This article marks the first of many “Wild Food Closeup” posts where I describe my favorite accessible wild foods and provide top notch recipes that use the featured wild food as a main ingredient.

Upper Brazil nuts in brown seed coat, lower naked out of seed coat

The delicious Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is one of the most accessible wild foods on the planet because – chances are – it is imported right to your favorite stores. Almost all Brazil nuts you can buy are wild-crafted in South America, where the up to 170 foot tall, up to 1000 years of age Brazil nut tree is native. The nuts (botanically they are not nuts, but seeds) are imported conveniently naked out of “shell.”

The Brazil nut tree has rarely been cultivated because it requires the long-tongued orchid bee to be pollinated and bare fruit. The orchid bees require the nearby presence of the orchid Coryanthes vasquezii. The male bees pollinate the orchid and must acquire the scent of the orchid to attract the female bees. The female bees pollinate the coiled Brazil nut flower. No orchid, no bee population. No bee population, no pollination. No pollination, no fruit which contains the Brazil nut.

This pollination intricacy is actually good news because it means that the Brazil nut has therefore escaped thousands of years of agricultural cultivation, a man-made process than generally ends up lowering the mineral and medicinal content of the end food cultivar. Equally as good news is that this necessarily provides income for tropical forests without destroying them.

Brazil nut fruit pod, looks similar to cacao fruit pod

Brazil nut leaf, pod, shell, nut

In the health-world, Brazil nuts have been made famous for containing a phenomenal amount of the trace mineral Selenium, which is a necessary co-factor in just about every system, organ and gland of the body. Most foods and soils are low in Selenium.

Brazil nuts are one of my favorite foods because they are both wild and caloric (and did I mention yet: also incredibly delicious!). We hear about wild foods like dandelion, miner’s lettuce and reishi mushroom, but those foods don’t give us the calories, oils and bulk proteins (in other words, the macronutrients) that we humans need. To find a wild food that is both therapeutically nutritious and abundant in calories is actually rare and requires either a lot of knowledge to find and wild-craft ourselves or an industry out of Bolivia, Brazil and Peru that harvests 20,000 tons of Brazil nuts per year (which is down from over 100,000 tons in 1970!)

Be wary of Brazil nuts that have been sitting around in a bulk been for a while, exposed to light and dirty hands. If your Brazil nuts acquire a slightly moldy flavor, which is common, it means that aflatoxin has developed and they should not be eaten.

Most nuts and seeds we can buy (sweet almonds, English walnuts, etc.) are cultivars that are just not as virile and full of life-force medicine as their wild origins. But choosing to add in wild Brazil nuts allows us to easily transition into a diet-lifestyle that generally makes us more “virile and wild” in our health. Get yourself some high quality organic Brazil nuts and start making some amazing recipes today.

Recipes using plenty of Brazil nuts:

RAW GREEN BRAZILLY ONION BAGEL

Place the following in a large bowl:

Onion bagel ingredients mixed in bowl prior to pressing through solid cone juicer

3 large onions, peeled and cut into pieces

2 cups Brazil nuts, soaked 1 to 24 hours

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup ground chia seed

1/3 cup tonic herb tea

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 cloves garlic, peeled

Several dashes of spirulina

OPTIONAL: 1/2 teaspoon chipotle, cayenne or chile pepper of choice

Mix with spatula in bowl. Then push through a slow moving juicer with the solid (not porous) plate in place into another bowl. Mix on more time and place on solid-sheeted dehydrator trays into “half bagel” shapes (like thick pancakes with holes in their center.) Dehydrate at about 120*F for a few hours, then flip onto screen trays and dehydrate a few more hours until crispy on the outside and somewhat moist on the inside.

RAW CREAM “CREME OF NUT BUTTER” CHEZE

Raw Green Brazilly Onion Bagels spread with Cream "Cream of Nut Butter" Cheze

2/3 cup Brazil nut butter (make this by blending Brazil nuts in a food processor until creamy)

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon spring water

2 teaspoons hemp seeds

2 teaspoons birch xylitol, honey or your favorite healthful sweetener

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Blend in a blender  until thick and creamy. Spread on your Raw Green Brazilly Onion Bagels.

Want more exquisite wild-food-containing raw recipes? Then my book Superfood Beauty Elixirs is just for you. Visit www.SuperfoodBeautyElixirs.com to read all about it (I know you’ll love it) and don’t forget to tell your of similar mindset friends!

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