Category: Seaweed forage

Foraging with MasterChef SA

Episode 15 of MasterChef SA aired last week on MNET, and the top 5 contestants were told they had to forage for their main ingredients from the beach, Fynbos and forest floor.

It was such a great experience to meet them at Scarborough beach and take them to the inter tidal rock-pools to forage for mussels, periwinkles and edible seaweed and then on to Good Hope Gardens Nursery for a Fynbos forage for herbs and aromatic to compliment the harvested sea ingredients. The contestant were a charming, friendly and super enthusiastic group and I could see recipes running through their minds as they discovered a whole range of new flavours in the wild.

Foraging at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Click on these video links to see more of what we got up to

Foraging with MasterChef SA

With the rising trend of foraging, concern for sustainable foraging is high, and with the fantastic platform of national television, I stressed this point as best I could.

Sustainable foraging

After foraging in the Deep South, they went to meet mushroom guru Gary Goldman in the forest and was guided by his passionate expertise and foraged some choice specimens.

Mushroom foraging with Gary

The contestants did well in the kitchen and created beautiful dishes with their foraged goods.

The top two recipes were Sipho’s Polenta lasagna filled with fried mushrooms and mussels and Roxi’s wild mushroom mille-feuille with hazelnut sauce.

Delicious! Heres hoping this post will inspire everyone to get creative and go wild.

Coastal Foraging

To find out more about our Fynbos and coastal foraging courses email roushanna@hotmail.com

Febuary coastal foraging

On the 1st of Feb we had another really fun Coastal Forage.

Awesome people, fantastic conversation and scrumptious food!

Amongst all the awesome people on the course, Cape Nature botanist Rupert Koopman and his beautiful wife Florence De Vries also joined us. Florence took all the stunning photos in this post. Thank you!!!

coastal foragingThese boots were made for foraging…

Coastal foragingA little bit if info shared,

Coastal foragingfor collecting our foraged goods.

Coastal foragingMmmmmm mussels!

Coastal foragingWrack it and stack it. On my plate please….Wrack seaweed coleslaw. A thing of beauty and taste.

Coastal foragingApplying a seaweed face masks for amazing health and cosmetic benefits.

Coastal ForageIncluding instant happiness,

Coastal forageAnd ultimate bliss.

Coastal ForagingRustic ingredients for a gourmet meal.

The 1st of March and the 31st of March – both starting at 9am – are our next Coastal Forage dates.

Join us as we play like kids and eat like kings, and learn a little bit along the way too.

Contact roushanna@hotmail.com for more info or to book.

Wild Food catering

This weekend I made local wild food tasters for some Japanese seaweed scientists.

No pressure.

Wild cocktails

Wild mint and buchu brandy cocktails

Wild food startersBuchu brandy is excellent for settling the stomach. So after a heavy meal a shot of this would do you good….nice excuse!

Wild food seashoreCrumbed black mussels on a bed of wild nori

Limpet and periwinkle samoosasShe sells sea shells on the sea shore…

Wild food cateringLimpet, periwinkle and “krimpvarkie” seaweed samoosas

Sour figsPerfectly ripe, rainbow coloured sour figs

Ulva chilli bitesUlva seaweed and wild sage chillibites

Seaweed coleslawBrassicophycus and Chordariopsus seaweed coleslaw salad with edible wild flowers.

Wild garlic rollsNever-fail wild garlic rolls

Wild food dessertAnd for something sweet….

Agar-agar mini milk-tart “boats” with candied kelp and Carissa flowers.

Hope this keeps you inspired – Have a totally wild week!

2014

Happy 2014!

Here we are. In the future. The 2000’s – a world of robots and information at the touch of a button, food supplements in a pill, romance through a computer screen and commercial space travel.

But scratch at the surface  and discover we are all searching for a balance….

Yoga. Meditation. Detox. Me time. Time out. Book club. Fight club. Wine club? Outdoor festivals. Indoor exercise. Gardening. Chocolate. Hiking. Bach remedies. Extreme sports. Green juice. Journaling. Nut milk. Tantra. Scrapbooking. Sleep.

Happy, healthy, body mind and spirit.

Trying to get back to nature and live a lifestyle as organic and as healthy as we can. Back to basics, the Slow movement, reconnecting with our food, connecting with our community and being in the moment.

If you’re reading this, you have probably had too much screen time already today. Straighten your back, roll your shoulders and remember to go for a walk barefoot after reading this. Maybe just first quickly check your Facebook and your email.

And obviously have a glance at your phone. Oooh a new WhatsApp message!

Our lives are crazy. Things are so busy and exciting and tiring all at once and screen time is at an all high. A Pinterest board for groceries? No seriously now. Maybe they just lost their pen and paper.

So just chill out man. Like fully.

Come on a Coastal forage and have fun and meet great people and eat good food…..

A big thank you Loubie Rusch from Making Kos who took a break from creating her amazing food and joined us to snap all these amazing photos at our last Coastal Forage.

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Nori - PorphyraCoastal foraging

Kelp - Ecklonia

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Ulva - sea lettuce

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Coastal foraging - face mask

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Coastal foragingYum.

New 2014 Coastal Foraging dates:
Dates: Saturday the 1st of Feb – 10am
Saturday the 1st of March – 9am
Sunday the 31st of March – 9am
Price: R300 per person

The reason these courses are only once a month is because the dates and times are organized around the low tide at new moon (spring tides) to ensure maximum enjoyment in the rock pools as this is when the tide is out the furthest.
Please email roushanna@hotmail.com if you would like to book or have any questions and we will send you further details.

Hope you can join us!

Wild food supper

We recently had some friends in the field (pun intended) over for a wild food supper.

I thought I’d share with you some of the dishes we ate.

But first the prep. Gathering ingredients for wild foods is fun and adventurous and sometimes a little crazy.

Like surfing for our seaweed, or in this case, climbing up a ladder to collect the dried Strelitzia nicolai flowers towering overhead. You can eat the fresh seeds raw and the dried ones can be ground up and used as a flour. Just remember to leave more than you collect.

Strelitzia nicolaiStrelitzia nicolia dried flowers heads

Then you have to brave the bugs and spiders to find the beautiful golden fynbos pirate treasure inside the very hard seed pods.

Strelitzia seedsStrelitzia n. seeds

The seeds are like little hard black coffee beans with a white inside that can be ground up. The gorgeous orange fluff attached to them is the aril that is also edible. It’s a lot of work for a small amount of flour, but a labour of love is usually delicious!

wild food dessertAgar agar and strawberry brule w. Carissa macrocarpa flower and Strilitzia shortcake

Pictured above on the left you can see the final product…I used the flour to make a shortcake and included the aril for added edible decoration.

So now I will backtrack to the starters. Sorry. Its like reading one of those books that the beginning is in the middle and you start at the end and finish in the future. Confusing and edgy. Exciting and wonderful –  like these sweet and salty seaweed nutsSeaweed nuts

This a super easy, highly tasty snack to make. Whether you are hosting a Rugby Watching Braai or a Canape and Cocktail Soiree, these will go down a treat.

Using freshly washed and rinsed sea lettuce or Ulva, chop up a cup full and toss with assorted nuts. season with sea salt and sugar and pop in the oven on a low heat until the nuts are golden brown and the seaweed is crispy.

Yum.

We also enjoyed oven baked periwinkle and seaweed samoosas

Periwinkle samoosas

Periwinkle samoosasPeriwinkle and seaweed samoosas

Seaweed couscous salad – get the recipe here.

Couscous seaweed saladUlva couscous salad with wild garlic flowers

Never-fail-to-please ruby relish on Bree

Carissa and beetroot relish on breeCarissa macrocarpa berry and beetroot relish topped with Carissa bispinosa berries.

Wild garlic rolls and farm butter

Tulbaghia rollsTulbaghia violacea rolls

These were used to mop up the exquisite juices of the mussels….

Musssels and spekboomMussels in a creamy white wine sauce with garlic, thyme, Salvia chamelaeagnea, Portulacaria afra and whole baby onions.

For dips we had Morogo, Wild garlic and King Protea seed pesto and a Wild sage sour cream

Morogo pesto and salvia sour creamMorogo, Tulbaghia violacea and Protea cyneriodes seed pesto. Sheeps milk sour-cream flavoured with Salvia dentata.

We hope this inspires you to be creative and adventurous with your cooking this year –

Happy 2014!

 

Red ribbon seaweed

For one of the desserts at our Coastal Foraging, I make an agar agar jelly treat. To do this you have to collect the red ribbon seaweed that grows on kelp fronds and boil it to extract the agar agar.

Coastal foragingAgar agar kiwi jelly and candied kelp on ice cream.

The romantic version of collecting the seaweed is on a beautiful summers day..blue skies and turquoise sea. A surfboard, a smile and a skip down the beach.

The reality is usually more like a sand-blasted walk down the beach through a howling south-easter, slipping on the porphyra strewn rocks to get to the water’s edge at low tide, holding on with your toes and getting soaked by waves trying to reach the kelp.

If you try and have a surf you could easily get smacked if the face with your board like I did today. Who needs botox right? Dear wind, please hit my lip on the other side now. Angelina Jolie roll over – this is a Deep South extreme makeover.

And if you have missed low tide, you better start looking for a limpet with a lot of red seaweed growing on its shell.

Coastal foraginglike this but more.

Today we got the romantic version….

Coastal foragingA surfboard, a smile and a skip down the beach

Coastal foragingOk and maybe one quick little wave. Or five…

Coastal foragingCollecting the seaweed.

Coastal foragingFound a good bunch! Tough job hey. Gotta love these board meetings.

Coastal foragingWoohoo! Dreamy Summertime.

Coastal foragingLets go check out the haul…

Coastal foragingNeatly stashed away in wetsuit and top

Coastal foragingThe foraged goods. Nice.

A little bit of everything here – red, brown and green seaweed to eat.

Watch out for our next blog post to see what we made…

Happy holidays!

Wild wind and wild food.

Summer is here in full swing. And by full swing, I mean its full on windy. We have had a howling south-easter blowing for days. Causing havoc in the gardens, drying out the soil, whipping up our summer skirts, blowing sand in our faces and flattening out the surf. For days.

But the elements did not stopped us from having two more amazing Coastal Forages.

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Gathering food along a windswept beach only made us even more hungry for the feast we prepared…

Coastal ForagingGathering

Coastal ForagingStrandlooping

Coastal Forage seaweed facepackGarden Spa

Coastal ForageFeast!

It was an even more blustery day for the second group…

Coastal ForageGood and clean and fresh tralala!

Coastal forageCollecting mussels and seaweed

Coastal foragingA spontaneous swim!

Coastal forageMussel pot – infused with thyme and the memory of the sea.

A taste so fresh you have to eat it to believe it.

There was a satisfied silence as we tucked in around the table. Only punctuated every now and then by grunts and sighs of appreciation from the hungry hunters.

We will be repeating this Coastal forage course next year and would love you to come and join us.

Happy Summer living!

Seaweed

We are loving seaweed at the moment. Collecting it (sustainably of course) for our animals, gardens, food and for beauty treatments!

Coastal foraging

While it is fun and exhilarating to be foraging for your own free seaweed and mussels that are growing so prolifically at our beautiful beaches, it is important to remember a few rules. In all the excitement of foraging edible seaweed, it can be subject to over harvesting – especially in a focused area which could quickly be depleted:

  1. Always be sure the sea you are collecting from is not polluted and there is no red tide when collecting mussels.

  2. Collect at the low tide, closest to the tide line as possible.

  3. Never pull seaweed off a rock, rather cut pieces off with a pair of scissors leaving its “holdfast” attached to the rock so that the rest of the plant may regrow.

  4. Only cut 1/3 of the seaweed.

  5. Only pick seaweed for culinary use that is attached to a rock, don’t collect any you find floating or washed up on shore.

  6. Only pick seaweeds that look healthy and clean.

  7. Only pick what you need!

  8. Don t collect any unusual seaweed that is sparse in the rock pools, only what you see growing prolifically in the area.

  9. Watch your back! Never have your back turned to the waves as you collect, especially when collecting those elusive big mussels clinging to the rocks on the low tide line. On a stormy day, one wave can easily sweep you out to sea.

  10. Only collect what your permit allows.

  11. Respect all wild life when you forage. Take care where you walk.

  12. Sustainable harvesting ensures regrowth, conservation and abundance for animals, sea life and for yourselves for the next season.

For a great overview on seaweed written by Rob Anderson, please read here.

For info on the three different kinds of seaweeds – brown, red and green – please click on this:

3G Algae (Seaweed & Phytoplankton)

Sea lettuce

Visit this link on the Scenic South website for my Sea Biscuit recipe using Sea Lettuce or Ulva (shown above).

Kelp saladKELP AND AVO SALAD

Ingredients:

3 kelp blades, your choice of oil for frying, 1t tbs sesame seeds, 3 avocados, salt and pepper to taste, half a lemon.

Method:

Cut strips of kelp and quick fry in a hot pan until they turn green. Take them out and put them on paper towel to drain. Put them in a salad bowl and shake over the sesame seeds. Toss until coated. Chop up the avo and add to the bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste. Decorate with edible flowers. Great as a sandwich filler!

Enjoy! And if you have any tasty seaweed recipes, please do share with us!

Stunning Coastal Foraging photos

I have to add another post on our Coastal Foraging that took place two weeks ago. Why? Because of these amazing photos taken by the talented Christopher List.

We were lucky to have him and his journalist wife Melissa join us on our forage day. They are big adventurers – having traveled for 9 months on scooters through South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique generating awareness about sustainable lifestyle.

Check out their website here and like their Facebook page here

Now take a look at these beautiful images!

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It makes you kind of want to get involved and go on one of these courses, doesn’t it?

Of course it does!

And you can – just email us at roushanna@hotmail.com for more info on our next Coastal Forage.

Well its low tide now and I’m off to the rock pools to pick some seaweed for perfecting some new recipes – I will show you the results here soon.

So happy Summer everyone, let’s go to the beach!

Early Summer Coastal Foraging

Yesterday we went on another amazing adventure.

In one of our earlier blogs, I posted a recipe for Seaweed couscous salad

Our fascination for this amazing super food has led to many rock pool forays and lots of delicious (and weird until I got it right) dinners for friends and family. There has been a lot of interest in what one can use and how to cook with it, so we decided to add it to our foraging courses to share the wonders of our local nutrient packed yet vastly underutilized sea vegetables (and mussels…who can resist mussels in a creamy, garlic white wine sauce!) how to harvest sustainably (there are 12 rules in the written notes you receive!) how to prepare a few favorite dishes and of course – of course! A feast at the end.

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Coastal foraging along the Atlantic low-tide line in a very fresh South-Easter…hello summer!

Why is seaweed so popular around the world but not here in South Africa where we have about 3000km  of coastline with around 850 species of seaweed or marine macro-algae?

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A fantastic group of people, exploring the magical rock pools – nibbling at various “macro-algae” along the way.

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Collecting edible seaweed and mussels for an afternoon feast.

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And then heading back to the Beach Cottage to prepare our foraged goods.

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Mixing the secret sauces…

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 There is nothing like a little bit of socializing around seaweed!

Coastal forage seaweed face mask

We even had a beauty session…Seaweed face mask beauty treatments.

Face masks are a great way of benefiting from the nutrient and mineral rich seaweed. It helps tone and nourish the skin, plump it up and make it glow.

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Immediate visible effects. Everyone was in agreement….once it was all wiped off of course.

Getting nourished from within and on the outside too!

Edible seaweed Forage courseDelicious!

A huge thank you to Rob and Hazel Anderson who we were so lucky to have join us on our forage. Thank you for all your amazing seaweed facts and the recipes – now my whole menu is changing and I have so much more experimenting to do in the kitchen…I cant wait!

One of the wonderful facts I learnt from him is that in Southern Africa, there is archaeological evidence that seaweed was an important part of the diet of stone age coastal dwellers.

It’s a whole new (old) world out there people. And it’s so very exciting.

Just don’t forget to buy your permits before going out and collecting or coming on our course. You can get one from your local post office for just R95 (and you totally make it back in your very first meal) which lasts a year (that’s a lot of meals) you will need a mussel license (bonus) which allows you to collect aquatic plants too. All the proceeds go to Marine and Coastal management for research and the protection of our marine resources. Do it. And then come on our course so we can teach you how to collect seaweed sustainably and how to cook it!!! Important. And so fun. And super tasty.

If you would like to join us on our next Coastal Forage, to play like kids and eat like kings, please email roushanna@hotmail.com for more info. Our next course dates are the 23rd of Nov and repeated on the 7th of December.

Hope to see you then!