19 September 2009

Wild food: Cattail roots, part two

Cattail shoots can be eaten raw, as can slices out of younger, less fibrous roots, though the root starch becomes more fully digestible after cooking.

Roots and shoots

Roots, all white and starchy and ready to boil

Boiled and split root, fibers scraped to remove the starch for eating. This starch has a taste and consistency very much like mashed potatoes, only “smoother,” and is equally filling!

It is impossible to salvage all of the starch by scraping like this, so I will save the scraped roots to process for making flour.

In part two, we will look at one way to make cattail flour, which contains gluten and can be used for baking, from the root starch.

Cattails grow in almost all areas of the country, from the sub alpine wilderness to the lowland suburbs, and can provide large quantities of food and other useful materials.

How have you used cattail roots or other parts?

Do you have any favorite methods of harvesting and/or preparing them?

Tell us about it!

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