|Young Seed Pods|
The Flowers on the Common Milkweed Plants are spent and are beginning to be replaced by young seed pods. These pods will get up to 3" long and start to turn brown and open up by the Fall, so the wind distributed seeds will get a good start by next Spring.
If you have been following along you may remember me writing about using the young sprouts back in April and than the Flowers in June. Using the young pods is the next step in using the Common Milkweed as it's life cycle and the seasons progress. The pods are edible and make a good vegetable that can be prepared many different ways but it is important to get them while they are young. Once the pods get larger than 1" long, they start to form the silk that will carry the seeds away. So if you plan to try to eat them, try to get them before they get larger than about an inch. My Milkweed plants have pods at varying degrees of size, some haven't even started growing yet and some are about 1.5" long already. This is good because this means the season for picking the pods will last longer.
Today I decided to have pods for lunch. It's been really hot and I didn't feel like fusing too much so I just decided to sautee them with rice. I picked a bunch of young pods and found the stems exuded alot of latex so I though it would be a good idea to boil them first for about a minute to remove the excess. Next I drained them and let them dry for a little while so they wouldn't splatter too much when I cooked them. I sauteed them in a little butter and the only spices I used were salt and pepper. If it wasn't so hot I probably would have curried them or made a cream or a cheese sauce to put over them but I thought that would be too heavy a meal for such a hot day. The pods have a unique taste, they are definitely up there on the list of good wild edibles. Give them a try!