Foraging For Health

At Creative Dance London, we champion creativity in all its forms. Getting creative can help us manage emotions, build confidence and explore solutions to problems. Even a brief amount of time spent on a creative pastime has powerful benefits for personal well being.

Creative Dance London’s Development Worker, Danièle Lamarche, is currently in rural France where she grows and forages for her own healthy foods. Danièle has worked as a capacity-builder, researcher, strategist, service evaluator and fundraiser for over two decades in the UK and abroad, with women and minority ethnic groups, environmental, heritage, health, human rights and creative charities and social enterprises.

Here she shares how she uses her creativity to make healthy foods with what she has:

‘Have you tried stinging nettle pies? They are just like making a quiche except you pluck the top young heads of stinging nettle off the plants on a sunny spring morning, rinse and steam them before adding them to the bottom of the quiche pie.

I have also experimented with fern head soup and curry- you pick the furled head part only, boil it three times - throwing away the water each time, to take away its bitter taste (I know, you’re now asking whether it’s worth all the hassle!) then either cook it as a curry with coconut milk, starting as usual with an onion, lemongrass, etc before adding paprika, coconut milk and more- or alternatively making a soup by frying an onion, bay leaf, then carrots, potato and finally, the fern heads, then covering the lot with boiling water and a bouillon cube or two and a bit of pepper, salt, nutmeg and paprika or whatever your culinary preferences might be, and simmering for 20 odd minutes- you can also add milk or cream!’

Why not share some of your favourite recipes or foraging stories? We are always interested in learning of more ways to get creative and welcome all ideas, techniques or methods.

Share them by emailing [email protected] or with on social media with #movementthatmatters

‘I’ve been eating a lot of wild garlic too - you can germinate the spring flower seeds for ten days indoors and grow them in window boxes. I have marinated baby hazel leaves with 1/3 cup of sugar and gin which I shake daily as well as toasted hazelnuts marinades in vodka to which I will add 150 ml sugar dissolved in 200 ml of boiling water at the end of the month.

I picked all of mine and dried the hazelnuts in the autumn, leaving a few out for the birds when it snowed so learning loads, saving as I’ve been collecting plants and seeds from others over the lockdown period and eating healthily!’

Health is wealth!

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Art disruption and your inner critic with Steve Chapman