spring recipes foraging sample

Spring is here! The trees have beautiful green leaves again, animal babies such as goslings, fawns, and squirrels are about. Early pollinators such as Carpenter & Honey Bees are out in full force examining the early blooms. So what’s available for us foragers? Spring is a great time to take advantage of the colorful wildflowers and early greens for our spring recipes!

When we forage for and create spring recipes for our meals, snacks, and drinks directly from nature, we have such control of what goes into our bodies as well as start to understand and appreciate the ecosystems around us a little bit more.

What are you foraging for in Spring? Here in Southeastern PA, there are many goodies available, from the prickly foliage of Cleavers, the soft purple flowers of the Common Violet, to the buds and flowers of the popping Maple growth.

Are you new to foraging and want to learn how to get started and what foraging etiquette to abide by as you harvest?

Get inspired to forage with some of these wild-plant based snacks and spring recipes and you’ll never look at the natural world the same way again!

Spring Greens Pesto

garlic mustard pesto spring foraging workshop

  • 1 c. Cleavers, Dandelion Greens, Garlic Mustard, and Onion Grass
  • 1/4 c. cashews (optional)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil

Harvest the greens and gently wash. Combine dry ingredients in a blender. As you blend, add oil tbsp. by tbsp. until it becomes a homogenous paste. Store in the fridge in a clean, sealable jar. Mix with pasta or over crackers! Use within 1 month.

Vegan Wildflower Cupcakes

  • Your favorite cupcake recipe
  • Purple Dead Nettle Flowers, Dame’s Rocket Petals, Dandelion Petals/Sepals, and Finely Chopped Violet leaves
  • Bananas to replace the eggs
  • Applesauce (or Coconut Oil) to replace the butter
  • Handful of Pansies, Lilacs, or or Dame’s Rocket Flowers as a garnish
  • 2-3 tbsp. sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add bananas and applesauce/oil. Stir thoroughly, then fill cupcake liners 1/2 way full with the batter. Bake as original recipe directed, or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top with frosting and garnish with flower petals.

trails-to-tasting seasonal series

Violet Gin Spring Tonic

  • 1/2 oz. Violet Flower Simple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz. Foraged Plant Infused Gin (I used a Violet flower & leaf, Pansy, Dandelion, and Lemon infused gin)
  • 1/4 oz. lemon juice
  • Seltzer/Tonic water
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lemon Peel & Honeysuckle Flower Garnish

Create simple syrup and infused alcohol ahead of time. When ready to make the cocktail, combine syrup, gin, and lemon juice in a shaker with 2-3 ice cubes and shake (Adjust lemon to sour/sweet taste). Strain into Collins glass and add 1-2 fresh ice cubes. Add garnishes and then top off with seltzer/tonic.

Sweet or Savory Fritters

  • 1 c. foraged dandelion tops (sweet) OR Purple Dead Nettle flowers (savory)
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk (coconut milk is an acceptable dairy-free substitute)
  • Olive, coconut, or Sesame oil
  • Condiments to taste (powdered sugar, cinnamon, honey for the sweet or ketchup, oregano, basil for savory)

Harvest fresh dandelion flowers (keep the sepals on to use as a little dipping handle), and Purple Dead Nettle flowers and gently wash and set aside to dry.

Warm desired oil a skillet. Mix flour, egg, milk, and desired spices in a bowl. Dip flowers (hold the underside) in the batter. Place in the skillet and flip when crispy. When done, place on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.

Note – Dandelions naturally have a sweeter taste and taste great with honey, while Dead Nettles are a more savory mint plant. Mix and match other sturdy flowers and combine flavors!

Now that you’re more comfortable with foraging, learn more about creating specialty drinks with wild-edibles, regardless of the season with my “Trails-to-Tasting” Foraging Guide & Cocktail Eco-Recipe Book!

Discover more wonders of the natural world, tips for how to forage, and some eco-recipes and tutorials on my YouTube channel’s Wild-Edibles & Foraging playlist!

Supporting The Art of Ecology through the online shop or by becoming a Patron at any tier on Patreon can help keep educational content coming!

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