Wellness Food for the Soul

Category : Lizet Mulder

Wellness Food For the Soul

Background to Our Wellness Module:

Our ecology team have been gathering in local community groups around all four regions to learn about the natural processes, systems and positive impact we can have on our local environments. Wild Work is the overall movement, the wellness module was nestled into the middle of the 6 modules, delivered over 12 weeks. It was a perfect opportunity to take stock of what the participants learnt and how they can go forward sharing their Wild Work experience.

wild work, wellness, nature

The Wellness sessions were structured to orient fellow participants in the locality they are from, by pointing to the places they were from, where they live now and places they love.

The participants were encouraged to spend time alone in a ‘sit spot’, where they could practice observing, noting and drawing the sights and sounds around them.

During the wellness sessions, they had moments to experience nature on their own, together in pairs and as a group. The endless configurations of how we experience the outdoors, allows us to nurture our mental health in accessible ways relevant for changing personal circumstances.

According to Pfizer “Wellness is the act of practising healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving”.

wellness, wild work, nature, outdoors

The partner and group exercises nudged participants to explore each sense separately and to note what senses each of us tend to rely on. By doing simple sensory and mindfulness exercises, observing details with isolated senses, is the first step to taking stock of what resources we have at our disposal.

From our group conversations, simple, yet radical realisations came up for participants. We can take stock by appreciating over-looked situations; We have access to the outdoors, we are part of a network with similar interests, we meet individuals with special skills. We are all in good enough health to observe what is around us through the five senses, taste, touch, smell, sound and sight.

If we start with the basics, by using each sense to appreciate and learn from the elements outside, we are building up a mental health resource bank to face the challenges that we as individuals, community groups, and global networks face.

wellness, wild work

During the course of the 2 hour wellness sessions, we set out to orientate ourselves in our outdoor spaces, engage and build a sense of ‘trust’ between people and their surroundings. Through orientation, appreciation and resourcing through our sensory experiences, the next step is to face our challenges. The Wellness in Wild Work, module aims to empower people to create local solutions together.

Finally, wellness in nature is there to inspire and to share what we create and co-create. Lizet, our wellness facilitator, shared her favourite way of expressing her natural creativity.  She infused her favourite picnic snacks with wild and foraged ingredients. 

“I believe by sprinkling just a little bit of wildness into our foods, we are learning to connect with nature respectfully and for the wellbeing of all living and growing creatures.” Lizet Mulder

Sharing Recipes to feed the Soul

We thought of sharing a little inspiration to forage and make some wild treats yourself.Here are three recipes for  the delicious wild snacks the Wild Work participants feasted on after their Wellness Sessions.

Here are some pointers for making a plant-based, gluten-free wild pesto, seed crackers, and yummy cured carrots.I hope that the little bites sprinkled with wild and foraged ingredients awaken your senses. We hope that these snack ideas encourage safe and sustainable foraging. So go forth and explore the seasonal treasures growing in your gardens, woodlands, meadows and coasts.



wellness, pesto, wild work

  • 1/2 cup of Nuts/seeds of choice:(chop/ blend in food processor first)
    • Walnuts (more bitter and less fatty option)
    • Cashews (creamy, chewy, fatty option)
    • Sunflower seeds (for a milder, lighter taste)
  • 2 cups of Seasonal greens: 
    • Dandelion leaves: Spring – Summer (great for a Digestive Spring-clean)
    • Stinging nettle tops (Spring -Early Summer. DO NOT pick from nettle plants already in flower. pick with gloves, rinse with hot water, work with care) 
    • Wild Garlic leaves: Spring – Summer. Yummy! The fragrance is much more potent than the taste.
    • Cleavers’ tips (also known as Sticky -Backs): Spring – Late Summer  (combine with other edibles to add a bit of digestive Spring-clean)
    • Plantain: Spring- Late Summer (great as a pesto on its own, or combine for a softer taste with Nettles or Dandelion leaves.
    • Vetches: Spring- Middle Summer (add a few sprigs to add sweetness and pea flavour)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Oil:
    • Wild Irish Flaxseed oil (for Omega 3)
    • Extra Virgin Olive oil (for a green fuller flavour)
    • Rapeseed oil (lighter flavour)
  • Additional spices and sprinkles:
    • nutritional yeast flakes (for a cheezy substitute)
    • smoked paprika to taste (for a smoky addition)
    • salt and pepper to taste (add before final blend)
    • squeeze half a lemon into pesto.

wellness, pesto


  • Pick seasonal.
  • Pick top growth bits from multiple plants, not over harvesting from just one plant.
  • Pick only what you will use. 
  • Pick in a place with no pollutants: away from dog walkies, exhaust fumes, stagnant water, livestock fields. 
  • Keep your pesto in small sterilised jars, and top of the pesto with a layer of oil to preserve.



flac seed cracker, wellness

  • Mix and chop your Seeds of choice:
    • Flax/Linseed (3/4 cup)
    • Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup)
    • Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup)
    • Sesame Seeds (1/8 cup)
    • Chia seeds (1/8 cup)
  • Keep the seeds in a large bowl.
  • Soaking liquid:
    • Blend a punnet of cherry tomatoes/ 3 large tomatoes 
    • with a 1/8 cup of water
  • Add some herbs and spices to the liquid:
    • Smoked paprika to taste (for a smoky addition) (2 teaspoons)
    • Coarsely ground Coriander seed (teaspoon)
    • Ground/ Whole cumin seed (teaspoon)
  • Soak Flax seed mix in the spiced liquid for 5-15 minutes.
  • Oil to line the baking tray:
    • Wild Irish Flaxseed oil (for Omega 3)
    • Extra Virgin Olive oil (for a green fuller flavour)
    • Rapeseed oil (lighter flavour)
    • Coconut oil (stronger taste)
  • Warm the oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
  • Spread the combined seed mix as thin as possible in an oiled baking tray (use a silicone tray liner for easy flipping)
  • Before popping the tray in the oven: score the spread out seed mix with a knife to form 3cm squares.
  • Bake the crackers for 20min at a low heat. 
  • Flip the crackers over (hopefully they don’t stick or break in the wrong places)
  • Bake for another 10-15min, check the colour to be deep golden to brown.
  • Let it cool and harden to a cracker, or bake for a shorter time for a more chewy bite.



cured cracker, wellness

  • Warm the oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
  • Slice 6-8 medium carrots with a potato peeler.
  • Add and mix in 1 tablespoon of salt into carrot slithers.
  • Spread the slithers on a non-stick baking tray.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. Turn and mix carrots halfway, and return to the oven.


  • Sterilise your jars and lids by boiling it in a pot or running a steam cycle on a dishwasher.
  • Make a salty pickle brine in a saucepan with:
    • 3/4 cup of water
    • 1/4 cup of tamari/ soya sauce
    • 1/4 cup of vinegar (rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar works well)
    • 2 tablespoons of oil (flaxseed oil for Omega 3/ Olive oil)
    • 1 tablespoon of dried dill
    • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon of crushed coriander.
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin (or dandelion seeds for some patient wildness) 
    • 1 teaspoon of dried carrageen seaweed (for some ocean wildness)
  • Pickle your carrots by filling the sterilised bottles halfway with brine and the rest with carrots. 
  • Top off with a layer of oil. Let it stand to cool. 
  • The best time to taste the carrots is four hours to a day later.
  • The cured carrots keep well in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Yum! Enjoy! Feel free to share your versions of these wild snacks with your friends.


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