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How to Incorporate Wild Foods and Plants into Your Diet

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How to Incorporate Wild Foods and Plants into Your Diet

At MANTLE we love everything that is pure and natural. Our mission is to create simple yet effective products using what our planet has to offer. That’s why we love The Original Oilsun-grown on the hillside of Schweiz in Switzerland. 

Getting back to nature

The sound of birds chirping, lush grass fields, wild flowers, the fresh air and maybe even the smell of cows serves as a safe zone to inspire, reflect and heal. Studies reveal that being in nature has a powerful positive effect on the mind, body, and soul. It is known to reduce anger, fear and stress. It can also contribute to your physical wellbeing, reduce blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones. In nature you'll also find amazing wild foods that are both healthy and yummy.

Superfoods on your doorstep

Let's get our eyes off CBD for now - there are plenty of other superfoods and herbs out there! 

No matter where you are in nature there is always some kind of wild food available if you have the knowledge of what to look for and where. Searching for wild foods can give you the ability to see, smell, hear, and be aware of details in your surroundings that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise - it can be a challenge but also fun! You'll become very present in the process. 

Wild foods require no packaging; cause no pollution and don’t require any harmful, man-made chemicals that seem to be endemic in today’s world. We love them as they are packed with vitamins, concentrated fiber and minerals outranking cultivated varieties of fruit and vegetables. One of the easiest ways to get started using wild foods is to adding them to dishes you already know how to prepare.

Below are some of our favs! We've also included how you can incorporate them into your everyday life and all the nutritional and health benefits associated with them.

Dandelions

Dandelions is one of the first plants to sprout in spring, when the ground is barely free of frost, and remains strong throughout the season. Dandelions are amazing wild flowers and every part is edible from the root to flower. They offer an abundance of nutrients, such as vitamins A, K, C & E, and the minerals calcium, iron, and manganese.

If you are not familiar with manganese, it is a mineral that is found in several foods including nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is considered an essential nutrient, because the body requires it to function properly.

In medicine, dandelions are known to act as a diuretic, helping with liver, urinary, and kidney disorders. Dandelion leaves are a great substitute for spinach in your salad or for making coffee by roasting and grinding the roots. If you are vegan, dandelion honey may be worth a try! It's also very easy to make soothing Dandelion Tea.

DIY: Dandelion Tea 

Flowers and Leaves: Wash, then let steep in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
Roots: Wash very thoroughly, chop into fine pieces, and heat on high in an oven for about two hours. Steep 1-2 teaspoons in hot water for about 10 minutes.

Elderflower

Elderflowers is the signature wild food of early summer. They generally grow as a shrub or small tree and are ready around late May to mid-June. They are best picked when the buds are freshly open on a warm, dry, sunny day. Give them a shake to remove any insects and rinse briefly in cold water before using.

Elderflower is a great remedy for inflammations such as hay-fever, sinusitis, and coughs. They also have relaxing properties, which make it a good choice if you are stressed or want to wind down before bedtime. 

Their elegant, sweet, heady fragrance are perfect to make delicious drinks, desserts and even soothing bed time tea.

DIY: Elderflower Cordial 

Here is a recipe for making a refreshing elderflower cordial.  

Nettles

Nettle is nature’s superfood at its finest, packed with minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and iron. It’s known to cleanse toxins from the blood and having the ability to clear the body of uric acid.

Nettles grow 2 to 5 feet tall and have opposite leaves. The leaves are coarsely toothed, pointed on the ends, and can be several inches long. Smaller, younger leaves are more heart-shaped. Nettles thrive in damp, nitrogen-rich soil. Look out for them in land along rivers and streams, around old farm-steads, and in other full-sun to partially shaded areas with well fertilised dirt.

Harvest the young, fresh leaves using gloves and soak them in water to denature the sting. We recommend to dry the leaves and use as a nutritional sprinkle on almost any dish, or to make a nettle pesto with parmesan and pines (Yum!).

DIY: Nettle Soup 

All you need is nettles, garlic, onions, potatoes, vegetable broth and perhaps some sunflower seeds on top. 

We hope you feel inspired to start making wild edibles a part of your everyday meals!