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Foraging in November in the Southeast

Do you forage all year long? There is ALWAYS something growing at all times of year that can be made into food or medicine. Some of the best edibles are out in the late fall here in Georgia!!

Most of the nuts are ready now, so we can harvest our delicious acorns, pecans and hickories and prepare them for long term storage. Acorns of course take a little extra work but it is so worth it. Here is the method I use to process acorns. There are 3 ways listed in the article and the JAR METHOD is my favorite, not the first one!

But first - what are acorns, pecans and hickories used for?

All can be dried and made into a flour-like meal and added to other flours to either extend the flour or add more protein.

  • Acorns contain about 1.7 grams of protein per ounce, 7 grams of fat, potassium, antioxidants, magnesium and Vitamin B6. They are delicious when made into pancakes and served with maple or hickory syrup!

  • Pecans contain 2.6 grams of protien per ounce, 20 grams of fat plus all the same nutrients acorns provide.

  • Hickory nuts, depending on the type you have, shagbark being one of the favorites - contain 3.6 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, B vitamins, magnesium and a high amount of manganese.

Something to keep in mind with any kind of nuts especially the three listed above is to store the meal or shelled nuts in the freezer. This will keep them from going rancid.

What else can you forage this time of year?? A couple of my favorites are Persimmons and Hawthorn berries. Mushrooms too of course!

Some folks say you have to wait until the first frost in order to get good persimmons but if you wait too long, there are none left on the trees!! I pick them before they all fall off, getting the fully ripe almost ready to fall off and leave them in a bowl a few days. This helps them to ripen further. You can eat them up or take the little tops off and put them through a manual food mill to get the yummy pulp. This pulp can be added to muffins or cake batter or freeze for later use. I think I will try making cookies with the pulp!

Also did you know you can determine the weather with a peraimmon seed???

Yeah, it is an old folk tale but it usually comes true! The tale goes, "if you cut the seed open and find a knife shape, it will be a cold winter that cuts like a knife. A fork means a mild winter and a spoon will mean you will shovel lots of snow! Sooooo, can you see the shape in the seed above? Every single one that I have cut open has had that spoon!

As you can see besides the persimmons in the basket I found oyster mushrooms, one puffball that was perfect and a bunch of hawthorn berries. They were so sweet. Not all hawthorns have sweet berries, some are kinda mealy. I will have to figure out what I will make with them.

Dont' worry I will let ya know! Maybe a Hawthorn Ketchup I have been dying to try!

What have you foraged lately?

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