Hog Peanuts

Hog peanut is the common name of Amphicarpaea bracteate.  It is a wild edible that grows in the forests of North America.  Hog peanut produces both an edible root and edible seeds.  Hog peanut is a member of the Legume family, same as beans and peas (and peanuts, which are not technically nuts).  The vines can be either annual or perineal depending on the type and location.  They tend to grow in quantities that are large enough to justify a little digging to harvest the roots along with the seeds.

 

Seeds

The seeds from in the flowers which are either pink or white depending on the variety.  They can be eaten raw or cooked.  Like all seeds, they are a good source of valuable protein while in a survival situation.

Roots

The roots are also edible, both raw or cooked and contain hard to come by carbohydrates.  They are not deep or difficult to harvest and are available from summer until the ground freezes.  The plants will sometimes also produce seeds underground to look out for.  The roots taste more like peanuts when raw, but some people that have difficulty eating legumes without stomach aches will have to cook them, in which case they will taste more like potatoes.

 

Some types of hog peanut have flowers that are open for cross-pollination, while others have closed flowers for self-pollination.  For this reason, the leaves are a better indicator of species.  Get familiar with the types that in your area so that you can make use of this wild edible if you are forced to forage for food in your area.  Wild sources of both protein and carbohydrates are hard to come by, especially in a plant that is available for such a long period of time in most areas.  Adding hog peanut to your wild edible menu is just more way to increase your survivability in the wild.

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