Colorado’s wild and untamed forests feature beautiful nature trails, hiking destinations, and sprawling parks, and you love to enjoy it all on a camping trip. On your outdoor adventures, you’ve likely noticed wild food adorning the forest floor. Some of the wild plants you encountered could make an appetizing addition to a campfire meal.
Foraging Colorado’s natural offerings and harvesting colorful fruits and mushrooms would make professional chefs jealous. Of course, you shouldn’t eat food you can’t identify, so always 토토 follow the rules of foraging and only eat items you feel confident about. Here are seven wild foods to look for during your next camping trip in Colorado.
- Wild Spinach (Orache)
A salty green scattered across Colorado, wild spinach thrives in alkaline soil. If you forage for the plant at night, use a headlamp or another light source. Headlamps with neutral white lighting provide great color differentiation, so you don’t confuse wild spinach for a less-desirable, similar-looking plant, like bindweed.
Once you know for a fact you’ve got your hands on wild spinach, you can add it to several dishes. Add leaves to a campfire pizza, toss a few into your salad, or sprinkle some onto pasta dishes.
Forage for watercress on camping trips all the way through autumn. The spicy green plant grows near springs, creeks, and rivers. Watercress tastes similar to arugula, but has a peppery flavor that’s a bit spicier than arugula. This plentiful plant adds flavor to salads, soups, seafood, and sauces. Aside from the many ways to use it, another reason to forage for watercress is that it’s a plentiful plant that grows back quickly.
- Porcini Mushrooms
Fungi foragers across the globe visit Colorado’s front range to search for porcini mushrooms. The wild fungus is particular about its growing conditions, needing a combination of constant summer heat and torrential rains. Keep an eye out for the plant while camping in the high country.
Mushrooms are another wild food to examine closely before putting them on grilled meat or sandwiches or stuffing them. Lookalike plants can give you an upset stomach if you mistake them for porcini mushrooms, so make sure you know what you’re looking for.
- Juniper Berries
Commonly used to infuse gin, juniper berries offer plenty of cooking possibilities. The edible plant usually grows at the forest’s edge and in clearings, but campers may come across them in dark, deep woods and small glades. The versatile food tastes excellent on everything from broths and sweets to meats and garnishes.
Gardeners know how pesky dandelions can deprive plants of essential nutrients, but campers have a different view of the common weed. Delicious and packed with nutrients, you can eat every bit of the dandelion, down to the leaves and stem. Keep your eyes peeled for the delicious weed on spring and summer camping trips, and try frying it when you find some.
- Rose Hips
As winter sours the possibility of enjoying more hours of sunlight, it sweetens the taste of rose hips. Forage the wild plant after the first frost, when they’re their sweetest and softest. Use them in glazes and sauces or brew them into a tea you can sip by the campfire. Outside of the forest, look for rose hips along stream beds and dirt roads.
- Wild Strawberries
While foraging for wild strawberries, think smaller than the plump berries you’re used to seeing in grocery stores. Smaller strawberries grow in Colorado during the late spring and early summer, and you can spot them by their small arrangement of white flowers, blue-green leaves, and long red stems.
Depending on the season you go camping in, you may not need to bring as much food as you used to. Search the forest floor for edible possibilities to make your time outside that much more delectable.