Early spring is a great time to forage the young, bamboo like shoots of the Japanese Knotweed featured in this fruit roll up recipe. Knotweed has a Rhubarb like taste and texture and is an excellent standin in recipes calling for Rhubarb stalks. It is an edible, invasive weed and is available in abundance, making it a sustainable foraging ingredient choice.
By boiling the Knotweed down earthy, tart juices are bubble up before thickening to a heavy fruit paste. Apples add a subtle sweetness and ginger gives a lovely kick to these tasty fruit leathers. I use a dehydrator for this recipe and the result is well worth the several hours wait. These knotweed fruit roll ups will last 2 weeks when stored inan airtight container. I like to use parchement paper to roll these into sweet circles and finish with a tie of twine.
Make Sure to Forage Knotweed from an unsprayed, clear area. Gather stalks in the early Spring..
Choose short, thick knotweed stalks for your recipes, with leaves still up furled. Once harvested rinse stalks thoughly and remove the leaves from the top. Do not discard into compost! Knotweed is called highly invasive for a reason and will quickly take root and spread.
Japanese Knotweed Fruit Leather
- 1 dehydrator
- 3 green apples peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 2 tbls sugar
- 1 pound japanese knotweed
- 1/2 tsp ginger either juice or press through garlic press
- Remove leaves from knotweed stems and chop down to 1 inch pieces.
- Add knotweed and chopped apple to a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until cooked down and mushy, stirring occassionally.
- Add sugar and ginger and mix until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Use immersion blender or food processor and blend mixture until smooth.
- Spread on puree on the fruit tray of your dehydrator, this recipe produced 2 full trays with my dehydrator size. Set the dehydrator temperature to 130° and leave to dry for 8 hours or until all moisture is evaporated.
- Wrap in parchment paper. Store in a cool, dry place.