Strawberry Elderflower Jam Recipe

Strawberries in Syrup

Strawberry and Elderflower JamI took the children fruit picking and foraging this week and we had a fantastic haul, certainly more than we could eat, so I made beautiful fresh Strawberry and Elderflower jam. In the Thermomix® it’s such a simple recipe too – no thermometer required. I love this recipe!


Strawberry Elderflower Jam Recipe
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If you're not using jam sugar you need to cut a grannysmith apple in quarters and add it to the mixtures. I use jamming sugar for this recipe. If you don't use Elderflower, add an extra 10g strawberries
Recipe type: Jam, Condiments
Cuisine: Foraged
Serves: 400ml
  • 250g jam sugar
  • 440g strawberries
  • 10g Elderflower
  • 2 tbs lemon juice (or ½ fresh lemon juice)
In the Thermomix®
  1. Put the jam sugar in the bowl and turbo two or three times to make it finer.
  2. Add the strawberries and elderflowers, if using, and mix Speed 4/10 Seconds
  3. Add the lemon juice.
  4. Boil Veroma/ Spoon Speed/18 Minutes
  5. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.


Wild Garlic And Cashew Dip

Wild Garlic DipWild garlic fills my head with romantic images of rolling hills, blue skies and sparkling oceans  – probably because of the two places I’ve found it growing in the wild. It’s a beautiful herb or plant or whatever it is. It is pungent, and fills the air with the smell of delicious food, but sweet… it’s hard to explain – a non-offensive garlic. Truly beautiful.

The flower itself is a pretty white, delicate little thing, hard to miss, and it brightens my day whenever I see it. You can eat the leaves as is – they are delicious with deli meats on fresh bread, and you can also add a bit more oil and turn it into a pesto for pasta, or even in omelettes or scones.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful plant as much as I do!

Wild Garlic And Cashew Dip
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I love wild garlic. It's a plant that actually excites me, and I've only seen it in the wild in Somerset and on the Isle of Wight. I'm sure it grows in other places - I know it does, since I transplanted some into my back yard! This dip takes less than a minute to prepare once you have your ingredients together. Eat it with crackers, or, ahem... just eat it!
Recipe type: Dip
Cuisine: Foraged
Serves: 2
  • 10g Wild Garlic & Flowers
  • 40g Cashew
  • 30g Hard Cheese
  • 20g Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Add the wild garlic, cashew, cheese and olive oil to your food processor.
  2. Blend until it's the consistency you like. Blitz for 15 - 30 seconds depending on your preferred consistency. (Thermomix®: Speed 4/ 20 - 30 Seconds)
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Decorate with Ransom Flowers


Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe

Damson Jam Recipe

Autumn bounty includes Damsons in the UK, and the trees are laden with them. People can’t get rid of them fast enough. The problem with damsons is that unlike, say, blackberries, you can’t eat them raw, so they often go unappreciated till they fall to the ground.

My daughter came home from a walk in the forest with her pockets bulging with damsons, so I decided to turn it into jam, something I’ve never done before.

Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe
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Use equal parts of fruit to jam sugar, boil and store. Easy peasy Damson Jam. You can of course buy your Damsons, but half the fun is in the foraging!
Serves: 200ml
  • 200g Damsons
  • 250g (9oz) Sugar
  • 1 orange, washed
  1. Wash damsons and drop them into your pot.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the orange out over it.
  3. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes till the fruit is soft. (20 mins/100C/speed 2).
  4. After 20 minutes, remove from the heat. It's useful at this point to remove all the pips. If you keep the orange in at this point, you'll have a slight marmalade undertone to the damson jam. I'm not a fan of marmalade, so I prefer to remove the orange before adding the jam sugar.
  5. Boil for another 20 minutes at 100C/212F.
  6. Remove from the heat and tip the pot slightly. If the jam looks like it is creating a wrinkle, remove from heat and pour into steriised jars to keep for later, or into a jam jar to start using straight away.
  7. If it doesn't seem to be wrinkly yet, cook for a further five minutes before dispensing into jars. Remember that damsons have a lot of pectin in them and will set as it cools.



Blackberry Jam ( Blackberry Jelly)

Blackberry Jam Blackberry JellyIt’s been a beautiful summer, and I’ve focused largely on my children, and very little on anything else, including these pages. I’ve often taken a photo of things, thinking I’d publish them when I have a moment, and that moment has just never come, and here we are, just in time for autumn.

Nature is a beautiful thing though, and knowing full well that the barren months of winter are coming, Autumn blesses us with a bountiful harvest of apples, blackberries, rosehips, damsons and more. My children and I have spent time foraging in our local area, trying to take advantage of the free fruit as much as we can. Over the next few days, I’ll share some of the results of our foraged free food with you.

Today’s recipe is a bit of a cheat: Blackberry Jam. It’s a cheat because I used Jam Sugar with added pectin rather than making my own. We were lucky, I think and got the berries at just the right time, as they were sweet, full of juice and just delicious.

I use a jam strainer to catch all the seeds and skins, leaving me with a beautiful clear jam.

Blackberry Jam
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The flavour of this jam depends a lot on the blackberries you use. We picked plump, juicy, ripe blackberries to make a sweet, delicious jam for toast, home made doughnuts and more.
Recipe type: Condiments
Serves: 250ml
  • 250g (9oz)fresh blackberries
  • 250g (9oz) jam sugar
  • 2tbs lemon juice (if from a bottle)/ juice from ½ lemon if using fresh lemon
  1. (If you're using a stove to make jam, you'll need a sugar thermometer to check when your mixture is at 100C/212F. If you're using a breadmachine with a jam function, follow manufacturer instructions. For a Thermomix®, cook at 100 degrees at speed 2. )
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl and cook for 40 minutes at 100C or 212F.
  3. To check whether your jam has set, tilt the bowl slightly, being careful not to spill boiled sugar! Check to see whether a slight gel forms on top. If not, return to heat for five minute intervals. Your external temperature will affect how long your jam has to boil.
  4. It shouldn't take over 50 minutes, but if it does, turn the heat up as high as possible (watching it doesn't burn) for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour jam into sterilised jars and leave overnight to cool.



Festival of Food: Mint Cordial Recipe

Mint cordial What’s lovelier on a hot summers day than a refreshing mint cordial? Well, I don’t know, but a mint cordial definitely hits the spot. Mint is used to relieve normal pregnancy nausea, and abdominal pain. Chewing mint leaves will make your teeth whiter over the course of a couple of weeks, and eliminate toxins from the body. Some even claim mint can cure asthma, although I’ve not seen any research on that.

  • This easy recipe will make enough cordial for 3 – 5 litres of mint juice, depending on how strong you like it.
  • Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. This month, we celebrate Smoothies and Mocktails!  Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you’re welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you’d like to share, add it to the linky below.



Festival of Food: Mint Cordial Recipe
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A gorgeous summery mint infusion
Recipe type: Drink
Cuisine: Summer
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 500g sugar or rapadura
  • 2 cups water
  1. Lightly crush the mint leaves to release some of the flavours.
  2. Add sugar and water to a heavy bottomed pot and then add mint.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil for five minutes, then simmer lightly for 15 minutes.
  4. Cover and leave as is overnight
  5. Strain the mixture to remove all the leaves, then decant into a bottle and refrigerate.
  6. You can keep this in the fridge for 2 - 3 weeks.
  7. Just add to still or sparkling water to taste.
  8. Enjoy the refreshing yumminess.

Reprinted from Diary of a First Child


Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.

Stay connected! Be sure to “Like” the Festival of Food Carnival Facebook page.


Wild Garlic And Cashew Pesto

Where my inlaws live, the public bridleway is lined with wild garlic on one side and dandelions on the other. It’s a foragers feast! Last year I picked a shopping bag full of wild garlic, brought it home, cooked with it and stuck a two plants in a pot. They looked as though they were dying, so I forgot about them and got on with the year. Cleaning out the garden this spring, I found four beautiful Ramson plants! I actually did a little happy dance, because I sometimes crave this stuff!

Wild Garlic PestoWild garlic is simply delicious stuff. In the spring it has a much milder taste than late in the summer, and unlike it’s commercial counterpart, you eat the leaves and the flowers, not the bulb (although you could).

Identification: You can smell the garlic before you see the plant. It has broad, spearlike leaves, which smell like garlic, and pretty white, star-like flowers, in a rounded ball shape, which also smell like garlic. All parts are edible, the leaves preferably in spring.

Poisonous lookalikes: The leaves do look a lot like the Lily of the Valley, which is poisonous but doesn’t smell like garlic, and if it doesn’t smell like garlic, it isn’t wild garlic.

Uses: Basically, anything you could do with Basil, you can do with wild garlic. You can make a soup, add it to salads, stir fry with onion and olive oil as a vegetable (instead of spinach, for example), and add a few dandelion heads for colour.

Here’s on my favourite recipes for Wild Garlic: Wild Garlic and Cashew Pesto

(Pine nuts are seriously expensive. Cashews are a lot cheaper, and just as good.)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Wild Garlic And Cashew Pesto
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The amounts in this recipe are rough guides. If you have more or less of an ingredient, it doesn't matter. Cashews provide the 'bulk' in the ingredients, and the Ramsons are very strong in flavour, so while you can add more you don't need to.
Recipe type: Dip, Sauce,
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 4 - 6
  • ½ cup loosely packed Ramsons/Wild Garlic
  • ½ cup Cashew Nuts
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup Olive Oil
  1. If you're using a Thermomix®, place everything in the bowl, and blits on Turbo for 3 seconds and you're done.
  2. If you're not:
  3. Crush the cashew nuts
  4. Grate the Parmesan Cheese
  5. Place the salt into a pestle and mortar and add the wild garlic. Use the 'friction' of the salt to crush them together.
  6. Add the olive oil for a smooth paste, before adding the cheese and cashews and stirring in well.
  7. Pepper to taste.
Use as a spread on a rustic bread or as pesto for pasta. Keeps for around 3 days in the fridge. Top with edible Ramson flowers for prettiness.


Dandelion Fritters

20130504-184301.jpgI do so love Dandelions. Not only do they bring with them the promise of spring, of sunshine and of warmer weather, but they also provide a wonderful opportunity for getting outdoor with little people. My daughters love picking dandelions and ask if we can as soon as the sun peeks out in spring. We pop some water in the freezer, head out for an hour or so to pick dandelions, then come home and make fritters for dinner.

You can have them savoury with salt and pepper, and sweet, with lemon and sugar. Hold your dandelion by the green bit and eat the yellow, as you would with a strawberry. There’s nothing wrong with the green bit, it’s just a bit bitter.


Dandelions don’t keep very long, so you need to cook them as soon as you get home. Once fried, eat them immediately.

Dandelions are high in loads of vitamins. Just for interest sake, a cup of dandelions contains:

Vitamin A 112%,

Vitamin C 32%,

Vitamin E

Vitamin K 535% of your daily requirements. So they’re pretty healthy, and a great way of getting good vitamins into yourself and children.



Dandelion Fritters
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My children and I love foraging for Dandelions! It's such a fun afternoon's activity, involving them in and leading to dinner. Pop some water in the freezer before you go out, pick just what you'll eat, pick at the flower as you don't need the whole stem, and don't eat much of the green bit (it's bitter). Always soak dandelions in salted water for a while to get the bugs out and use the coldest water you can to make the batter.
Recipe type: Foraged Food, Fried
  • 10 -15 Dandelion flowers per person trimmed so that there’s no bitter stalk, and washed
  • 1 medium egg
  • 225ml ice-cold water
  • 100g plain flour
  • Optional extras:
  • Lemon juice
  • Icing sugar
  • Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and add the iced water. The water must be as cold as possible, as this prevents the batter from absorbing too much oil, keeping it light and crispy.
  2. Lightly mix in the flour with a fork and beat gently. Don’t worry too much about lumps.
  3. Dip the dandelions in the batter, and drop in hot oil. The oil should ideally be at 180C/350F for cooking dandelions; if the dandelions sink to the bottom of the oil, the temperature is too high.
  4. Fry till golden brown, then remove and place on paper towel
  5. For a sweet treat, drizzle lemon juice over, then dip in icing sugar. For a salty treat, dip in mustard, or our favourite, sprinkle over salt and pepper and enjoy!

Reposted from Diary of a First Child


Ramson And Cheese Scones

Scones are so quick to make, and they are a great lazy morning breakfast, or tummy filler for toddlers and kids. Getting them to forage for the greens and help in the mixing makes the food a lot more appealing to eat too, so this is a great recipe for getting some greens into little people.

Ramson Scones

Ramsons are also full of vitamin C and iron, so great fortifiers for change of season protection against colds.



Recipe type: Snack, Foraged
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 25 g butter
  • 75 g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 - 4 Ramson (wild garlic) leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the flour, salt, cayenne, butter and three quarters of the cheese in a food processor and whiz until well blended.
  3. Beat together the egg and 2 tablespoons of the milk then add to the food processor.
  4. Pulse to form a smooth, soft dough. Chop up the Ramson leaves and mix them in.
  5. Form into six balls, and place on a tray in the oven for 20 mins.
  6. Out the oven, slice, butter, and enjoy!

Reposted from Diary of a First Child

Ramson (Wild Garlic) Omelette Recipe

Here’s a simple little recipe to try with your Ramsons and a few bits and pieces from the fridge. It’s a great starting place if you’re not used to cooking with foraged food. Ramsons are a great source of Vitamin C and iron, and their pungent garlic smell makes them really easy to identify in the wild. They’re ideal for teaching children about foraging, and are very versatile in savoury food. You can also use them in sandwiches and salads – anything you would use salad, basil or other greens for.



Ramson (Wild Garlic) Omelette
For this Omelette you’ll need as much of each ingredient as you think each person would eat:
Recipe type: Simple, Foraged
Cuisine: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Ramsons
  • Eggs, 2 per person
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • Cheese to taste
  • Tomato and any other vegetables (optional)
  • Chop the mushrooms and onion roughly and fry until tender.
  1. Add the chopped Ramsons and cook for another minute or two, till they are wilted.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs till they are frothy. Lower the heat a little and pour directly into the pan. This will make the omelette light and fluffy.
  3. Add a little grated cheese and salt and pepper, and cover with a lid until the egg is cooked on top.
  4. Cut into as many pieces as you need and transfer carefully on to plates.
  5. Add a couple of Ramson flowers for decoration and enjoy with toast.

Reposted from Diary of a First Child