The edible and medicinal uses of the Hickory tree

Once your eyes are opened to the world of foraging, you may be overwhelmed with the sheer mass of plants outside. Just looking down at the ground, trying to take it all in...but what about when you look up? Trees are all around us and we have no idea how useful they are...

So now you have to learn all that stuff too.

Instead of breaking out into an immediate sweat, start small. Make it simple for yourself; this should be a metaphor for life too.

Hickory trees are a great place to start. They are easy to spot and have a few fun uses. This is the tree that you see around that has peeling bark. Huge chunks of it are dead around the base of the tree and these are perfect to pick up and bite (not literally).

HICKORY_BITTERNUT_leaves

HICKORY_BITTERNUT_leaves

A tea made from Hickory bark can be a great tonic for "general debility" and arthritis.

Hickory bark can also be made into a delicious syrup by roasting it in the oven (without charring it) and cooking it with water and sugar. A great addition to many meals and desserts!

It can be used to smoke meats too! Cook over an open flame or toss everything in a smoker; you can't go wrong with this fabulous wood flavor. You've heard of hickory smoked bacon. Don't deny it! It is delicious.

Apparently it is illegal but you can also use the crushed nuts to stun fish when you throw them in water. Super survival mode way to catch fish. Crazy, right?!

The nuts are delicious, they are related to the pecan and can be mistaken for walnuts sometimes. The trees take 75 years to really start producing a great crop of nuts! They are really high in protein and phosphorus.

shagbark_hickory_2

shagbark_hickory_2

So the next time you see this bark and tree you might remember something from this post.