Preserved Lemons for Vitamin C

If you are stuck in a shelter for days it may be hard to find fresh sources of Vitamin C. This is when preserving fruit can come in handy.



The most traditional recipe for preserved lemons includes lemons, bay leaves, salt, coriander seeds, cloves and peppercorns.  You will also need lemons.  Purists will tell you that you should only use organic unwaxed lemons for Sicily.  Although unwaxed lemons are better you can still use ordinary lemons. Just make sure that you scrub the wax off of them well before you start the pickling process.



Cut each lemon into eighths or even sixteenths if you can manage the.  You then take a layer’s worth of lemons and squish them into your preserving jar.  Sprinkle that first layer with two teaspoons of salt.  Ad a bayleaf, a few coriander seeds, a couple of cloves and peppercorns.  Keep repeating this process until the jar is full of layers of herbs and spices and lemons.  Then fill the jar with lemon juice.



This is the type of pickling recipe where you simply need to store the completed work in a dark place. Sometimes the jars start to bubble. If you see this happen then you need to pop open the jar and vent the gas from the lemon preserves.  If you don’t you could end up with an exploded jar.   The pickled lemons are doing well if they look glossy, are soft and smell like lemons. If there is mold in the jar then be sure to discard it.



There are many uses for pickled lemons if you are stuck in a shelter.  They can be used to flavor just about any type of fruit or vegetable.  They can also be used to add flavor to meat.   The lemons can also be deposited in the bottom of cup and water can be added to make lemonade.  If you add hot water you have a hot lemon tea.



One common use of preserved lemons is to use them as a base for dressing or as an ingredient in salads. They can be especially good in a salad made with hardy winter greens such as kale or winter cabbage. The lemons have a way of softening the leaves and making it taste more like a ceasar.



You can also make an amazing pesto like sauce by grinding up preserved lemons and roasted garlic as a pesto. If you have parsley pepper and parmesan cheese you have a gourmet meal.



However the best way to enjoy one, and also get your daily dose of Vitamin A and vitamin C is to simply pull it out of the jar and pop it in your mouth.  If the lemon flesh is too sharp just consider using the rind.

More Foods You Can Forage in Winter

If you are looking for food in the wild in the winter then you might want to start looking in urban gardens.  Rose hips grow everywhere through Autumn and the Winter.  In fact rosehips are quite easy to work with because the fruit is quite soft. You can make syrup, jellies and jams with rosehips quite easily.  If you dehydrate them it is like making your own Vitamin C pill.  You can also dry rose hips to make a nourishing and immune-system supporting herbal tea .




If you are bugging out in the United Kingdom and are looking for a wild outdoor growing fruit then look for mudlars.Medlars are little orange berries that are green to brown in flavor.  These little berries are quite touch until November or so when the cold weather softens them.  When soft they taste a bit like pears.  They do have a stone inside that must be squeezed out. You can eat these straight off the tree, make jelly out of them or brew the berries like you would a tea and enjoy the Vitamin A and C that they provide.



A very common edible plant that survives frost and snow is Cow Parlsey. However make sure that you are very familiar with it because it really does resemble some other plants that can be quite poisonous including hemlock and dropwort.   In the winter the bottom of the plant will seem dead but a little crown of leaves forms on top of it in the winter.  You can eat the leaves as a salad or use it to flavor and add nutrition to powdered soups.



Sweet Ciceley is an aromatic relative of cow parsley that is also quite common and can be identified by buds of white flowers in the early spring.



Ground Elder is also a weed that easily foraged. You can find it below autumn leaves and snow. It was grown as a vegetable by the Romans and then fell out of favor. They look a bit like simple tree leaves but you can cook them up the same way you would spinach or any other thick green levy vegetable.


A similar winter leaf find is Alexander’s. These are plants with large shiny leaves that is found near coastlines. They have big tender pale green leaves that are delicious cooked in soup or stir-fried.



It is also possible to find fruit in the winter. Many red crab apple trees still have hanging fruit as late as February.  You can find these trees growing wild everywhere, even in winter.



You can do a lot with crab apples which are very tart in flavor.  You can make jellies or tea out of them which fully allows you to enjoy their high Vitamin  C and A content. You can also combine them with brown sugar to make a delicious sauce.