Wild plants & Game Cooking in Texas

Central to the Texas lifestyle after sports comes enjoying the bounty of plants the long growing season gives and what hunting season it is. If not actually taking part in the gathering and hunting, then knowing where the animals live and where the plants grow lets everyone in on the conversation and fun. Then the inevitable competition starts for bagging the grandest deer. Guided hunts by Lone Oak Adventures for many rural areas helps sustain a way of life. Do not think flower gardening gets left out. As our Lady Bird Johnson taught us wildflower petals make a good nutritional addition to our salads and meals.

Wild Plants

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin caters to preserving the native plants of Texas. Most of Texas’s major highways and Interstates display wildflowers along the edges due to her efforts at conservation. The center became developed to obtain the necessary ecological research and designs needed to create healthy landscapes and ecosystems. It gives a list of edible plants with images. The following lists some of the edible plants:

  1. Allium canadense – Wild garlic forms a sparse cluster of leaves of grass. A stalk appears producing white or pink flowers. Chop up the green leaves and sprinkle on food like chives. Use the bulb to add flavor to soups and stews or make a medicinal tea for coughs.
  2. Portulaca spp – Purslane often grows in lawns and along ditches. Stems and leaves have a high omega three counts. Useful for salads raw but in Spanish cooking the stems and leaves become part of main courses.
  3. Dipspyros virginiana -American persimmons form on small trees. Especially flavorful when left on the tree to become dark and ripe the fruit softens and tastes like molasses. The fruit can become cooked to make a jelly or a spread.
  4. Oxalis – Wood sorrel or better known as shamrock has purple flowers and three to four leaves. It can substitutes for citrus in recipes. Place in a salad to add some tangy zest.
  5. Taraxacum officinale – Dandelions grow in most yards. Cook the young leaves and add to dishes. Eat flowers raw, but recipes exist for fried dandelion flowers. The root makes a medicinal tea or coffee.

Hunting

Texas has an abundance of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, mule deer, rabbits, feral hogs, squirrels, quail, and turkeys. Most hunting happens on private land so after obtaining a license then talk to a landowner. Most Texas trophy hunting revolves around deer. Whole industries spring up to ensure a hunt for a trophy style deer. Texas Parks and Wildlife runs several programs to support wildlife conservation. The Texas Grand Slam, the Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt, and Premium Buck Hunt should satisfy any hunters desire for a trophy. If needing something a bit more exotic try Gator Hunt or Nilgai Antelope Safari. Application online with several variations. Once home knows that the meat hunted becomes a low carb, low-fat food without out any chemical preservatives. Extremely nutritional large lists of recipes exist for cooking game meat. Online Texas Parks and Wildlife has a nutritional data guide listing fats, grams, protein, and even cholesterol.

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