Though we’re hoping to get a few warm days before the cold season starts, Autumn’s nearly here! It’s a beautiful time, perfect for a walk in the woods -with the added value of these edible treasures that are now in season! So go foraging while they last!
1. Blackberries: you can pick them from August until October. Choose the darker-coloured ones and place them in containers. You’ll find them in the country, in woodland edges in parks or in urban spots and road sides. They’re very rich in vitamin E, which protects against oxidation. A blackberry and apple pie or crumble is a classic, as it is blackberry jam. We love them on drop scones too.
2. Hazelnuts: get there first, before the squirrels beat you! Now it’s the perfect time to pick fresh green hazelnuts, which are very different to the darker ones we find in Christmas. Fresh, with a sweet, slightly vegetably taste, they’re delicious! You can use them to prepare a pesto, adding garlic, olive oil and your herb of choice.
3. Elderberries: picking them can be a bit tricky because of the stems, so here’s a tip: pick them on their twig and then use a wide-toothed comb or a fork or two to separate them from the stems. Pick only the ripe fruit (it’ll be deep purple), as the green berries contain cyanide. Wash them thoroughly and don’t eat them raw. You can use them to prepare elderberry jelly (with apple too) or syrup. They contain vitamin C, A and B.
4. Crab apples: ready to pick now, they can be the base of jellies, jam or pickles (adding sugar, vinegar and spices such as cinnamon and clove).