Lets hear what you guys are eating out of NZ forests?
Such as kawakawa, used for a tea in the same way green tea is used.
Or the lovely young pikopiko shoots, eaten like asparagus.
And of course the 'weed' most people pull from their gardens puwha whos young leaves make a nice substitute to spinach, or raw in a salad.
Yes kawakawa. Great tea with a hint of pepper. Watercress. Native spinach. Seaweeds esp sea lettuce. Native celery. yummo
Yeah, def kawakawa as a tea & herb in cooking - also, the small elongated orange fruit can be squeezed gently off their stalky things that go right up the middle of the fruit, then you can dry them in the oven & dip them in chocolate nomnomnomnomnom! The fruit taste kind of like peppery apricots.
Native tree fuschia berries can be eaten raw or cooked when they ripen in Jan/Feb, if you can beat the birds to them! My grandma used to make tree fuschia jam every year. They are fantastic, but I tend to leave them for the birdies because so much of their habitat & food sources have disappeared.
If you can find kiekie in season, the fleshy flower bracts are delicious eaten fresh - but they don't keep well at all.
I've also been meaning to try the starchy karaka kernels, which are collected after the beries fall to the ground, wait til the flesh falls off, then soak the kernels for a couple of days in a couple of changes of water, boil until tender, then either mash like potato or dry out & eat like peanuts!
Yes Fuschia berries are great :) Didnt know about the karaka kernels will give that a go for sure. thanx Kelly.
I have been trying to find the native fuschia (Kotukutuku-the berries are called Konini) but can't find any. They are not an endangered species so one can take seedlings or cuttings from the bush- I just can't FIND 'em. Does anyone know where to buy one? I have some seeds but they take more than 3 months to germinate...
I have all of James Wong's books on herbs and edible plants, and he says that all fuschia berries are edible. The kotukutuku is the world's largest fuschia, and we also have the Fuschia Procumbens which is the world's smallest...
Sorry for the late reply. My favourite place to buy natives from is probably Oratia Natives in Auckland. They have native fuchsia:
They have a really good delivery service around the country, a great ethic, and I like the way they usually sell each plant at several different stages of maturity, so you can choose what you can afford.
(I sound like I'm on their payroll ... but I'm not - I just love them! :)
If you are in Auckland I want to learn (personally) what to eat and what not to eat. FREE.
Please be careful with Karaka Berries as they are very POISONOUS!!!!!
Yes, they are toxic unless treated completely... many many changes of water! The birds do eat the fleshy outside of the berry, though.