What the down side? The seed is very tough and often the plant loses its seed so easily it falls on the ground before you get a chance to harvest it. Also the seed often needs to after-ripen one to five years. Jerusalem artichoke flour takes some processing, does not store well, and usually has to be mixed with some other flour. Why bother?
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Peel the roots, slice them into chips and dry. Then grind and use. It make as bread that is as heavy as a brick. The flour has inulin which the human body cannot digest but the bacteria in your gut can.
That explains the gas production you could fill a blimp with. Stored for any length of time it takes on a dusty, musty taste. What can one expect of a plant whose botanical name means poorly-formed penis, Amorphophallus konjac. The corms of this tropical plant have a lot of edible starch. However, to get the starch the corms are washed, peeled, grated, rinsed many times then boiled.
The starch is settled out, dried, then treated with dissolved lime, much like corn. Then it can be used. Lot of nutrition and food value but a lot of work as well. Kudzu roots are full of starch but getting the starch out is a caloric- or energy-intensive chore. They either have to be pounded for hours or ground then steamed. If you have a water wheel and volcanic heat for energy then you could craft mechanical means to get the starch out. Either way, by hand requires much time and energy. By hand extracting Kudzu starch is a calorie deficit proposition.
Want to lose weight? Eat only kudzu starch you process yourself. Macadamia flour is very soft and has the same feel and look as white flour but has a high oil content and should be used immediately. It is made from ground up raw macadamias. It works well in recipes that do not require the mixture to rise.
Sunflower seed flour is similar. Pine cambium is actually quite nutritious. A pound of it is the equivalent of nine cups of whole milk.
It is, however, surprise, nearly flavorless. Frying improves the flavor some. Boiling does not. As a flour it does not play well with others in the oven. Low on carbohydrates as a flour it is used sparingly, usually added to other things or as a protein drink. As pumpkins seeds are quite edible roasted one is not sure why some folks are compelled to make seeds into flour. Sandspur seeds are nutritious and easy to find. They are nutty and tasty and make a good porridge. The problem, as with several foods in this class, is making them into flour. Like any grain they have to be dehulled, dried, then ground.
Whereas the grass itself can be held over an open fire to burn the spines off and then consumed then and there.
Very little energy expended. The cooked seeds do make a good source of starch for making beer, or sake. Sea Club Rush , Scirpus maritimus, has a bit of disconnect. We are told by those who study such things they were widely eaten in the past. Yet the work required to make them edible is excessive.
Wild Flours - Eat The Weeds and other things, too
They have to be collected, pounded to remove the bark, then crushed into flaky bits or ground into powder. You can however, peel them and eat them raw. Has a flavor similar to coconut. Smilax roots suffers the same fate as Kudzu. A better choice is to find the roots when finger size and cook them for eating. Better still, eat the growing tips in the spring.
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They are among the best spring vegetables. Sorghum: The flour is gluten free. Black medic seeds are very tiny and unless cultivated it might be difficult to find enough plants to get enough seed to make flour. There is also some reports it can stimulate or make worse auto-immune diseases. Better to roast them. They grind easily then and have a flavor similar to coffee. The inner core, the heart, is edible but it, too, requires much work by hand. A chain saw is better. Do to try to eat them whole. Cactus fruit seeds have to be milled and that takes time and energy.
Lichen is a well-known famine food. There are around 20, lichen of which only two, or two families are near toxic; Wolf Lichen — which looks like a lime green beard — and Sunshine Powder lichen that is yellow like a school bus. The rest have to be thoroughly soaked in water to remove stomach-upsetting acids.
Purslane seeds are quite edible and can be dried and ground into a flour. But they are so tiny it is difficult to find them in quantities large enough to make a flour out of them. Think of them as bland poppy seeds. Buck Beans , Menyanthes trifoliata , dry, crushed, leeched, settled starch makes an edible but disgusting flour.
Wild Calla , Calla palustris , thoroughly dried roots and seeds can be ground into an unpalatable flour. Blue vervain, Verbena hastata, seeds soaked in several changes of water then roasted and ground make a bitter but edible flour. Green Deane the information you put out is amazing! Your site makes foraging research a whole lot less of a headache. Thank You! I sent you an email but it was not delivred. I would view it as a caloric staple if I were in a cooler climate.
On an earlier post, you mentioned that the Australian Aborigines make seed cakes from the minute seeds of purslane. I thought I might have an inferior strain of purslane, but I see in this post that even yourself has despaired of collecting significant quantities! In idle moments, I have often tried to imagine a dedicated aborigine cook collecting enough seeds for seed cakes, and it is similar to trying to imagine the size of the universe! I saw no mention of dock seeds. Samuel thayer has said that they are edible, though unpalatable.
Or is there some problem with them that I am unaware of? Anyways, excellent article, I always love your approach to these subjects. Lets not forget kodo and finger millets, praspalum and erichloa species respectively. Then there is wild maize or closer to home eastern gama grass tripsacum dactyloides both of which are progenitors of corn. Personally though I think that if you want to have flour you need to grow your own plants that are appropriate to your region and your needs.
I found a recipe for leaching acorns. Crack , shell, remove skins and mash acorns. Pound fine and mix with boiling water to make a gruel. To prepare amaranth or pigweed seeds, collect and winnow seeds very easy cook minutes in microwave then grind in an electric coffee grinder.
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