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Cat Tails...

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  • Cat Tails...

    My favorite readily available food source! Well aside from wild blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and black berries! :)

    These are the exact methods I use:

    1. Open up the leaves in early spring to reveal the shoots. Once the fibrous green are peeled away, the white meat is visible. It can be eaten fresh of steamed. You can dice it or slice it to add to salads, too. (Kinda like a cucumber/zucchini mix) The shoot provide beta carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin C.

    2. Scrape the slime from those shoots onto a cookie sheet and let it dry in the sunshine. This starchy substance is a good soup thickener and can be stored in its dry form for a long time.

    3. Later in the year, when the flowering stalk grows, you can steam the green male flowering tip and eat it. It's been recommended that you dip it in butter, because it can be rather dry.

    4. After the pollen develops, you can shake it off and add it to flour to make pancakes, muffins, cookies or other baked goods. The pollen can be encapsulated and taken as a supplement, similar to the popular bee pollen energy pills hat are popular.

    5. After the flowers have gone to seed, parch the fluffy stuff so that the seeds get nice and toasted. Sprinkle them on salads or eat by the hand as a tasty toasted nutty snack.

    6. Dig up the root masses in the winter and scrub them clean. Smash them into a pulp and soak in water to extract the starch for a high energy soup thickener.

    Facts gathered about cattails:

    -The Indians also cattails medicinally: They applied the jelly from between the young leaves to wounds, sores, boils, carbuncles, external inflammations, and boils, to soothe pain.
    -Cattail Candle, After the pollen has been removed, the cattail is no longer edible. You can then dip the brown flower heads in wax and use the stem as a slowly burning candle. The smoke will drive away the insects.
    -Cattail Down, Cattails were a major staple for the American Indian. There was no need to cultivate the cattail, for the Indians found it in such great supply. They used the "down" to line moccasins, for bedding, diapers and baby powder. One Native American word for cattails meant "fruit for papoose's bed." The Indians also used cattails medicinally. They boiled the rootstock and used it as a diuretic for increase urination or used the jelly-like paste found between the young leaves for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs and inflammations. It was a major ingredient for smallpox pustules. People today use the cattail down to stuff pillows and clothing items. Word of caution: when using the down of cattails-always use batting material to completely cover the down. The fluffy down may cause skin irritation.

    Basic Nutritional facts:

    This food is very low in Saturated Fat. It is also a good source of Iron and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
    7 Calories per ounce
    Last edited by Oatmealer; 04-28-2011, 08:38 PM. Reason: Added nutritional content
    “Efficiency is intelligent laziness.”

  • #2
    keep em coming dude. I am printing this stuff off..


    • #3
      Originally posted by hminus View Post
      keep em coming dude. I am printing this stuff off..
      Sorry, I edited the cattail one! :)
      “Efficiency is intelligent laziness.”


      • #4
        In my opinion the shoots taste like water chestnuts. I think they are very tasty.


        • #5
          Thanks for the info!
          If the zombies chase us, Im tripping you!!!


          • #6
            Good post. Thanks.


            • #7
              Thanks Oatmealer I also printed this up. I remember reading many years ago that the Native Americans used cattail fluff to line the bottom of their tee pee which were double walled.


              • #8
                Here are some young ones I found last weekend. They are edible for sure, but by waiting a little longer they will have more to them. I love the taste of the white core.


                • #9
                  Good post lots of good info there I knew you could eat some parts but you opened a whole new chapter for the pond out back


                  • #10
                    Scrape the slime from those shoots

                    This slime can be used for burns likw aloe vera as well

                    If you eat the cattail shoots raw, you are ingesting the water they grew in... I throw mine in a sink with a light bleach solution for a few minutes then rinse- I do the same with watercress.


                    • #11
                      Nice thread! Good info.
                      I'll keep my guns, freedom, and money... YOU CAN KEEP THE "CHANGE"!