Estonia · food · nature

Fireweed (willowherb) – better than asparagus? / Põdrakanep – parem kui spargel?

I love asparagus. Can’t even put it into words how good it is.

So when I heard that there’s a wild plant growing right at my doorstep that tastes even better than asparagus, I was, of course, intrigued.

I had to try it!

All you have to do is to collect the young shoots of fireweed (they shouldn’t be more than about 20 cm (7,8 inches) tall) and prepare them exactly as you would prepare asparagus.

Well, I don’t really know if it tasted better than asparagus but it was good! And I love the fact that I can just harvest it from clean wild nature.

There are many other ways to use fireweed. You can use the young leaves in salads. It has got beautiful blooms, too, which you can put in a vase. I also collect them to dry them and make tea. It’s good for all kinds of stomach (digestion) problems and is even considered an antidepressant!

You can also use the roots of fireweed. The dried roots can be made into flour and even vodka has been made of fireweed roots.

Depending on where you live the early spring is a good time to get familiar with fireweed. Bon appetite!

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Fireweed. / Põdrakanep.
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Fireweed. / Põdrakanep.
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Young shoots of fireweed. / Põdrakanepi noored võrsed.
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Young shoots of fireweed. / Põdrakanepi noored võrsed.
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Fireweed ready for eating. / Keedetud põdrakanepi võrsed.

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Spargel on minu arvates meeletult maitsev.

Kui ma kuulsin, et on olems metsik taim, mis kasvab .meie tagahoovis ja peaks olema veel maitsvam, siis olin muidugi väga elevil.

Põdrakanepi noored võrsed on kohe pead tõstmas, nii et varakevad on just õige aeg seda maitsvat rooga proovida.

Korja kuni 20 cm pikkuseid noori võrseid ja valmista täpselt nii nagu sparglit (keeda, rösti, auruta, lisa uputatud muna või sulavõid…).

 

Ma ei oska öelda, kas tulemus oli sparglist maitsvam, kuid lisapunkte saab see toit kindlasti selle eest, et saan seda ise puhtast loodusest korjata.

Põdrakanepil on ka muid kasutusviise. Noori lehti saab panna salatisse. Põdrakanepi kaunid õied sobivad vaasi ja korjan ning kuivatan neid ka tee jaoks. Põdrakanepi tee on hea paljude kõhu- ja seedimishaiguste korral ja seda peetakse isegi antidepressandiks.

Põdrakanepi juuri saab kuivatada ja nendest jahu valmistada. Põdrakanepi juurtest on isegi viina aetud.

 

Loodan, et sinagi saad selle võrratu taimega tuttavaks!

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