Let the wild things grow… whether it be animals, plants or our very own wild souls.
In my home we let the trees grow freely and the weeds grow tall (it’s so lovely to lay in them in the spring time). Amongst the weeds there are also dandelions, nettles and nasturtiums that pop up from time to time, which I love to use in soups, teas and salads. There is also an abundance of anise growing wildly all over the borders of our outdoor oasis.
For the longest time I thought that this wild plant was baby fennel but after years of assuming I finally googled the difference and found that what I have growing is in fact anise and not fennel. Although the two taste identical to black licorice and smell very similar they are still two different herbs with different nutritional profiles.
Did you know that anise aids with digestion and helps reduce menopausal symptoms in women as well as promotes lactation in breast-feeding women? If you spot anise growing freely in your yard be sure to bring some up to your kitchen perhaps to use in a tea, a shake, dessert, salad or entree.
Inspired by the abundance of food growing around me I decided to use the anise with the fresh figs that are also growing in my yard. I’ve been picking the figs 1-2 days earlier than perfect ripeness only to beat the birds to the harvest. This technique has worked well for me this year especially since the figs soften beautifully on my counter tops.
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk ice cream
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 1/2 cup ice
- 5 fresh figs peeled
- 3 tsp honey or any sweetener of choice
- 3 tsp fresh anise flowers
- 1 tsp vanilla bean
- Blend on high and serve
- Garnish with anise and sliced fig
The shake turned out deliciously and the texture was very exciting thanks to the seeds from the figs and the buds of the anise. I plan to make this shake over and over again assuming the birds don’t catch on to my fig picking routine.
Now if only I could figure out a clever technique to prevent the squirrels from eating all of the pomegranates (and the plotting begins…)
Have you got wild things in your yard that inspire you to create?
Christina Ross is a dynamic chef, educator, columnist and blogger who loves to have her hands in all areas of healthy eating and healthy living. She has made it her mission to spread happiness and health to the masses and does so through her raw vegan food company PatisseRaw, blog Love-Fed.com, column in Natural Child World Magazine and classes taught privately and publicly at Whole Foods Markets. Christina is currently in the works of publishing her first cookbook and in the meantime she has shared some of her energizing, creative and fun recipes and wisdom with us.