Natural Seasonings from Native Americans
Wild seasoning are as fascinating and limitless as the great auditors. A knowledge of the save versus the toxic is vital and easy to acquire. The early Americans evolved and extensive usage of seasonal, indigenous North American flavorings, which is impressive and beneficial to us today. Early Americans also knew the special properties of the Ashes mixed with their foods or in water, for various preparations. Ashes of distinctive woods such as cedar, juniper, hicko, and so on, we're definite flavorings, as well as cleansing and digestive agents. Ashes also bleach and soften some foods and add trace minera, subtly influencing taste and consistency. Ashes in the water create lye, which will harden and chemically change the substances to which it is added.
Nut and seed butters and oil were the primary nutritive seasoning among most Native Americans. They provided the greatest flavor accents and were a widely used staple in native diets.
Nuts were used extensively by many American Indian tribes who taught be early colonist how to gather and prepare them for flour, pastes, oil, butter, pottage a and dyes. Part of the Indians annual cycle of the activities included the autumn harvest of the black walnuts, acorns, hickory nuts and chestnuts. Nuts were an important item in the Indian's diet and as winter progressed and the food suply became low, they depended more and more upon them for nourishment. They deemed nuts so important that several tribes named their moons or times of the year after them.
Most nutmeats, including sweet white oak acorns, were eaten raw by a number of tribes especially the Algonquins. Nuts were pounded into meal to be used in beads, soups, and for seasonings; they were also ground in a mortar with water to make a flavorful nut "milk" to add various dishes. Nut oils were rendered by boiling the nutmeats and meal, then skimming do the oil. This nutritious staple was used to prepared and to season vegetables, potter herbs and meats, and to spread on breads.
The breads were usually "cakes" made by mixing cornmeal with what was left in the bottom of the pot after nuts oil were redendered, and then frying this batter in hot fat or roasting it in hot coals.
Sunflower seed cakes
3 cups shelled sunflower seeds, fresh or dried
3 cups water
6 tablespoons fine cornmeal
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 cup oil
* Simmer the seeds in the water in a heavy saucepan, covered for 1 hour. Drain and grind.
* Mix the cornmeal and syrup into the ground seeds, 1 tablespoonful at a time to make a stiff dough.
* Shape into a firm, flat cakes 3 inches in diameter
* Brown the cakes in hot oil in a heavy skillet on both sides. Drain on brown paper and serve hot