Wild about greens
In summer, Finnish nature is filled with hundreds of edible plants, flowers, and herbs. Wild greens are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and have been used for centuries as food, and to promote wellbeing.
Picking and using wild herbs has become more popular than ever. This kind of wild green foraging, or hortoilu in Finnish, is a fun way to spend a day outdoors. Learning to identify wild plants gives us a new perspective on nature and its possibilities.
An easy way of getting started on wild green foraging is making your own herbal tea.
Many plants can be used as tea, with varying tastes and colours. Fermentation is a traditional microbial process used in tea manufacturing to improve the taste and remove bitterness. Fermenting hand-picked natural herbs creates unique, delicate flavours and improves the quality of the tea.
Making your own herbal tea is easy. Use safe herbs, such as raspberry, chamomile, or blackcurrant, and remember to consume in moderation. Make sure that you have identified the plant correctly before harvesting.
1. After picking the herbs, let them wilt for a couple of hours.
2. Take a handful of herbs and roll them gently between your palms. It is important to break the cellular structure of the leaves to ensure fermentation.
3. Place bunches of leaves tightly in a glass jar and close the lid loosely. Place the jar in a warm place and let it ferment for 48 hours, or even longer according to your preferences. During the fermentation process the leaves will start to smell sweet and turn brownish in colour.
4. Spread the fermented herbs over a linen towel and leave them to air-dry until they are crisp.
5. Enjoy! Your home-made herbal tea is ready to brew.