Photo: Anette Andersson
During the late summer and autumn, the mountain crackles in all sorts of colours, the air is clear and nature’s pantry is right at your feet. Although it is difficult to look away from the beautiful views, do so anyway. Move your eyes down towards the ground where you stand – the mountain is a real gold mine.
Meadow’s gold is what we call it, for when cloudberries mature it glitters like gold across every mountain meadow.
With loads of flowers blooming, summer promises a fine cloudberry harvest and the first berries can be found where the sun has been shining. Higher up on the mountains, the berries ripen a little later and the further away you get from the most easily accessible places, the greater the chance you’ll have to fill your buckets. Divinely good and super-healthy too!
Blueberries might not need a very elaborate introduction. You’ll find ripe blueberries in the forests, but also on the mountains in various places. Put them in the freezer and take them out to put on your yoghurt or make into a smoothie whenever you need a burst of vitamins.
Raspberries ripe in middle to late summer and they’re a complete dream to have in your freezer to take out during wintertime. Make them the topping on your cake, put them on your ice cream or just munch them as they are. Raspberries grow wild in deforested areas, ditches and actually in rather random places as the plants spread easily.
Lingonberries have a rather sour taste compared to the two examples above. But lingon berry jam is delicious on meatballs, and they are a great addition to your smoothie or juice. You’ll find them growing on the moors and in the forests.
Black and red currants a little different but both are full of vitamin C which can be a needed in the dark winter months. In Sweden, the black ones are often used to make gel which tastes wonderful with steaks. The red ones are also a great addition to traditional Swedish food. They grow on bushes which you can find in ravines, close to rapids, on beaches and in the forests. Also, many people grow them so if you have a generous neighbor, maybe they let you pick some.
Chantarelles are truly nature’s most brightly shining stars. Yummy, healthy and great to have in your freezer for making stews and soups. In late summer, the yellow chanterelles pop up in, well, not so easy to find-places. But if you flirt with the right locals you might get a hint about where to look.
Sometime later in the fall, it’s time for the funnel chanterelles. The trick is to find one, and when you do they’re usually spread out as a carpet beneath your feet. Fantastic to dry and put in glass jars then crumble them in your autumn and winter’s soups and stews.
You ought to get over 700 height meters to have the greatest chance to find chanterelles in Åredalen.
This mushroom is asbolutely divine when put in a stew (preferably with venison or reindeer meat). It’s orange and its top often have a tint of green. And it’s easy to recognize since it ”bleeds” when you cut into it. If your fingers turn orange when handling it, you’ve picked the right sort. You’ll find this delicious orangey thing in the forest, in August, so you don’t need to hike far uphill to look for this one.
Remember to bring an instruction book with you to make sure you’re picking the right mushrooms, as certain sorts can be poisonous.
They burn and were a complete nightmare when you were a kid, but they’re actually edible and taste great in soups, or in risotto, for example. Use gloves when plucking to avoid nasty burns, dry them or boil them, or use them instead of spinach. Find out more about how to pluck and cook nettles here.
Other edible plants, month by month
You can pluck edible plants almost all year-round. Check out this website, choose the geographical area where you’d like to search for plants to pluck and which month you’d like to know more about. Et voila! Go out and find nature’s treasures.
If you want more tips on edible plants in Sweden, read this article.
Know what’s allowed
The Swedish Right to Common Access is unique and allows you to pluck berries, mushrooms and other edible plants, hike and bike and more, almost freely in nature. However, there are rules that need to be respected, so make sure you know what you can do and what you cannot before heading out. See more about the Swedish Right to Common Access here. And read more about how to be a responsible visitor in nature here.
Last updated 30 July 2021