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Hector's Herby Recipes for Wildlings and their families

Try some of our recipes using foraged and healthy foods! What we put into our bodies is important,  and many processed foods you buy in the shops are not very good for us. Using plants and foods straight from the ground, tree or plant is the best way to eat to keep your body healthy and strong.

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Hazelnut Recipes

So abundant at this time of year, hazelnuts are a delicious, free and nutritional addition to many recipes. Here are a few for you to try...

HAZELNUT BRITTLE A deliciously sweet and crunchy treat! INGREDIENTS To make a reasonable slab of brittle you will need: 100g wild hazelnuts or cobnuts, shelled, see notes below 50ml water 125g caster sugar METHOD Shell your foraged hazelnuts then put them in a single layer on a baking tray. Put the tray into a preheated oven at 200C for around 5-10 minutes or until the nuts are nicely toasted. Remove them from the oven, allow to cool and then chop the nuts up. Put the water and sugar into a small pan over a medium heat and then let the sugar dissolve, stirring occasionally. When the sugar is fully dissolved turn up the heat and then boil the syrup for about 10 minutes or until a golden/amber colour. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately tip in the chopped nuts. Stir it all together quickly and then turn the mixture out onto some greaseproof paper. Leave to set and then break up to eat.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT MILK This Chocolate Hazelnut Milk is delicious—tastes like drinkable Nutella! Ingredients 1 cup Raw Hazelnuts 3 cups Water ¼ cups Agave 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 6 Tablespoons Cocoa Nibs OR 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Preparation Instructions Headnote: We tried this recipe with both toasted and soaked hazelnuts and found that toasting really brought out the nutty flavor. If you prefer raw milk, simply soak the hazelnuts overnight (or for 4 to 6 hours) and skip the toasting step. Also, if you can’t find cocoa nibs, substitute 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, it’s delicious! Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325ºF. Place hazelnuts in a small baking pan and toast until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 12 to 15 minutes. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until very well processed, about a minute. Let stand to blend flavors, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and serve warm or chilled.

HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE SPREAD Ingredients 100g Shelled hazelnuts 2tsp Cocoa powder 3tbsp Vegetable oil 3tsp Maple syrup Method STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. STEP 2 Put the shelled hazelnuts onto a baking tray, then place in the top of the oven for 8–12 minutes, or until the skins start to darken. STEP 3 Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and let them cool on a plate. STEP 4 Once they have cooled down, rub off the skins. STEP 5 Place in a clean coffee grinder, seed grinder or a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. You may end up with one or two lumps, but if most of it is powder, it will be fine. STEP 6 Pour into a large bowl and thoroughly mix in the remaining ingredients. Serve on toast or crackers.

HAZELNUT GELATO WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE Ingredients For the ice cream 175g hazelnuts 300ml pot double cream 300ml full-fat milk 100g light muscovado sugar 3 egg yolks For the chocolate sauce 150ml pot double cream 1 tsp instant coffee 100g plain chocolate, finely chopped 1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico (optional) Method STEP 1 Toast the nuts in a dry pan for 5 mins until golden. Leave to cool. Roughly chop 25g and set aside. Heat the cream, milk and sugar in a pan until nearly boiling. Whisk together the eggs yolks in a small bowl. Pour a little of the hot cream over the eggs and whisk together. STEP 2 Pour the egg mix to the pan and gently cook for about 8-10 mins until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set a medium-size bowl over another bowl of iced water. As soon as the custard has thickened, strain into the bowl, then stir through the 150g hazelnuts. Leave to cool a little, then pour the mixture into a blender and whizz until smooth. Freeze according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions. Will freeze for up to 1 month. STEP 3 For the sauce, heat the cream with the coffee in a pan until boiling. Take off the heat, stir the chocolate until melted, then stir in the liqueur, if using. Serve scoops of ice cream in bowls with some sauce drizzled on top and the reserved chopped nuts scattered over.

CAMPFIRE ROASTED HAZELNUTS - SURVIVAL STYLE Gather some hazelnuts and remove the outer green part. Leave them in their hard shells. Dig a shallow pit under the place you will have your fire, and sprinkle a thin layer of sand at the bottom of the hole. Put your hazelnuts on the sand and then cover them with more sand about 2cm thick. Light your fire on top of the hazelnut oven and after the fire has died down carefully dig out your roasted hazelnuts!

GREEN HAZELNUT PESTO INGREDIENTS ¾ cup (3 ½ oz⁄ 100 g) foraged hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed ½ cup (1 oz⁄ 25 g) basil, stalks removed 1 cup (2 oz⁄ 50 g) coriander 1 teaspoon chopped mint 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped 1 makrut lime leaf, optional 1 Medjool date, pitted 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or more to taste ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons (2 1⁄3 fl oz/ 70 ml) extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons (2 1⁄3 fl oz/ 70 ml) avocado oil Freshly ground black pepper METHOD Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C/Gas Mark 3. Spread the nuts out on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Transfer them to a large, clean dish towel and roll them around to remove the skins, then let cool to body temperature (99°F/37°C), about 10 minutes. Put the hazelnuts into a food processor with the remaining ingredients, except the oils, and process until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula, if needed. While the food processor is running slowly, remove the filler cap in the lid and gradually add the oils through the “hole,” and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavor, if necessary. Transfer to an airtight container or a sterilized 14-fl oz/400-ml glass jar, leaving a ½-inch (1-cm) headspace at the top of the jar, cover with a lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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Blackberry Recipes

Packed with vitamins and allsorts of healthy things, blackberries are the "jewels" of the hedgerow. There are so many this year and you can keep picking right up until the end of October! Try some of these ideas...

RAW BLACKBERRY SYRUP Collect a bowl full of ripe blackberries (watch out for the thorns!) Find a large jar with a tight fitting lid and put a layer of blackberries in the jar to cover the bottom. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top of the blackberries in the jar. Keep doing this with blackberries and sugar until you have filled the jar. You can add a few thin slices of lemon if you like. Put the lid on tightly and leave the jar on a windowsill or in a warm place. Shake the jar twice a day to help the sugar dissolve. After all the sugar has dissolved you will see a dark purple red syrup fill the jar. Strain out the blackberries and keep the syrup in the fridge. You can add it to water to make your own blackberry squash, pour it over ice cream or waffles or make it into ice lollies by pouring the syrup into molds and putting them into the freezer. You can also take a tablespoon a day like medicine so that you get all the benefits of the raw blackberries.

BLACKBERRY JAM This recipe uses only 3 ingredients - blackberries (500g), sugar (375g) and lemon juice (2 tablespoons). Wash and thoroughly dry the blackberries. Cut the berries in half or quarters. Add the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice to a large saucepan. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat on low, stir until the sugar dissolves and then increase the heat to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and spoon a little of the jam onto a chilled saucer. Let it stand for 30 seconds to cool, then run your finger through it. If it wrinkles, it is ready. If it is still quite liquid, put it back on the heat and boil for a further 1-2 minutes, and retest. Allow the Blackberry Jam to sit for 10 minutes before carefully ladling into jars. This helps the chunks of fruit to disperse evenly throughout the jam. Carefully ladle your jam into the hot jars and put the lids on to seal. After cooling, wipe the jars to remove any spills, and store in a cool, dark place. Enjoy your jam!

BLACKBERRY PAINT! Gather some blackberries and push and squish them through a sieve into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water and one drop of honey and mix well. Use your blackberry paint with other natural paints to make a beautiful piece of art!

BLACKBERRY AND APPLE CRUMBLE Ingredients: For the crumble topping 120g plain flour 60g caster sugar 60g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces For the fruit compote 300g Braeburn apple 30g unsalted butter 30g demerara sugar 115g blackberries ¼ tsp ground cinnamon vanilla ice cream, to serve Method STEP 1 Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip 120g plain flour and 60g caster sugar into a large bowl. STEP 2 Add 60g unsalted butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy. STEP 3 Sprinkle the mixture evenly over a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until lightly coloured. STEP 4 Meanwhile, for the compote, peel, core and cut 300g Braeburn apples into 2cm dice. STEP 5 Put 30g unsalted butter and 30g demerara sugar in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat. Cook for 3 mins until the mixture turns to a light caramel. STEP 6 Stir in the apples and cook for 3 mins. Add 115g blackberries and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, and cook for 3 mins more. STEP 7 Cover, remove from the heat, then leave for 2-3 mins to continue cooking in the warmth of the pan. STEP 8 To serve, spoon the warm fruit into an ovenproof dish, top with the crumble mix, then reheat in the oven for 5-10 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

BLACKBERRY TEA This recipe uses the leaves and the fruit. Collect some young leaves (about a handful) and half a cup full of blackberries. Cut the leaves up into pieces and put them in the cup with the blackberries. Carefully boil some water and pour it over the blackberry leaves and fruits in the cup. Leave it to sit for ten minutes then use a strainer to strain out the leaves and fruits. Add raw honey and some lemon juice or any other sweetener you like and enjoy your blackberry tea!

BLACKBERRY AND APPLE FRUIT ROLL UPS Collect a bowl of blackberries and either pick or buy two green apples. Wash the blackberries then squish them with a fork until they are squashed! Peel the apples and cut them into small chunks. Put the apple chunks in a pan of water (only enough water to cover the apples and cook until the apple is soft Strain the apple (don't throw the water away!) and put it on a plate then squish it with a fork. Push the squashed apples and squashed blackberries through a sieve to remove big lumps and spread the sieved mixture on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. Spread it out as thinly as you can then leave it to dry in a warm dry place or pop it into the oven at a very low temperature (100 degrees celcius) for a few minutes Take the tray out and leave to cool before cutting the sheet of fruit leather into strips and rolling it up into rolls. You can keep the rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Much better for you than buying sweets at the shop!!

Autumn Foliage

 Autumn Recipes

Click on the leaves for videos of recipes you can make in autumn

Plum Clafoutis

Blackberry oxymel

Halloween treats

Hazelnut butter

Elderberry syrup

Pumpkin soup

Elderberry and rosehip cordial

Toast apple pie

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