This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Milkweed Flowers

 The Common Milkweeds are blooming and their sweet aroma fills the air in as I walk past my  garden. As I have mentioned before, Milkweeds are useful in different ways at different times of the year. Now is the time for the flowers. Before the flowers completely open, they look a little like broccoli heads, especially if you get them when they are small. There are many ways to prepare them, like breading and frying them or using them in a stir fry or stew or just simply steaming them, but today I decided I was going to boil them. Its a quick and delicious way of using the flowers. The flowers don't seem to have the bitter principal that you find in the rest of the plant at this mature stage so no need to boil them twice. Once they boiled for a couple of minuets you can strain them and add a touch of salt and some pats of butter and you have a healthy vegetable for your meal.
 When the flowers open, the scent is quite intoxicating, and the open flowers attract lots of butterflies, bees and other nectar loving insects. The individual open flowers can be nibbled on raw or put in salads. The nectar gives them a sweet taste and they are quite good. The open flowers make interesting fritters also, or can be added to pancakes and muffins. Just don't forget to leave some flowers for the insects and for the plant to produce seed pods, which will be the next Ethnobotanical Pursuit the Milkweed has to offer.

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