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Survival Foods (Page 7)

By: Dennis Miles

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Cattails, this is one of my favorites. There is a multitude of uses for these, from shelters and food to medicine. I will touch on the food uses now and get to the medicinal uses later. In the early spring you can pick the new shoots, peel them and eat them raw. Or you can roast or boil them. The young flowerheads are good boiled and eaten like corn on the cob. These are a real nice addition to a skin or stomach stew. The pollen can be used to stretch flour or added to a soup to thicken it. In the winter, you can dig the roots, wash them, mash & dry , then grind into flour. Duff and I did this with both cattail and acorns. It made some tasty ash cakes, but was a WHOLE lot of trouble.

Nuts. Hickory & walnuts can be eaten as is or put in ash cakes to add a little flavor. Acorns, I try to use only the ones from the White Oak, as they have less tannic acid content. Acorns are good if you mash them up and boil them several times in fresh water to leach out the tannin, then they can be dried and ground up into flour or roasted until dark & boiled into a coffe like drink.

Mayapples. The fruit of the Mayapple is edible when it is ripe. Word of caution, it will also flat clean you out.

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