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Manoomin (wild rice) with Nuts and Berries

Bat Week Recipe - Manoomin

Credited to the Great Lakes Ojibwa People
Country of Origin:  Ojibwewaki

1 cup finished manoomin (wild rice is bat-protected)
1 tablespoon of dried cranberry (bat-protected)
1 tablespoon of dried blueberry
1 tablespoon of hazelnuts (bat-protected) [optional]
1 tablespoon of pure maple sugar

(Recipe yields 4 1-cup servings)

Place all ingredients in a cooking pot and add 3 cups of water.  Allow the rice to cook until most of the water is gone — about 1/2 hour at a rolling boil/simmer.  Serve and enjoy!  You may wish to add more fresh fruit or add warm milk and serve as a breakfast porridge — delicious! The recipe is common and may be adjusted based on personal tastes.

Role of bats in the recipe:
Common bat species in the Upper Great Lakes Region are: big brown bat, little brown bat, hoary bat, silver-haired bat; these bats protect the rice by eating insect predators that my impact the rice harvest.

Cultural significance:
Manoomin (wild rice, also known as “the good berry”) is known as the “food that grows on water”, whose presence fulfilled the prophecies foretold in the Anishinaabe’s migration from the east. Manoomin is used in the daily lives, ceremonies, and feasts of the Anishinaabe people. It is also recognized as a preferred source of food for migrating waterfowl and has high ecological value for both wildlife and fish habitat.  It can also help to maintain water quality by securing loose soil, tying up nutrients, and slowing winds across shallow wetlands.