In the Spring, you can find lots of yummy plants to enjoy. From green plants to yummy, ripe fruits, there’s a plethora of food to be found, if you just look. Growing along the sunny banks and around a forest edge, or even in your own back yard, wild strawberries are delicious. You can also find them along roadsides, hillsides and in open meadows.
Some may warn that they are poisonous, but that is far from the truth. Wild strawberries are perfectly edible and very nutritious. They are full of Vitamin C and will taste just like the strawberries you would grow in your garden. You can use the leaves for tea as well as enjoy the sweet, juicy fruit.
However, you must also know that wild strawberries have a deceptive look-alike: mock strawberries. Can also be referred to as Indian Strawberry, “false strawberry”, or “wood strawberry”.
Wild Strawberry vs Mock Strawberry
Some ways to tell wild strawberries from mock strawberries are to look at the blossoms. Wild strawberries will have white blossoms. The mock strawberry flower is yellow. Keep in mind that they will have identical leaves.
Mock strawberries will have fruit that will be pointed toward the sky, upwards. The fruit will have no scent when crushed. Wild strawberries will have fruit that will hang toward the ground, dangling off the vine. The fruit will also have a strong strawberry scent when crushed.
Mock strawberries are perfectly edible. If you find and consume them, you WILL live to tell the story. The main issue with them is that they will lack any real flavor.
You can use wild strawberries in ANY recipe that you would any strawberry. From fresh strawberry pie to strawberry smoothies.
My favorite way to enjoy wild strawberries is just eating fresh off the plant, but this jam using wild strawberries is a great way to save them for year round enjoyment!
Wild Strawberry Jam
- 1 quart wild strawberries, stemmed and washed
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/3 c bottled lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, add the strawberries and sugar together.
- Stir to combine well and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
- Pour into a heavy bottomed pot, adding any juice from the bowl.
- Add lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Boil for approximately 20 minutes to reach the jelling point.
- Ladle into clean ½ pint jars, add new band and lid and water bath process for 10 minutes.
- Remove from canner and allow to cool.
Will you go foraging for wild strawberries this Spring? How would you want to enjoy them?