I started foraging when I was around 5. One day, after relentless hours were spent in search of food my sister and I finally struck the motherload; a batch of what we concluded to be wild onions. Big and bulbous we uncovered close to 15 “onions” and proceeded to hack them up with our shovels. We were backyard pioneers in search of nourishment after all.
“Gwaddddammitt girlsssss”. My mother appeared from the top balcony in near hysterics. Apparently we had not found wild onions but dahlia bulbs. Dahilas she had just planted that day and according to her, were very expensive. They now lay finely minced in a pile on the grass. Opppps.
Despite mistaking dahlia bulbs for onions, I’ve never lost the thrill of foraging and it’s such a fun way to wile away a warm spring afternoon. Children, as I can personally attest to, love plucking things from the ground so it comes quite naturally to them.
Dandelions are probably one of the easiest plants to identify and forage safely with toddlers and they’re quite abundant. The flowers, leaves and root can all be used but its the flowers that caught Fig’s attention.
Our backyard is overflowing with the flowers so we don’t have to venture very far in search of them. I never forage in places where the plants could possibly be sprayed with chemicals, especially when I’m giving foraged food to my kids.
Dandelion Flower Ice Tea:
- Dandelion Flowers ( Thoroughly rinsed to avoid making lemonade with bugs)
- Coconut Sugar
- There are no specific quantities listed above because nature is not like a grocery store and you may not be able to find exactly a cup of flowers. Generally, I would add two cups of water for every cup of dandelion flowers you have.
- Lemons and sugar will be to taste. We had about three cups of dandelion flowers and used 5 lemons and 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Combine flowers and water together. Place the jar in a warm sunny spot and let sit for a few hours.
- Add the lemons and sugar. You can strain out the flowers at this point or leave them in. Chill for a few hours or serve at room temperature depending on your preference.
Toddler Friendly Parts of this Recipe:
- Foraging for dandelion flowers
- Rinsing leaves
- Squeezing lemons
- Mixing and stirring