Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

Salty-Sweet Beach Asparagus Slaw Recipe

Want to put a delicious, nutritious twist into your coleslaw? Very simply substitute blanched beach asparagus for half of the cabbage. That's it. But that makes for a really short blog post, so here is the recipe that I put together. I took it to a potluck and got good responses!

Salty-Sweet Beach Asparagus Slaw

All measurements are highly flexible! Be brave, have fun!

     Mix in a big bowl:

  • 3 cups blanched beach asparagus, chopped (see bottom of page for more info on blanching)
  • ½ head of cabbage chopped fine
  • 3 grated carrots
  • ½ cup chopped raisins
  • ½ cup chopped cashews

    Mix sauce in a small bowl:

  • 1.5 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sugar or to taste
  • ¼ cup vinegar or to taste

Mix up sauce, taste, adjust, then stir into salad.

Optional: Garnish the salad with a ring of the blanched beach asparagus around the top of the salad.

Need the condensed version of prepping beach asparagus? Here you go....

Beach asparagus prep: Pick over to remove any grass and seaweed. Rinse the beach asparagus in cold water. Drain.  For less salt let the beach asparagus soak in cold water for one to six hours.

Blanching beach asparagus: Get a large pot of water boiling rapidly. Put a few handfuls of beach asparagus in and time for 30 seconds for this salad. The short time helps keep it crunchy. Dip the beach asparagus out with a strainer and plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain, and if you have a salad spinner then give it a good spin to get the water out.

Go here to learn more about collecting and processing beach asparagus: Beach Asparagus, Sea Beans, Sea Asparagus

May you enjoy new flavors in your day!

Alaska Beachcomber


Simple Nettle Soup

Stinging nettle soup can be the perfect luscious leafy-green nutrition hit, and it is yummy, too. You can make it thick (my favorite) or thin. Adding small amount of your favorite tasty fat will help your body take up the nutrients.

Young stinging nettle plants.

Enjoy the rich, green color of this energizing dish!

This soup is a little bit different every time I make it, so don't bother to follow this fuzzy recipe too closely. Just throw the stuff together and it will turn out just fine. Remember to handle fresh stinging nettles with gloves.




Simple Nettle Soup

  • Half of a plastic produce bag or plastic grocery bag of fresh nettle leaves (about a gallon of loose leaves), or a pint of packed frozen nettles that you foraged and put up in the spring.
  • One chopped onion
  • About two tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock (or Chicken Better than Bullion mixed with water)
  • Optional: A dollop of sour cream
  • Optional: A pat of butter and a few tablespoons of maple syrup

In a heavy pot saute the chopped onion in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken stock and nettles and bring to a boil for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Puree in batches in the blender. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream OR a pat of butter and a swirl of maple syrup.

  • More leaves and less stock makes a thicker soup.
  • If you cook the leaves too long then they will turn a sickly olive drab color. Still edible, but not as delightful as the rich green that nettle soup should be.
  • This soup holds for several days in the refrigerator.
  • Leftovers can be served hot or cold.
  • You can add a cup of cooked rice before pureeing the soup to make a very filling soup.

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica)

You wanted a pretty picture of the soup in a bowl? I don't have one. Hey, I'm no wizard in the galley, and presentation is not my strong suit. If you submit a nice photo of the nettle soup that you make then I could publish it. So no appetizing food pictures today. Instead I have trippy nettle plants:

Or a duck.

Hey, she's a pretty duck. I wonder if she would like some nettle soup?

No, the nettles didn't make me this way. I've always been this way.

Love ya!

Alaska Beachcomber

Foraging Stinging Nettles

Processing and Using Nettles


Highbush Cranberry Punch

Yesterday I posted about making highbush cranberry ketchup and promised that I would let you know about a treat you can make from the seed mash. This is a simple drink that is tasty and slightly fizzy.

Leftover seed mash from making highbush cranberry ketchup.

Leftover seed mash from making highbush cranberry ketchup.

After straining out most of the pulp to make the ketchup there is this unappetizing, seedy goop left over. It has a lot of berry goodness left in it, though! Put it in a big bowl and add 4 cups of water. Using a mixer or whisk (or even a DeWalt Mixer which you can see here) beat the water and mash together for 3 to 5 minutes. It will get bubbly.

Mixing water with the seed mash.

Strain the juice off using a strainer or cheesecloth. Squeeze firmly, even if you have to use your bare hands. Hey, you worked hard picking those berries, so you are getting the most out of them!

Add to the juice:

The outer rind of a lemon, peeled off with a potato peeler. You can squeeze the lemon juice and add that, too, if you don't have other plans for it.

1 cup sugar or to taste.

At serving time fill a glass halfway with highbush cranberry juice and the other half with Martinelli's Sparkling Cider.

If you are celebrating then add a shot of blueberry liqueur or lowbush cranberry liqueur.


Alaska Beachcomber

Highbush cranberry punch

More yummy foods from the woods here: Food and Medicine from Nature 

And if you haven't made highbush cranberry ketchup the recipe is here.

There's also Highbush Cranberry Sweet and Sour Sauce!