turmeric-pepper or lemon myrtle, aniseed or wattle seed tea.  Infuse herbs in boiling water.

Super energizing tea

1 tablespoon dried papaya (paw paw) leaves (can also add crushed herb)

1 tablespoon crushed cacao nibs

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger

Mix cinnamon and ginger and boil in water for 10 minutes, then add in the rest on the ingredients and steep for another 10!

When herbal blends are cool add kefir and optional sweetener (Manuka /raw honey).

When cooking with herb, there are quite a few ways to get medication into your food. You can toss buds into a pot and hope that your edibles come out the way you want. The butter and oil method also work and is easy. Or make canna-flour.

Making canna- flour …The buds must be extremely dry, as any moisture could cause mould within the flour once stored.

So once your buds have dried well, pick out all the stems and seeds (do not leave any as it can make the flour bitter) and then proceed to grind cannabis to a fine powder.

You can use a coffee grinder or a mortar. Coffee grinder is convenient, but you can grind up more at one time by hand.

Once the herb has ground, store jar in a cool, dark place. Great for use in kefir bread and other baked goods.

Adjust the amount of herb in recipes to your tolerance.

Best to add other flour /s to your recipe, suggested use is half flour and half of the crushed-up herb.

Green banana flour. Our own grown green (unripe) banana, wearing gloves, cut off the skin, slice and sun-dry or dry in low oven or dehydrator until completely dry, Blitz in food processor, can sift – we prefer to not sift,  the little remaining pieces gives a nice texture. (Raw is a great source of resistant starch – add to kefir smoothies and treats – has a very neutral flavour). Resistant starch is associated with adequate functioning of the digestive tract.

  • Cannabis may contain at least 85 types of cannabinoids.
  • They are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, and inflammation.
  • Working their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, activate to maintain internal stability and health.
  • To put a complex system simply, they mediate communication between cells, and when there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur.

 Please Note: Seeking the advice of a holistic health practitioner before using fermented food or any food to treat any condition is recommended.

Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods, Steinkraus, .K.H., (Ed.), 1995, Marcel Dekker. The Medical Cannabis Guidebook: The Definitive Guide To Using and Growing Medicinal Marijuana by Jeff Ditchfield & Mel Thomas

Love and bacteria, Xo Lynnie

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