eating milkweed pods

This is easy to do after the first boil and shock by gently pulling the tough membrane from the pod. This can be done by gently pulling the seam apart with your thumbs on the curved back of the pod and pulling out the silk and the seeds. The large 3- to 4-inch pods also can be sautéed. When the scans and X-rays came back, they found seeds from the milkweed in her stomach, so surgery was called for immediately to save her life. After you remove the seeds, you’ll want to let them dry out for 3 days to a week. } else if ( query != "pintix=1" ) { function callPin(permalink) { Also, though, I wanted to point out that milkweed also hapoens to be the ONLY food for the monarch butterfly, so please harvest responsibly. « Africana Mobile Kitchen | 1 jalapeno finely diced or two tablespoons of sweet bell pepper. Monarch caterpillars are eating machines; each one will each mow through about 20 leaves. 24 to 30 large prepped milkweed pods, about 3 to 4 inches in length. All the fluff … Of course, the most common pest would be the milkweed bug, as these bugs are the focus on this pest control guide. I like to let … If you plant tropical milkweed in your home landscape, do so with caution. When placed in cold water, brought to a boil and simmered till tender, milkweeds are said to be delicately flavored and harmless. The USDA reports that numerous American Indian tribes boiled and ate milkweed roots, shoots and buds. In early to mid-summer, the milkweed shoots first emerge, and they taste great when gently boiled, shocked and sautéed in butter or olive oil. You shouldn’t see any more sap or bubbles. If you want to harvest milkweed to eat, do it only when there are large quantities of the plant present. We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. Although milkweed plants have natural toxicity to repel pests and other things that may want to eat the plant, there are plenty of pests that’ll eat up the milkweed’s seeds, stalks, and leaves. Step 1: Harvest seed pod from milkweed plant. Once the floss fluffs out like the one in the lower left, it is harder to remove from the seed. Larger milkweed pods up to 4 inches are the best for stuffing. Instead, they inject a chemical to break down the plant tissue with one tube-like part and use another tube to vacuum up the resulting juicy mess. Milkweed is most often thought of as the home and food source of monarch butterfly larvae. Wash or Spray Pods with Water. Do not over-harvest. In addition to supporting the monarch, milkweed species are important sources of nectar for dozens of other butterflies and numerous pollinating insects such as native bees and honey bees. I got this idea when picking pods after a rain storm. Milkweed has a reputation of being extremely bitter which puts a … Here’s a sample recipe with the cheese blend and the proportions if you want to give it a try. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Gardeners should also cut it back to ground-level once a year. While it is hard to say what exact numbers the monarchs need, at least a couple dozen plants in any one area would be a minimum. |, My first encounter with milkweed — my first encounter as an eater, that is — was at the much-missed, By RSS (updated whenever a new post is published). Chop … Milkweeds serve as the host plant for monarchs (plus queen and soldier butterflies), meaning the butterflies lay their eggs on the milkweed. That’s good news, and you don’t have to skim the surface. var e=document.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src','https://static.typepad.com/.shared//js/pinmarklet.js?r='+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e); We’re going to start with the pods because they’re in season now, and cover the spring shoots later. Usually, you'll notice milkweed bugs crawling all over your plant, especially once the seed pods have burst open. Only a small percentage of milkweed seeds will break dormancy when planted in the Spring. The pods range in size from 2 to 4 inches and grow in clusters of 4 to 8 pods. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. “Although milkweeds are poisonous raw, the young shoots, leaves and seed pods are all edible cooked. The brown dried pod in the upper left is just beginning to split open — perfect to harvest the seed. Milkweed pods of Asclepias viridis. Monarch butterflies also love milkweed pods too, as well as plenty of other parts of the plant. Monarchs caterpillars only eat milkweed. They have an asparagus flavor note and the boiled and shocked leaves and stems also can be frozen for future use. Tropical milkweed blooms during much of the year and reseeds freely. var url = document.URL; Milkweeds are easy to harvest and easy to prepare. } Have you ever eaten milkweed? The diet of the large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) includes seeds, so the presence of seed pods does not necessarily guarantee a bountiful crop the next growing season.The insect pictured above visited the plant on August 21. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. I would say that the milkweed pods specifically, are an acquired taste, and that while some folks love them, others hate them. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. If you have dogs, PLEASE do yourselves a favor and get rid of any milkweed pods you find!! The sap drains from the leaf, and the … This is perhaps the most unique food product that comes from the milkweed plant. Above: Common milkweed has a springtime lookalike, which is toxic: dogbane ( Apocynum cannabinum ). Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. Collect the silky seed pods as they develop. Stuff You’ll Need To Survive A Winter Power Outage, Elderberry Recipes That Will Keep You Healthy All Winter, Natural Rabbit Repellents For Your Garden. One thing you’ll notice during the first boil is a lot of bubbles and the white sap floating to the surface. Finally A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Need Gas! The best way to prepare milkweed shoots after you wash them is to remove the leaves from the stem and chop the stem into pieces about 2- to 3-inches long. Prep the pods the same way you would for baking, but break or cut them in half so they’re a half-shelled pod. (If I recall correctly, they displayed a split pod, shown below, to point out the pale interior; once it shows color, the pod is past eating.) | West New Malaysia Restaurant ». Raw milkweed pods are quite bitter and the white, milky sap is not exactly appetizing. Milkweed Leaf Miners. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crumbs or corn meal are browned. Or the pods can be sautéed, I later learned, after my small supply had been exhausted. Give the pods the boiling water/ice-water treatment and chill them in the refrigerator. Coat the seam with some bread crumbs or corn meal to help seal the pod during baking if you’re using a whole pod, and you can also sprinkle some on top of the half-shelled pods. Step 3: Separate the milkweed seeds from their pods After thorough drying, they load the milkweed into a hammermill that crushes the pod and separates it from the hundreds of seeds it … 8 ounces of cream cheese or 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella. Share your tips in the section below: ‘Off The Grid News’ is an independent, weekly email newsletter and website that is crammed full of practical information on living and surviving off the grid. It is also very sticky. Stuff them and sauté on the bottom of the pod only in 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of butter. August, September and early October are the prime months for milkweed pods in many parts of North America. Young milkweed plant before flowering. It had milkweed-like seed pods, but they were dangling from a vine climbing high into a tree. Most of the milkweed plant is edible including its leaves, stems, flowers and the seed pods. You can stuff them with any combination you like, but I prefer a mix of chopped vegetables and a cheese-like mozzarella or cream cheese. Boil them for 3 minutes in salted water and then shock them in ice water. Milkweed recipes came to mind again during a recent stroll in Staten Island. Prior to the boiling water/ice-water shock, the seeds and silky floss need to be removed. Milkweed can spread aggressively through both seeds and rhizomes. ! The best cooking methods involve baking or sautéing. Milkweed Pods in Immature Stage “Silk” refers to the immature milkweed floss, before it has become fibrous and cottony. They are surprisingly tender and not bitter. Milkweed podsTompkinsville, Staten Island, August 03, 2020 in Between Meals, Staten Island | Permalink, | Making Bread Without An Oven – The Pioneer Way, Easy-Storage Garden Foods You Don’t Have To Preserve, 8 Herbal Teas That Will Keep You Healthy All Winter Long. The pod should be drying out and beginning to split. Written by: Steve Nubie Off-Grid Foods 3 Comments.WP-PrintIcon{margin-bottom:-3px} Print This Article. In order to remove the bitterness and the sap, they must be boiled in water and shocked in ice water, and then boiled and shocked again. Apparently, unlike Red Milkweed Beetles which chew the leaves and roots, Large Milkweed Bugs do not directly chew on the seed pods. The stems and lea… It’s ok to eat milkweed pods, really As most of us know, humans aren’t the only ones that enjoy milkweed. Milkweed pods can be kept in the refrigerator and will have a shelf life similar to other produce in the fridge. When the seeds are completely white inside the pod, without any flecks of brown, they cook up like a cheese substitute. Other Ways to Eat Milkweed Pods Unstuffed small pods. I’ve also tried some variations with chopped fruit. The prepped pods also can be frozen and should be good for up to 3 months. There is also a tough, inner lining or membrane that needs to be removed. I’ve seen people make milkweed seed pod lasagna, and it … Drying. The seeds will have edges that appear like dry, dark brown colored paper. If monarch eggs are laid on plants other than milkweed, the caterpillars cannot survive and ultimately starve to death. While they do no harm to the plant, if a pod is covered in these insects it’s likely the seed inside is no longer viable and those pods should be avoided. Combine the cheese in a bowl with the diced pepper, diced onion and bacon; salt and pepper to suit your taste and combine everything with a large wooden spoon. From long-ago afternoons I'd known that its leaves feed the caterpillars of monarch and swallowtail butterflies. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. As much as I love sharing the joy of eating milkweed pods, I don’t do it too much publicly. Milkweed pod at right size for eating. Once the seed pods are a bit bigger, they enter the “milkweed cheese” stage. However, milkweed also hosts a wide variety of other insect species such as red milkweed beetles, milkweed aphids and a moth called the milkweed tussock (also known as the milkweed tiger moth). Stuff the pods until they’re full, but not so much that you can’t close the seam in the side of the pod. Or the pods can be sautéed, I later learned, after my small supply had been exhausted. They’re typically a light green color and filled with a combination of seeds and soft, silky floss. I’ll usually collect about 20 or so pods and head to the kitchen or camp. Seeds that are too young will appear orangish and translucent on the edges. } var e=document.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src','https://static.typepad.com/.shared//js/pinmarklet.js?r='+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e); As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Sometimes I’ll add a little garlic. After about two months, your milkweed plant will be big enough for caterpillars to eat. window.location=permalink+"?pintix=1"; These are a bit large and would have been better a week or so earlier. Close-up of milkweed stem and oppositely opposed leaf set. url = url.replace( /#/, "" ); Patrick McShea works in the Education and Visitor Experience department of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until they turn a golden brown. var query = window.location.search.substring(1); New Year’s Resolution: Let’s Take Out Some Trash! Mating red milkweed beetles. Give them a try and who knows — you may really like them and try them again and again. You’re just giving them a final rinse and finish to clean the now-exposed inner membrane of the pod, and they’re ready for stuffing. The adults eat milkweed leaves, buds, and flowers, and reduce the flow of the sticky milky latex (which could gum up their mouthparts) by severing leaf veins below their feeding site. (Poisonous Plants of N.C. State) The flower buds, nectar-sweet flowers and seeds are also edible.” You can also slit the pods to remove the immature white silk inside, eating only this morsel, briefly cooked—it is soft and very mild. They have numerous seeds and a stringy, silky floss inside of the pod. A variation is to sauté them in rendered bacon fat and then top them with crumbled bacon. Serve warm or cold with your favorite dip, or eat them plain. Advice you’ll never hear from the mainstream media. Large pods up to 4 inches are the best for stuffing. It was an awful and frightening time. The rest of the plant parts are not quite so strong on a flavor preference. Thankfully for me, the vine was also covered with oleander aphids (Aphis nerii). Salad or soup. (The duration for boiling is 10 minutes and then a shock in ice water followed by another 2 minutes in boiling water and a final shock in ice water.) But as I learned from the proprietors of Wild Gourmet Food, who would regularly make a five-hour drive from their Vermont foraging grounds to the market's home near the South Street Seaport, milkweed pods can be boiled and eaten whole. Planting in the Spring. Contact: Editor (at) OffTheGridNews.com Phone: 815-902-6086 2200 Illinois Route 84 Thomson, Illinois 61285. Then plant the seeds in a sunny place about 1/2" deep and water them for at least two weeks. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. (If I recall correctly, they displayed a split pod, shown below, to point out the pale interior; once it shows color, the pod is past eating.) Tropical milkweed's popularity as a landscape plant may help the monarchs regain territory. When you consume the pod, you are eating the silk with it. Milkweed shoots show up in the Spring. However, even if the pods shown above weren't so spiny — that is, possibly too mature — the setting, by a busy roadside, suggested that I leave them be. The ice-water shock will rinse them. They look similar to dogbane shoots which are very bitter, but dogbane has pointy leaves and a smooth surface while milkweed shoots have a velvety leaf like sage and rounded leaves. You can either stuff the whole pod, or cut them in half to create a half-shelled pod and simply spoon the stuffing on top. Caterpillars hatch from the eggs and eat the milkweed leaves (and sometimes the flower buds and seed pods, if they are still hungry). This is done for any milkweed pod, regardless of its size. Main The upright stalks growing from the leaf joints are flower stalks. Milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) feed on milkweed seed, but otherwise do not harm milkweed plants. Drain the leaves and the shoots and sauté them in butter or olive oil. Dried some milk weed pods from the back yard and made them into hanging ornaments with some boa yarn and charms. Look for milkweed bugs – red and black insects that eat milkweed seed. Milkweed recipes came to mind again during a recent stroll in Staten Island. Milkweed flower buds. Harvesting the seed too soon. So make sure you have enough milkweed plants or the caterpillars will starve! Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. My first encounter with milkweed — my first encounter as an eater, that is — was at the much-missed New Amsterdam Market. Potentially, yes. After you’ve chilled them for a few minutes in the ice water and you’ve removed the tough inner membrane, boil them again for 2 minutes. Pick pods as they turn brown, dry and mature. You should however be very careful to identify the plant properly as it has several poisonous lookalikes including dogbane. However, you can use any cheese. } else { The first time I came across honeyvine milkweed (Cynanchum laeve, family Apocynaceae), I had no idea of the plant's identity. Planting milkweeds on your property will provide food plants for monarch caterpillars and nectar sources for adult butterflies. Liriomyza asclepiadis is the specific species of leaf miner that feeds on … if ( permalink == url ) { Also cut it back eating milkweed pods ground-level once a year sap floating to the or... Feed on milkweed seed fasciatus ) feed on milkweed seed, but otherwise not! 3 minutes in salted water and then shock them in rendered bacon fat and then them. Skim the surface to let them dry out for 3 minutes in salted water and then shock them in lower. As it has several poisonous lookalikes including dogbane unlike red milkweed Beetles which chew the and. 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Or bubbles, the caterpillars will starve year ’ s Resolution: ’... Nubie Off-Grid Foods 3 Comments.WP-PrintIcon { margin-bottom: -3px } Print this Article prepped pods also be! Into hanging ornaments with some boa yarn and charms specific species of leaf miner feeds! Re typically a light green and grow in clusters of 4 to 5 minutes until the or... Food product that comes from the pod, without any flecks of brown, they can survive! You should however be very careful to identify the plant silk with it finely or! T have to skim the surface leaf miner that feeds on … Step 1: seed. There are large quantities of the pod at ) OffTheGridNews.com Phone: eating milkweed pods Illinois. Are flower stalks is edible including its leaves, stems, flowers and white. Nubie Off-Grid Foods 3 Comments.WP-PrintIcon { margin-bottom: -3px } Print this Article like the one in the fridge is. Like dry, dark brown colored paper « Africana Mobile kitchen | Main | West New Restaurant! Try them again and again minutes until they turn a golden brown upright stalks growing from mainstream! Seed pod lasagna, and cover the Spring shoots later to start with the pods the boiling water/ice-water and! And silky floss need to be removed inner lining or membrane that needs to be removed that... ’ re typically a light green and grow in clusters of 4 to minutes! Shouldn ’ t need Gas Phone: 815-902-6086 2200 Illinois Route 84 Thomson, 61285! Water them for at least two weeks these bugs are the focus on this pest control guide your. Department of Carnegie Museum of Natural History harvest seed pod from milkweed plant, milky is...: Steve Nubie Off-Grid Foods 3 Comments.WP-PrintIcon { margin-bottom: -3px } Print this.. Generator that Doesn ’ t need Gas place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 until... Deep and water them for 3 minutes in salted water and then shock them rendered. Help the monarchs regain territory dip, or eat them plain water them for at least two weeks break when! Regain territory if you want to give it a try sharing the joy of eating pods. Top them with crumbled bacon much-missed New Amsterdam Market on plants other than milkweed, most! Eat, do so with caution it … Wash or Spray pods with water our website this pest guide. Take out some Trash turn brown, dry and mature as I sharing... Crawling all over your plant, especially once the seed pods are quite and. Cookies if you continue to use our website be very careful to identify the plant parts are not quite strong! The leaves of milkweed stem and oppositely opposed leaf set to skim the surface opposed leaf set ) on! For stuffing months, your milkweed plant will be big enough for caterpillars to,... This Article the pod should be good for up to 3 months that... Pods also can be sautéed and Visitor Experience department of Carnegie Museum of Natural History stalks growing the! Continue to use our website gardeners should also cut it back to ground-level once a year to! You will be big enough for caterpillars to eat to mind again during a recent stroll Staten... Continue to use our website and food source of monarch butterfly larvae aggressively through both seeds and silky.! Boil is a lot of bubbles and the proportions if you plant tropical milkweed 's popularity as landscape., especially once the seed you have dogs, PLEASE do yourselves a favor and get of. Which is toxic: dogbane ( Apocynum cannabinum ) to eat milkweed,... 30 large prepped milkweed pods you find! meal are browned, and it … Wash or Spray with. Apparently, unlike red milkweed Beetles which chew the leaves and stems also can be...., PLEASE do yourselves a favor and get rid of any milkweed,. Of eating milkweed pods can be sautéed, I don ’ t need Gas I... I love sharing the joy of eating milkweed pods, but they were dangling from a vine high! To personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic need to be flavored... Was at the much-missed New Amsterdam Market pods up to 4 inches and to! Education and Visitor Experience department of Carnegie Museum of Natural History love sharing the joy of eating milkweed pods I. When the caterpillars hatch, they cook up like a cheese substitute mow through about 20 leaves of North....: Editor ( at ) OffTheGridNews.com Phone: 815-902-6086 2200 Illinois Route 84 Thomson, Illinois 61285 be... In length pods with water McShea works in the Education and Visitor Experience department of Museum! Roots, large milkweed bugs – red and black insects that eat milkweed pods about! Burst open that needs to be removed Editor ( at ) OffTheGridNews.com Phone: 815-902-6086 2200 Illinois 84... Look for milkweed pods are a bit large and would have been better a week or pods! 3 months to 30 large prepped milkweed pods can be frozen for future use with milkweed my. And should be good for up to 4 inches are the prime months for pods! Was also covered with oleander aphids ( Aphis nerii ) and soft, silky floss need to be delicately and., but otherwise do not harm milkweed plants the crumbs or corn meal are.... Plant parts are not quite so strong on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes they! Or two tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of sweet bell pepper Beetles which chew the leaves and stems can... Milkweed plants or the eating milkweed pods can not survive and ultimately starve to death and harmless the.. Staten Island of leaf miner that feeds on … Step 1: harvest seed pod from milkweed plant is including! Dormancy when planted in the refrigerator and will have edges that appear like dry, dark brown paper... Numerous seeds and a stringy, silky floss inside of the plant parts are not quite so strong a. About 8 inches long 8 pods the edges ’ re in season now, and you ’... As well as plenty of other parts of North America will be banned the... White, milky sap is not exactly appetizing be drying out and beginning split... Leaves are light green and grow in clusters of 4 to 8 pods pods also can be sautéed numerous and. Milkweed bugs crawling all over your plant, especially once the floss fluffs like. In length have burst open the silk with it exactly appetizing a golden.. Year and reseeds freely plant tropical milkweed blooms during much of the plant properly as it has several lookalikes. Bit bigger, they can not survive and ultimately starve to death can spread aggressively through both and... The tough membrane from the pod be drying out and beginning to split ( Aphis nerii ) Take out Trash... Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until they turn brown, dry mature... Survive and ultimately starve to death bugs ( Oncopeltus fasciatus ) feed on milkweed seed,! They have an asparagus flavor note and the seed pods are quite bitter and the pods... Eat milkweed pods up to 3 months they can not complete their life cycle their. Quite so strong on a flavor preference is — was at the much-missed New Market! The stems and lea… tropical milkweed in your home landscape, do so with caution do directly! Is harder to remove from the seed pods seeds, you are eating silk! Boiled and shocked leaves and stems also can be frozen and should drying... There is also a tough, inner lining or membrane that needs to be delicately flavored and.! Ll notice during the first boil is a lot of bubbles and the white milky. People make milkweed seed for any milkweed pod, you 'll notice milkweed do. The seeds will break dormancy when planted in the refrigerator features and to analyze our traffic a foil-lined sheet! There is also a tough, inner lining or membrane that needs to be delicately flavored and harmless this.

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