Cattails are an often overlooked survival food. These nutrient-rich wild edibles grow throughout the United States and are generally easy to find. Cattails boast a high percentage of vitamins A, B, and C, phosphorous, manganese, and potassium.
Not only can you eat cattails, you can also harvest the pollen from the foraged plant and use it as a shelf-stable substitute for flour. They have a slightly starchy yet mild flavor. To harvest the pollen from a cattail plant, just shake the stalk into a paper sack to release it. Always store the pollen in an airtight container as any air or moisture will decrease its shelf life.
Want to save this post for later? Click Here to Pin It on Pinterest!
Because a single acre of cattails can potentially offer a yield of nearly 6,500 pounds of flour, cultivating this wild edible to supplement the diets of soldiers during World War II was common.
Types Of Cattails
In North America, two species of cattails commonly exist. These nearly look-a-like classes of cattails both grow in marshy areas. These are probably the easiest of all foraging items to identify. However, you must learn to tell them apart to determine when to harvest them and how to prepare them to avoid becoming severely ill.
There are two distinct species of cattails, and both grow in marshy areas: Typha angustifolia (narrowleaf cattail) and Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail).
The first part of the species name, Typha, is a Greek root word and translates to “marsh.” The horrific and deadly disease of typhoid stems from the same Greek root word. In fact, the phrase “Typhoid Mary” stems from the scientific name for these two species of cattails.
The second part of the species name refers to the width of the plant. Typha angustifolia has narrow leaves and grows in deeper water along ponds, creeks, and rivers. Typha latifolia has wider leaves and thrives in more shallow water areas. Both varieties of cattails have been known to crossbreed.
Here’s a picture of Typha angustifolia (narrowleaf cattail):
And here’s a picture of Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail):
- Cattails usually grow to about 9 feet in height.
- The leaves on the wild edibles have a leather strap-style appearance and are spongy on the inside but stiff on the outside.
- Cattail leaves are brown cigar-shaped or rounded on the back and form together at the base – appearing as if to flatten on the bottom – without truly losing their oval design.
- In the spring, cattails grow both flowers and spikes while filling up with pollen.
- When a cattail plant is blossoming, it is densely filled with tiny flowers. The flowers are green spies initially but then turn a bright shade of yellow as the pollen content on the plant builds.
- The roots on cattails form in a horizontal pattern. This portion of the plant is best eaten during the spring or fall seasons.
- Leaves on cattails are very erect and flat and boast a “D” shaped cross-section. About 15 leaves grow from each shoot on the plant. The thick and ribbon style leaves are a green to pale gray in color.
- Cattail flowers have two parts, a male and a female portion. The top of the cigar-shaped area of the plant is the male yellow spike male that is surrounded by the small female pistillate flowers.
- Both types of flowers become visible from May through July. In the early fall, the brown cigar-shaped flower heads open up to expose the puffy seeds inside.
- You can tell the difference between male and female plants easily by the “T” split between the “gender” specific portions of the plant – unless it is a typha latifolia species.
- The leaves of edible cattail plants will be stiff yet have a spongy texture on both the inside and the outside.
- Cattails should have no distinctive odor at all – with the exception of the mud smell that accompanies them immediately after they are pulled from murky ground.
What Part Of Cattails Are Edible?
When eaten raw, the white lower part of the stem tends to taste like cucumbers. If you cook the lower cattail stem, the flavor resembles corn on the cob. This portion of the plant is best harvested during the summer months.
- The bottom white stalks.
- Rootlets (young roots) – these look a lot like spaghetti noodles and can be used as a pasta substitute in recipes.
- Young tips
- Main Root Spurs
Also during the hot weeks of late summer, you can eat the green flower heads from the cattail plant and once again enjoy the taste of corn on the cob. The roots of cattail plants should be harvested in the fall.
Cattail leaves can be eaten raw to make a wild salad. The stems of young plants are especially tasty when boiled, but can be eaten raw. Young shoots must be cooked thoroughly before becoming tender and taste a lot like asparagus.
Roasting the flowers on cattail plants, as noted, above, taste delicious and like corn on the cob. I often add a pinch or two of cattail pollen to pancakes when camping to infuse more nutrients into the morning meal.
How To Harvest Cattail Starch
There are two ways to harvest starch from a cattail – the peeling method and the water method.
Starch Peeling Method
- Harvest and then rinse the stalk of the cattail in cold water.
- Peel the “flesh” from the exterior of the cattail while it is still wet.
- Chop or chunk the cattail root into small pieces and place them in a bowl.
- Use a mortar and pestle or a mallet to pound the roots into tiny bits or a powder.
- Simply scoop the starch out of a bowl and prepare in a cattail recipe as desired or store in an airtight container.
Starch Water Method
- Harvest and then rinse the cattail roots in cold water.
- Crush the roots with a mallet.
- Soak the crushed cattail roots in cold water for about five minutes. During this time, the starch will release and then settle in the base of the bowl.
- Slowly pour the water out of the bowl, careful not to dislodge the released starch from its bottom. Do not pitch the roots, you are not done with them yet.
- Scoop out the starch with a butter knife or spoon.
- Repeat steps three and four at least twice to ensure all of the cattail starch has been released and gathered before pitching the roots.
Cattail Root Preparation Tips
Although cattail roots are typically considered a safe wild edible in their raw state, doing so often gives folks a pretty uncomfortable stomach ache due to the high level of starch they contain.
The roots of cattail plants can be harvested, washed, and then roasted over a campfire. When prepared in this manner, the roots will have a rather spongy consistency and blacken.
Toss the cattail roots onto a BBQ grill or into a smoker to prepare them for eating. The grilled or smoked roots can be eaten alone or used in a recipe after being heated.
You can also boil the roots just as you would if making potatoes.
- 1 cup of scalded milk
- 2 cups of cattail tops – chopped
- ½ cup of butter – melted
- 2 eggs – beaten
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- Combine the black pepper, sugar, nutmeg and melted butter in a bowl.
- Stir the ingredients thoroughly to combine.
- Add in the eggs and stir thoroughly again.
- Pour in the chopped cattail tops and once again stir completely to combine.
- Next, pour in the scalded milk and stir once more.
- Pour the scalloped cattails into a 9 X 13 baking dish.
- Bake at 275 degrees for half an hour or until golden brown on top.
- 1 and ½ cups of cattail roots
- 1 whole onion – diced
- ½ of a cup of milk
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the cattail roots, breadcrumbs, and milk together thoroughly.
- Add in the onion and egg and stir completely.
- Toss in the salt, pepper, and shredded cheese – stirring thoroughly to combine.
- Bake in a 9 X 13 dish for 25 to 30 minutes.
- ¼ of a cup of cattail pollen
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 cups of baking powder
- ¾ of a cup of milk
- 4 tablespoons of lard or shortening
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Knead the mixture into a dough.
- Roll out the dough and cut into traditional biscuit shapes using the mouth of a glass or cookie cutters.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
Other Uses for Cattails
Cattails can serve as more than a survival food ingredient during an SHTF event. For example…
- The dried leaves can be used as tinder to start a campfire.
- The dried stalks can be used as arrow shafts or in hand drills.
- Dried tops can be light and carried by the sturdy stems and use as a torch.
- You can cut, dry, and then lightly soak the leaves to use for weaving baskets or mats.
- The puffy interior of a cattail top can be dried and used as stuffing in mattresses, pillows, blankets, and for homemade toys.
- Break open a cattail leaf, as you would the leaf of an aloe plant, and use the cool gel inside as a natural antiseptic cream.
- Use the leaves and gell to make a poultice and apply it to bruises, burns, stings, and other mild wounds.
- Take the dried leaves and braid at least three of them together to create cordage.
After reading this article, you’ll probably start noticing cattails all over the place. During the spring and fall, they are often very easy to find.
Like this post? Don’t forget to Pin It on Pinterest!
You May Also Like:
This article first appeared on urbansurvivalsite.com See it here
4 No Cook Meals For Surviving The Pandemic And Food Supply Shortages
When it comes to your food supply, you just can’t risk not having enough. These no cook meals will be a great addition to your food supply planning. Check out the recipes below!
No Cook Meals to Help You Through the Pandemic
As of the writing of this article, there are 20 meat processing plants that have been shut down due to COVID-19 infections. We have been worrying about these types of effects on our food supply for months now, and this is the first real sign of how infections can affect the food supply.
When you walk into a supermarket, you might not see all the choices you had in the past. An empty meat case is a humbling thing for your eyes to fall upon. It’s the shocking realization that the seemingly infinite supply of chickens, pigs, and cows that are butchered for us has begun to run dry!
To deal with this issue, we are going to present four no cook meals that will help you create dinners at home that will feed your family without worrying so much about what’s available, or unavailable, in the meat case.
1. Smashed White Bean, Avocado and Salted Pork Sandwiches
As preppers we get beans. There are a bunch of ways to use beans and this a great example of how you can pack a sandwich with great nutrition and protein.
Serving: Makes 4 sandwiches
- Can of White Beans
- Olive Oil
- 1 Avocado
- 8 Slices of Whole Grain Bread
- 8 Slices of Salted Pork (Prosciutto, Ham, Virginia Ham)
- Begin by draining your beans in a colander then smashing them up in a bowl add a few glugs of olive oil, salt, pepper. This little mix is delicious. If you add some minced rosemary, you can even turn this into a delicious dip.
- Pit your avocado and cut it in half and then quarters lengthwise. Leave the skin on.
- Lay the bread out on a clean work surface for assembling the sandwiches.
- Spread your mashed bean mix onto one side of the bread.
- Peel your avocados and slice 1 quarter for each sandwich. Spread slices over the bean spread.
- Add a few slices of your pork to over the top of the avocado.
- You can finish this sandwich with some lettuces, fresh sprouts, or just eat it as is.
2. Delicious Crab Salad
Canned crab is a protein option that will likely be around through much of this meat crisis. It does have to be kept in refrigeration, but it’s delicious and this chipotle mayo salad is great in the spring and summer.
- 1 Can of Crab Meat
- 1 Bunch of Asparagus
- Chipotle Mayo
- 1 Bunch of Green Onions
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro
- Drain your crab in a colander and set it in the sink.
- Slice your asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Throw them into a bowl.
- Thinly slice your onions and your cilantro and throw that into the bowl, as well.
- Gently toss in the crab meat.
- Squirt on enough Chipotle mayo to coat everything and toss gently not to break up the crab meat.
- Chill in the fridge and serve.
3. Simple Greek Salad
The combination of simple summer ingredients makes for an incredible quick salad that you could add other proteins, too, if you wanted. These could be canned meats.
- 2 Large Tomatoes
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Red Onion
- ¼ Cup of Feta Cheese
- A Few Sprigs of Fresh Mint
- ½ Cup of Kalamata Olives
- Balsamic Dressing
- I like to cut the tomatoes in large chunks and have them kind of be the main course in this salad. Peel and slice your cucumber in half. Remove the seeds and either dice or slice in half-moons.
- Peel and slice your red onion in half. Julienne your, or thinly slice, your half onion.
- Add all these ingredients to a bowl. Finely slice your mint.
- Add your olives, crumbled feta, and mint to the bowl and add enough dressing to coat everything.
- Stir it up and allow this to chill for at least an hour for the flavors to really blend.
4. Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps
Using some similar ingredients and adding a protein like tuna, you can create some delicious lettuce wraps. The key to a good lettuce wrap is to have most of the items around the same size. So, consider that when you are preparing this dish.
- Iceberg or Butter Lettuce
- Canned Artichokes
- Canned roasted Red peppers
- Fresh Cucumber
- Feta Cheese
- Minced Olives ¼ Cup
- 2 Cans of Tuna
- Green Onions
- Start by peeling all the full leaves from your lettuce. Set them on a plate either cover them with a wet paper towel or put them back into the fridge.
- Dice the peppers, artichokes, and cucumbers into cubes. Go no larger than ½ an inch.
- Thinly slice your green onions and basil and add them to a bowl with your diced vegetables. Add your loves to this bowl and mix them thoroughly.
- Crumble your feta cheese over the mixture.
- Drain your tuna thoroughly and then add that to the bowl, as well.
- Gently toss this mixture. Try not to break up the tuna and the cheese too much but incorporate it thoroughly.
- If you want, you can add some olive oil to the mix or a few glugs of balsamic vinegar. It’s also delicious just how it is.
- Scoop a few tablespoons into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and eat up!
These no cook meals should help lessen the stress you feel when thinking of what to feed your family. If you don’t have the specific ingredients, use your creativity, and use what you have. You might discover a new recipe while you’re at it!
What’s your favorite no cook meal recipe? Please share it with us in the comments section!
- Essential Survival Fuel: No-Cook Overnight Oats
- Dehydrated Foods to Try This Weekend
- 13 Dried And Canned Foods With The Longest Shelf Lives
This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here
Billionaire Whistle Blower: Wuhan Coronavirus Death Toll Is Over 50,000
- Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000.
A Chinese billionaire and whistleblower who lives in U.S. exile says Wuhan crematoriums have burned 50,000 coronavirus victims. | Credit: Chinatopix via AP
- The official coronavirus death toll in China is a little over 800. But an exiled Chinese businessman says crematoriums are leaking the real figure.
- A billionaire whistleblower alleges Wuhan has crematoriums working 24/7. He claims they’ve cremated some 50,000 coronavirus victims.
- Guo Wengui is a Chinese billionaire living in exile in the United States.
The official coronavirus death toll is some 800 people in China. The current official death toll worldwide, outside of China, is 774. But a Chinese billionaire with a history of blowing the whistle on his former government says the real figure is much higher.
Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000. Wengui made the bombshell allegations in an interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Whistleblower: 1.5 Million Coronavirus Cases In China, 50,000 Coronavirus Deaths In Wuhan
He also claims to have inside information that there are 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in China. Wengui is emphatic that these are not merely quarantined or “under observation” but confirmed cases of coronavirus infection:
China has struggled to contain the coronavirus. But it has also struggled to contain public outcry against censorship and tight control of information. Dr. Li Wenliang, who sounded the alarm about the disease, succumbed to an infection and died this week. The Chinese government arrested him for blowing the whistle.
Then officials tried to suppress news of his death. Afterwards, millions of Chinese citizens saw the hashtag #IWantFreedomOfSpeech on Mandarin language social media. But the Chinese government censored that too.
Are Wengui’s Crematorium Claims Credible?
Watch VICE’s 2017 profile on Guo Wengui. At the time, he published bombshell documents alleging corruption in the Chinese government. He got the attention of the media and reportedly the U.S. State Department.
5 Types Of Ammunition To Stockpile For A Collapse
Every prepper knows it’s a great idea to stockpile ammunition when preparing for a major disaster.
You can use it for hunting, self-defense, or barter.
But which types of ammo should you stockpile?
If you plan on bartering, then you don’t want a bunch of calibers that nobody wants. And that’s just one consideration.
In this video, Reality Survival & Prepping talks about what he thinks are the 5 best types of ammunition to stockpile for a collapse.
Here are his picks:
- .22 LR – Very common, good for hunting small game, very light and small.
- 9mm Luger – Great for self-defense, fits in a wide variety of handguns.
- 5.56×45mm or .223 Remington – Also very common, cheap and effective.
- .308 Winchester – Widely used, works in AR10 and bolt-action platforms.
- 12 Gauge – You can do a lot with it — hunt, defend yourself, etc.
In the video below he makes a much more detailed case for each caliber. What do you think of this list?
This article first appeared on urbansurvivalsite.com See it here
- DIY7 years ago
DIY How to Make a Powerful Mini Foundry
- DIY7 years ago
DIY How to Build a Cabin in 7days for Under $5k
- DIY4 years ago
Try these Cute Christmas Rock Painting ideas for Kids
- DIY6 years ago
Pillow Floor Lounger
- Uncategorized4 years ago
Bug Out Cabin Tips | How To Build The Ultimate Survival Shelter
- DIY6 years ago
15 DIY PVC Projects You’ll Love
- DIY6 years ago
How To Make An Outdoor Kitchen Upcycled Pallet Outdoor Grill
- DIY7 years ago
DIY How to Build a 16 Brick Rocket Stove