Where the wild things are.

By bettymachete Latest Reply 2010-06-24 15:07:19 -0500
Started 2010-06-18 23:14:45 -0500

On my walks my son and I have been gathering blackberries, wild mustard, ramps and wild onions when we came upon a fig tree out in the woods. This thing is loaded with them. I never was a "fig newton" person, but I wont be able to pass up picking these beautiful fruit when they come into season. I started researching about figs and their nutritional information as soon as I got home and found out that compared to whole milk , figs twice the amount of calcium! Intrigued, I looked more into the fig and found some very surprising information on many websites about figs and why diabetics should be looking into adding figs and the fig leaf into their diet. Now I am even more excited about the fig and can't wait to try this out.




28 replies

Thomas508 2010-06-24 12:54:03 -0500 Report

After reading all this I have bought some sun dried figs and ate several without much effect on my blood sugar, I thought for sure it would but very little rise at all. A local market said they would have some fresh ones in in about a month and I am looking forward to trying them, I don't think I have ever eaten a fresh fig.

bettymachete 2010-06-24 14:43:00 -0500 Report

yeah figs will be comming into season soon so get them while you can, I like them chilled but am going to try a version of this recipe with them. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Figs-with-Goat-C...

GabbyPA 2010-06-20 11:53:05 -0500 Report

Wow! After reading a lot of these links my idea of planting fig trees in our yard has gone from a maybe to a YES! I didn't know about the leaves, that sounds wonderful! I love figs, but kind of stopped eating them since I was diagnosed. They are like Lays potato chips to me, I can't eat just one. I love them dried.

imadiabetic 2010-06-19 16:44:29 -0500 Report

i thought figs where bad for the blood outlines..any reply..

bettymachete 2010-06-20 12:05:07 -0500 Report

I had thought the same because they are very sweet, but I am reading some American Diabetes Ass. articles on the Fig and the fig leaf and everything indicates that the science is stating otherwise. I think it's funny that something so sweet (the fig fruit) has the counter (the leaves) all in the same plant. That's pretty amazing.

GabbyPA 2010-06-20 12:25:38 -0500 Report

Just like nature to balance things out. It is amazing that way. I am jealous of your hunting and gathering. What a great bounty you found. I have been trying to teach myself some about wild foods, too.

bettymachete 2010-06-21 14:32:05 -0500 Report

Well I am Dine (Navajo/Apache) mixed with a little Scottish Highlander. I guess the hunting and gathering is in my blood. :) I also had a Botanist as a Mother, I majored in horticulture and taught classes in plant identification. It is fun, but I wouldn't recommend wild gathering unless you have a trained eye, it can be dangerous. One mistake can leave you in the hospital or even worse. There are some real safe bets, blackberries are easily identifiable, day lily's ( you may even have some growing in your yard.) fiddle heads, wild onion, dandelion, cattails, yucca, clover etc I do know that there are many free classes you can take and there are also "guided nature walks" at local National Parks run by Rangers who are also well versed in edible plants and fruits indigenous to your area and will even tell you ways to prepare these plants. Don't pick them in the National Parks however :) Another option is find your local Boy Scout Council shop, there is a plethora of Edible food guide books and can offer a good reference to edibles in your area as well as preparation since many Scouts do Order of the Arrow and one of the trials is to "survive a night alone in the woods". Here in Georgia, wild mustard has become a nuisance plant, but it is edible and so the National Parks invite people to come in and pick all they can every year. There are also walkabouts where groups gather local flora and fauna and take back and prepare for a gourmet meal with chefs that will show you how to prepare your finds, this has become very popular and sometimes can be pricey but very fun to do. If you ever run across something and need me to take a look at it, or have any question on the easy ones above please don't hesitate to ask.

bettymachete 2010-06-21 14:46:58 -0500 Report

I found a nice beginners page of edibles with great pictures. http://www.ecosalon.com/foraging-for-food/. I am sure you will recognize a majority of these plants.

However, DO NOT forage "mushrooms" or anything looking like a mushroom, unless you are absolutely 100% POSITIVE about it's classification. I am sure most know this but I have to put it out there.

GabbyPA 2010-06-21 18:16:12 -0500 Report

I get a news letter from Linda Runyon called "Of the Field" It is great with pictures, photos, recipes and cautions. I want to get her flash cards and DVD set, but not right now. I have also looked into growing edible flowers to use in my salads. There are so many out there that I had no idea we could eat. I got into that when my husband wanted me to make candied violets. How cool! That is a victorian sweet that is put on spring cakes. They are beautiful.
Yes, you do have to be very careful, but it is amazing just how much Free food is out there. I was so sad that my mushrooms in my garden were not edible. I had them popping up all over the garden and I had to throw them away. What a waste. We will be growing some edible ones this fall. YUM

bettymachete 2010-06-21 22:47:48 -0500 Report

You can pull off the flower buds before they bloom, remove any stem pieces , wash and steam or boil, a little salt and pepper, they taste like lemony green beans. They can be put in stir fry dishes and some people batter and fry them. I have even had them pickled. You can also pick the petals after they have bloomed and drop them in salad ( for salad I recommend yellow day lily Liliaceae, genus is Hemerocallis) or soup to help thicken or beautify a clear soup. I would go easy on them though, overeating daylillies is like overeating prunes.

OMG-T2 2010-06-21 16:01:57 -0500 Report

bettymachete —

I don't have a question about foraging, per se, as much as I hope you will clarify something about your post that may confuse folks who don't understand tribal delineations. Your identification as Diné suggests that the combination of Navajo and Apache equals Diné, when, in fact Diné is the term that the tribe colloquially known as Navajo often refer to themselves as. Not typically inclusive of the Apache tribe (which is yet another generalization given that there are many bands of Apache too) as my experience goes.

Please understand, I am not trying to nitpick, but at the same time, I do believe that as American Indians, we owe it to ourselves to be utterly clear about our tribal affiliations and connections so that we continually affirm our place in the world.

Thanks for "hearing" me out!

bettymachete 2010-06-21 22:31:47 -0500 Report

Oh not a problem at all :) I left the rez long ago, this is like having an elder scold me..lol You are correct, it has been a very long time since I had to go into depth on my heritage on a forum. After saying that I am dineh, I realized many have no idea what that may be so inserting my Navajo and Apache (which is recognized by many) seemed the easier route. I could go into speaking of nations and tribes but I can't claim one without the other, you see and while you are correct, I figured it wasn't necessary to go into my family tree as it was really only reflecting on to the subject of foraging and why I may have fallen into having such a love for it. If you were offended, I offer my sincere apology. Náá'ahidiiltsééh!

bettymachete 2010-06-22 08:02:04 -0500 Report

I don't know why the forum isn't allowing edits, but I also wanted to include that if you were offended I offer my sincere apology. There was no disrespective intent. They are not one and the same, I am a product of both and therefore must mention both and all call me Diné. If that makes sense. I was really simplifying myself in order to make it easier for others and it does transfer wrong to those in the know.

OMG-T2 2010-06-22 10:24:35 -0500 Report

My dear sister, I am not offended at all! And you are absolutely correct, there is no need to delve so completely into one's family tree in a post about foraging! Forgive me for seeming to have jumped all over that! Definitely not what I intended.

I too am bi-tribal, so I understand the desire for brevity in explaining myself. In fact, I have a situation similar to yours in that one of my tribes is very well known and the other is a bit more obscure - even without a colloquialism!

At any rate, I shall now shut up about these things and direct further commentary to more appropriate places! Thanks for your feedback! And my most sincere apologies if I have offended you!

RAYT721 2010-06-19 01:23:57 -0500 Report

OOOPS… I just posted a new discussion called "Fig Cookies" that I wanted to insert here.

RAYT721 2010-06-19 01:24:53 -0500 Report

Fig Cookies …

I found this link on the internet when doing a search for sugar free fig newtons. I have no clue what half of the ingredients are but thought I would share this recipe link in the hopes that someone can interpret it. I would think some of these ingredients may be better known as eye of newt or bat wings.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/print/gr... Bullet-link

bettymachete 2010-06-19 05:58:27 -0500 Report

Darnit! I was really hoping for a way to use the eyes of newt and bat wings I had been collecting. Tease!

Looks like a good gluten free recipe, may have to give it a go. Thanks

Emma2412 2010-06-21 16:46:13 -0500 Report

Hi, Ray
Many thanks for the gluten-free fig recipe. Besides being Type II, I'm also borderline celiac disease. So, gluten-free is right for me.
Yes, the ingredients might at first sound weird, but for us with borderline or full-fledged celiac disease, they are music to one's ears. We're not supposed to have anything with wheat, barley, bulgar, duram wheat flour, farina, graham flour, rye, semolina, spelt, wheat berries, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, wheat gluten and wheat nuts, to name just a few.
If you think that it's difficult to decide what to eat when you only have diabetes, I consider you lucky. There are also such things as modified food starch and oat, rye, corn and rice brans, oat fiber and food starch that are on the tabu list.
I guarantee if you start reading your labels you'll understand why we have to have to have "eye of newt or bat wings" instead of a plain, wonderful piece of whole wheat bread!


monkeymama 2010-06-18 23:30:44 -0500 Report

wow…I used to love eating Fig Neutons. I just wished they made a sugar free fig neutons. I will have to see if I can find some great low carb recipes with figs and give it a try with the family. Sounds yummy now that I am thinking about it.

bettymachete 2010-06-18 23:51:07 -0500 Report

Frankly I was astonished to see the calcium levels in the fruit. I know figs are very sweet so I think I could only sparingly indulge in them. I am looking at doing the fig leaf tea that I've been reading about.

It can easily be made using 2 teaspoons of dried cut leaves. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the leaves, cover, and let the brew sit for 10 to 15 minutes before drinking. Drink 1 cup each morning at breakfast.

I found a paper that I think is describing the study that was conducted in Spain. It is titled "Hypoglycemic Action of an Oral Fig-Leaf Decoction in Type-1 Diabetic Patients" The link listed below will take you to the abstract (this is a pay article) - very interesting. This is a very scientific paper, but it does appear that the fig leaf tea does have an affect and is worth further study.


My Italian uncle whos diabetic used to cut figs in half and top them with a little goat cheese and little bacon cumbles and bake them topping them off with balsamic. He said it was his Love food LOL

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