Cat Tails Plant: Plants You Can Eat in the Wild

plants you can eat in the wild

Sherrie is aboard the Agadda Da Vida preparing cat tails plants. These plants are regarded as common edible weeds and one of the most important plants you can eat in the wild.

Cattails are one of the most important survival plants for foragers to know. They are widely covered in edible plants books, but there are rarely details on how to prepare the cat tails plant after harvesting it. This post shows you how we prepare cattail stalks for use in a stir fry or other dish.

Cattail stalk can be harvested from early spring till mid or late summer. We rely on this common edible weed as a staple food when we are on both long and short cruises. When cooked in a stir fry, it has the texture of cabbage and could be considered almost tasteless. It’s flavor is very light, and could be said to be reminiscent of mashed potatoes.

Cattail Roots

plants that we eat

The cattail stalk, about four inches above the root, is one of the edible wild plants that we eat frequently while cruising.

The first step in harvesting the cat tails plant stalk is to grab it firmly at the base of the stalk and pull it away from its root structure. Cattails can grow from seed, but are more often connected by a rhizome, which is a root that tunnels through the ground and sends up new plants. In marshy areas, the cattail roots grows a few inches off the bottom. When harvested, a significant portion of the roots will come up with the stalk. These will need to be cleaned off with a knife. In dryer conditions, the cattail roots will grow underground and the stalk will break off evenly where the stalk and cattail roots meet.

The trick to eating the stalk is that you want the tender, inner part and you want to cut off the tougher, stringy parts. Usually the first four to six inches is what you’re after. These pieces can be cut off and thrown aside. If harvested with the cattail roots attached, there will be a ball of ‘meat’ that is quite edible and delicious. However, the cattails roots themselves are stringy and not edible, even with significant cooking.

Other Ingredients to Cook with Cattail Plants
cooking with cattails

These cat tails, red peppers, green peppers, and red onion are read a pan stir fry.

My favorite way to prepare cattails is in a stir fry with red and green peppers, a red onion, and olive oil. This makes a healthy vegetarian meal, or a great base for adding additional plans you can eat in the wild.

Once the stalks are stripped of the out leaves, I like to cut the stalk into ¼ inch to ½ inch thick slices, cut diagonally to the stalk. I can the other ingredients to roughly the same size and thickness, then cook in a pan with olive oil on high heat.

Once the dish is cooked, it’s great to add additional food like beans, rice, and meat. The base stir fry also makes a great side dish to a main course. Here are some examples of how we’ve used them in the past:

cattails as a side dish

This cattail stir fry makes a great side dish to a main course.

cooking with cat tails

Adding rice and sausage to the cattail stir fry makes a hardy meal!

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My Off-Grid Power System
Desolation Sound Marine Park
Another Day In Paradise
One Response to “Cat Tails Plant: Plants You Can Eat in the Wild”
  1. alan says:

    I love this blog 🙂

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