Berries in Bloom // Rye Toast

Good morning! It’s time to go see what’s growing in the forest right now. All the berries are blossoming now, but we still have quite a bit of waiting to do before they are all ready to be picked. But now’s the perfect time to look for the best, most abundant spots in the forest, to make the picking process that much more straightforward. In a month or so, we just walk up to the spot, fingers crossed that nobody else has come across it!

Nah, I’m kidding, there will be enough berries for everybody. At the end of the summer, most of them will still be there, rotting away, emitting greenhouse gases as they go. So let’s do a favor for the nature and pick some berries, shall we?

But first, let’s eat. These delicious slices of rye bread are made with everything I found in the fridge. Simple, tasty, and so filling! There was some lingonberry jam left – it goes so well with these toasts. Perhaps I’ll post a jam recipe later in the autumn, when we finally have fresh lingonberries to work with!

Rye Toast with Pulled Oats

I don’t know about you, but I could hike for hours after a meal like this. And since we’re going to the sauna and swimming in the lake afterwards, it’s good to have some salt in your system, to help you stay hydrated.

Anyway, it’s time to head out now. Let’s look for the lingonberries first! If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know what the flowers look like – they’re probably the easiest ones to find at this time of the year, seeing that they’re all white and growing pretty much everywhere up here in the north. The berries taste like cranberries, just slightly sweeter, and unlike strawberries or raspberries, they are just as good frozen as they are fresh. That’s why I consider them my favorite berries – although strawberries are inarguably the sweetest berries on Earth, they have a short growing season and just aren’t very flavorful after freezing.

Lingonberry

Oh, and here we have wild strawberries, too! They are the mini versions of garden strawberries, and the flowers are equally tiny and delicate. They are not difficult to find – in fact, they like to grow here and there around the towns and cities as well – but they don’t grow in large bunches all over the place like lingonberries, which makes them a rare treat. Usually when I find strawberries in the wild, I  consume them on the spot – no chance there will be any leftover to freeze for the winter.

Anyway, this year I found a particulary abundant spot, so perhaps there will be enough for decorating a strawberry cake, who knows!

Wild Strawberry

Bilberries, like lingonberries, grow everywhere. A patient berry picker will collect ten or even twenty liters of bilberries, which should be enough for the whole winter – for one person, at least! Bilberry flowers and raw berries are difficult to spot, as they are the exact same shade of green as the leaves they are hiding under. However, the leaves are easy enough to recognize, as are the berries once they’re ripe and ready to be picked.

Bilberries are a close relative to blueberries, of which only a garden variety grows here in the north. But no worries, bilberries are just as delicious and healthy as blueberries, and ten times more flavorful!

Bilberry

It looks like it’s going to rain soon, so better head home soon and heat up the sauna.

But wait, there’s still something over here! These little nodules might look like dried up something from last year’s yield, but don’t let it fool you! Under all that weird, brown growth, there’s a tiny green raspberry just waiting for some sunlight and warmth to turn it into one of the most delicious berries on this planet. They might just be my second favorite wild berry, right after lingonberries.

Wild Raspberry

For now, all we can do is have some lingonberry jam and reminisce, but in a month or so, the berry season kicks off again! That means equipping yourself with insect repellent, comfy and protective outdoor gear, and a 10-liter bucket, and heading out to the woods to spend some quality time squatting amongst the berry bushes. In the complete silence of the forest, it’s actually a form of meditation.

And of course there’s the ultimate reward: loads of fresh, organic berries!

Print me!
Ranger's Rye Toast
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Topped with pulled oats, fried potato slices, onion, and served with a side of lingonberry jam, this rye toast fuels you for long walks in the forest. Enjoyed with lingonberry jam, it's also filled with authentic Scandinavian flavor!

Servings: 2
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 4 potatoes, cooked and sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 100 g pulled oats* (or sub with veggie ground round)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 pickled cucumber, sliced
  • ground black pepper, to taste
For serving
  • ½ cup lingonberry jam
  1. Fry the potato and onion slices in 1 tbsp of oil, and remove to the side.

  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and fry the pulled oats for 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and spices, and cook on medium high heat until the oats have soaked up the liquid. Remove from the pan.

  3. Finally, toast the bread slices on the pan to use up every bit of remaining flavor.

  4. Spread the mustard onto the bread slices. Top with the fried potatoes, pulled oats, pickled cucumber, onion, and season with pepper.

  5. Serve with lingonberry jam.

*Pulled oats is a complete vegetable protein made with oats and broad beans; feel free to substitute with veggie ground round or other vegetable protein.

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