Winter means shorter days and colder weather, but it doesn’t mean the wild plants are all gone. In this post I’ll go over 7 plants you can forage in Winter.
It is true that many plants go dormant and die back in the Winter, especially depending on your location, however there are still quite a few plants to find.
As long as you know what plants to look for in the Winter, you can enjoy a long walk outside, and find medicinal and edible plants along your journey!
Plants to Forage in Winter
Cattails are tall, reedy plants that grow in dozens of species in marshy areas.
It has both male and female flowers on every stalk. Before the male flowers pollinate, you can collect the pollen, combined them with traditional flour, and you will have ingredients for a delicious muffin or pancake.
The female flowers, on the other hand, look incredibly unique and beautiful.
They are often dried and added to different flower arrangements.
The best time to forage the female flowers is when they are still green (before pollination).
They are edible and best cooked with butter.
Since cattail is a protein-rich plant, it is healthy for the body.
Protein-rich food helps lower blood pressure, strengthen the bones, and maintain weight loss.
Make a cattail soup or salad and enjoy its taste and benefits!
Around late September through October (depending on the climate and location), you may find some nut-bearing trees dropping some acorns to the ground around your neighborhood or local parks.
If you know the benefits of foraging acorns, you might rush to get a mesh bag and start collecting them off the ground.
Collect only the brown-colored acorns and avoid the discolored ones and those with little holes in their shells.
These are signs of abnormalities caused either by pest infestation or fungus.
Acorns have a variety of uses and can be a staple food during wintertime.
Before consuming them, make sure to clean them first.
Start by soaking the acorns for three days (change the water every day) to remove tannins.
Once done, you can either boil or roast the acorns. You can also make acorn flour.
Just pour them into the blender and blend the acorns for about 10-15 seconds.
Be careful not to grind the acorns for too long to prevent a butter-like consistency.
Rosehips are one of the best plants to forage during wintertime because they are delicious and have many uses.
It’s also a favorite food among birds, which could be your biggest competitor in foraging during this time.
Rosehips have excellent nutrition and contain lots of vitamin C.
You can enjoy its benefits by making rosehips jellies, jams, soups, syrups, and essential oils.
Rosehip could grow anywhere, but busy roads and polluted areas are not the right places to find them.
Rose hips that thrive in these places may have absorbed toxins, vehicle exhaust, and metals that could be dangerous for the body when consumed.
Oyster mushrooms are easy to forage during the winter season because they are not hard to find.
Even beginners foraging during this time can easily spot them as the thick and white flesh of mushrooms that grow in clusters.
They are beloved around the world as an important ingredient to some exotic, popular cuisines in Japan, China, and Korea.
Who could ever resist its delicious, mild, nutty, and savory flavor?
Because of these qualities, they are being sold expensively at grocery stores.
Oyster mushrooms taste best when fried, grilled, sauteed, braised, roasted, and stir-fried.
Raw oyster mushrooms are also popular, especially in salad recipes because they add a slightly metallic flavor to the dish.
Watercress is known as Nasturtium Officinale, an invasive plant that takes over streams and ponds.
Yet despite it, they are worthy plants to forage during the winter season.
Some grocery stores sell them, but if you know how to identify watercress, you will get them for free!
Watercress is one of the easiest plants to forage during the winter season because they are easily identifiable.
It is perfect for anyone who is just new to foraging.
Once you have gathered enough for yourself, you can add them to your salad mixture and enjoy its great taste!
If you have leftovers, you can always freeze them for future use.
Plumbs are round fruits that are about as large as the size of a cherry. It has thick skin with a dark reddish-purple color and soft sweet flesh.
In the past, Native Americans, after knowing its medicinal uses, liked to make plumb sauces to enjoy its benefits.
They are said to be effective in treating mouth sores and diarrhea.
The good news is that even modern science confirmed that the plant is good for the body.
They have discovered that plumbs contain natural antibacterial properties called phloretin, which neutralizes free-radicals in the environment.
Lucky for you if you’re able to harvest plenty.
Not only can you enjoy its health benefits, but also use them as ingredients for some recipes to enhance flavor and taste.
Either eaten raw or cooked, plumbs have an incredible taste!
If you want to add sweetness to its taste, you can make a jam or jelly out of it.
As you can see, it is not that difficult to forage plants in the winter as long as you know what to look for.