opieandoscar (opieandoscar) wrote in wildfoods,

curly dock seeds

Those of you who gather the seeds from curly or sour dock----do you gather them when green or red?  I have lots of both  and would appreciate any more information.
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I've been wondering the same - the recipes are anything but helpful in this respect - and I have come to the conclusion that I might as well try both and see which tastes best.
I'm assuming one would want them to ripen like other grains, thus they would need to be red. The green ones aren't mature or dry enough. I made that mistake once with beans. ;-)
But, not all seeds are eaten fully mature. That was exactly my problem - you harvest and eat fava beans and peas while they're still soft and green, for instance.
But for grains intended for grinding, which is all I have seen dock seed recommended for thus far, I believe maturity is required. You don't turn green beans or corn into dried beans or cornmeal. At least, I had very bad luck trying that. ;-) I don't know if eating green dock seed is recommended, all the descriptions I've seen of harvesting and processing involve a mature red seed, ground for flour.
addendum: you CAN successfully dry sweet corn, but it doesn't make good cornmeal, it's only good for rehydrating as sweet corn. Cornmeal varieties are different from sweet corn varieties. I learned that one from experience. ;-)
Thank you all for your information. I am so happy to have found you and am now anxious to go gathering and see what I can produce. I'm thinking plain muffins with ground up dock seeds added.
I have only seen recipes where you use the whole seed (raw or cooked), it didn't occur to me that it could me made into flour.
I'd like to see those recipes if you don't mind sharing them.
They're mostly used in salads and porridges - the recipes are in Norwegian or Swedish mostly, but I could translate them for you.
That would be awesome. ;-)
Can't find my sallad or porridge recipes at the moment, but here's one for bread (dough making program for baking machine - the loaves are cooked in regular oven 15 min at 200°C).

Høymolebrød (Curly Dock Bread)

800g whole wheat flour
100g dock seeds
1/2 l water
1/4 yeast cube (crumbled with the flour)
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts sugar

I have not tried it myself, because of the green/mature problem. If you try it, I'd love to hear how it went.
Addendum: forgot the instructions!

Loaves = 10-12 small portion loaves
The dough is not worked at all after its been poured out of the machine, just divided and "pulled" into long portion sized loaves. Baked in preheated (regular) oven 15 min at 200°C.

Ca. volume ratio dock seeds/flour = 1/20 - which also probably tells whether they're green or red, as green weighs more than red. Which now makes me wonder about the chaff...

*rolls eyes at self*
It's only and assumption- but I would assume that it would be the "ripe" red ones. I'll see if I can get more information on herb cites....

"Thanks for reaching out with your questions. I would be careful that the plants are in a clean place, not too dusty, and that after you have pulled/swiped all the seeds from the plant…that you pick out any leaves that may have made it into your bag. Then, I find it easiest to put the entire seed and papery sheath ‘aerodynamic packet’ into a blender or coffee grinder. It blends easily into a flour, and has a small seed (i’ve found 3-5 sided seeds) that tastes similar to coffee. I usually add… say 1/4 cup curly dock ‘seed’ flour to 3/4 cup unbleached white flour….of course it depends on what i’m making. Be aware that this flour may cause diarrhea, as you are ingesting a lot of fiber through eating that papery sheath, instead of winnowing the tiny seed out. If you are unused to eating wild flours, then I would start with a smaller amount. Most people need more fiber in their diets…so do what feels right to you."

That was the best I found- here's some other links of interest:

Hope that helps everyone out!
I've got a lot of dock in my flowerbeds that I'm allowing to go to seed so I can try it, I think I'll remove at least some of the husk from mine. I would like to find gluten-free recipes involving dock seed, perhaps I'll experiment with some different flour combinations in the "dock seed crackers" recipe which is all I seem to be able to find when I search.

Red. You can pick them red and pre-dried and if they're from a not-too-dusty area you may just be able to toss them in the blender/coffee grinder; if they're from a dusty trailside (mine always are) or if they're not dry yet, I usually give them a rinse (until the water, while still red, no longer runs too cloudy) and then dry them in a low temperature oven (or in the sun, or in a food dehydrator). I suppose if you grind them in a blender or food processor and plan to use them immediately the drying step is not necessary; I've never tried that, though.
Hi folks, I have been living on wild foods since I hit the dirt floor 39 years ago. My family would eat what was at their feet or at arms reach. This year has been a good one for greens, but now its berry season and my god are they big. Dock bread is good, crackers are bad. Cool Blog.
I gather them when brownish-red at this time of year and dry them.