Wild Veg­gies

How to turn them into de­li­cious food

Surf Girl - - – Well-Being – - Words by Pauli­ina Toiva­nen Pho­tos by Aino Huo­tari and Pauli­ina Toiva­nen

Use them to spice up ev­ery­day meals, make dips, ice creams, pud­dings and smooth­ies – wild veg­eta­bles are stacked with vi­ta­mins and flavour. But they also carry a holis­tic so­lu­tion to well­be­ing: they in­vite you to a free fit­ness cen­tre and med­i­ta­tion stu­dio. When camp­ing or in the Great Out­doors there’s no bet­ter way to boost your meal than by for­ag­ing in na­ture’s larder – and while you’re in the process giv­ing your body a mo­bil­is­ing warmup or af­ter-surf work­out. Squat­ting to gather wild veg­gies opens up your hips, strength­ens your thighs and but­tocks and stretches your an­kles and back. It’s one of the best func­tional move­ment poses you can do to help you pop-up faster and in­crease your bal­ance on the board. Stud­ies have also shown that tak­ing a good look at na­ture, even for five min­utes, de­creases your blood pres­sure and stress lev­els.

Ev­ery coun­try has its own na­tive plants and when trav­el­ling you can learn a lot about for­eign food cul­ture, his­tory and lo­cal cures by get­ting to know the edi­ble wild plants. Par­tic­u­larly in Chi­nese and In­dian medicine, wild plants have an im­por­tant role in holis­tic life­style prac­tices and are used both ex­ter­nally in cos­met­ics and aro­mather­apy, and in­ter­nally as food in­gre­di­ents and sup­ple­ments.

In turn, in Western so­ci­eties, many of us have for­got­ten the power that lies within our na­tive wild plants. Sting­ing net­tles and dan­de­lions are prob­a­bly the eas­i­est wild veg­gies to learn to recog­nise, gather and cook. Here are a cou­ple of de­li­cious and nu­tri­tious ways to use them:

If you look closely you’ll see wild foods and veg­eta­bles grow­ing ev­ery­where. Gar­den­ers might call them weeds but we’re nuts about th­ese free su­per­foods.

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