Eating healthy can get expensive, but it doesn't have to be! In fact, you can go organic for FREE by finding food in your own backyard. To prove that this is possible (even in a big city) we traveled to Central Park in New York City where "Wildman" Steve Brill took us on an urban foraging tour. At the end of the day we were able to make a delicious, vegan, and totally organic salad without even leaving the park! Here are some of the things we found:
Poor Man's Pepper: Run out of pepper? Then why not go forage for some of this plant! This plant grows up to three feet tall and has lobed basal leaves. It has a spicy flavor to it and has been compared to horseradish.
Cattails: We see these wetland plants all the time, but did you know they are edible? The soft inner core of the cattail tastes like a mix between cucumber and zucchini and has the texture of hearts of palm.
Sheep Sorrel: If you like tart foods, then sheep sorrel is for you! This plant gets its name because it kind of looks like a sheep head with a long leaf (the nose) and two short leaves (the ears). It has a citrus flavor and can also be compared to the skin of a green apple.
Blue Violet: Though not the most flavorful of the edible wild greens, the heart-shaped leaves of the blue violet are abundant, and great as a lettuce-like base to a salad.
Honewort/Wild Chervil: This perennial green has the smell and taste of celery or parsley, especially when it is chopped.
Field Garlic: You can't miss this plant! If the long hollow cylindrical stalks don't catch your attention, the strong garlic-like scent certainly will. Under the ground are layered bulbs that taste just like garlic or onion.
Lady's Thumb: This plant has small pinkish colored flowers and although it does not have a very strong flavor for adults, to children it tastes sweet.
**Make sure to only forage with a knowledgeable guide. Many plants have poisonous look-alikes.