How to cook and eat milkweed buds

Milkweed fritters

Milkweed fritters!

We’re back with the milkweed. The sprouts we were sautéing whole a couple weeks ago are now 3 feet high and producing clusters of buds that very quickly blossom into pretty purple flowers. Should we pick, cook and eat milkweed buds? Of course, though we shall be cautious in our harvest leaving plenty for butterflies and for other configurations later on.

Similar to milkweed leaves, the buds have a mild vegetal flavor. I made milkweed bud fritters by dipping them in an egg/flour mixture seasoned with salt, pepper and granulated garlic and frying them in a half butter/half oil combination. The most useful thing about these is the novelty. Why garnish with a fried onion ring when you can use a seasonal wild vegetable?

Milkweed with buds

A stand of budding milkweed

Milkweed bud harvest

A small haul of milkweed buds. I found it’s fine to leave on the bit of stem and a couple of leaves. The purple one is too far gone and was dry.

I have also put up a few bud clusters in pickle juice and will saute others simply, without batter, for a meal tonight. And as the summer progresses we’ll be back with milkweed pods and milkweed silk, following the lead of Foragers Harvest  and the Tactical Intelligence prepper website.

Evil dogbane

Dogbane, a bitter milkweed imitator, is easy to identify because of its purple stalk.

By the way, the lore that these friendly, pleasant plants need many rounds of boiling water to wash out the bitterness may be due to confusing milkweed with dogbane, a plant that grows nearby and is similar but has a distinctive purple stalk. (Milkweed’s is green, and oozes white sap when picked.)

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