9-22. Although some plants or plant parts are edible raw, you must cook others for them to be edible or palatable. Edible means that a plant or food will provide you with necessary nutrients; palatable means that it is pleasing to eat. Many wild plants are edible but barely palatable. It is a good idea to learn to identify, prepare, and eat wild foods.
9-23. Methods used to improve the taste of plant food include soaking, boiling, cooking, or leaching. Leaching is done by crushing the food (for example, acorns), placing it in a strainer, and pouring boiling water through it or immersing it in running water.
9-24. Boil leaves, stems, and buds until tender, changing the water, if necessary, to remove any bitterness.
9-25. Boil, bake, or roast tubers and roots. Drying helps to remove caustic oxalates from some roots like those in the Arum family.
9-26. Leach acorns in water, if necessary, to remove the bitterness. Some nuts, such as chestnuts, are good raw, but taste better roasted.
9-27. You can eat many grains and seeds raw until they mature. When they are hard or dry, you may have to boil or grind them into meal or flour.
9-28. The sap from many trees, such as maples, birches, walnuts, and sycamores, contains sugar. You may boil these saps down to a syrup for sweetening. It takes about 35 liters of maple sap to make 1 liter of maple syrup!