Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice. As an additional warning, milkweed does contain toxins that may have an adverse effect on your heart. Also, anyone can be allergic to any plants so if you choose to try a new plant please try very small amounts first and monitor yourself for adverse reactions. Please review the Universal Edibility Test provided by Backpacker in order to get an idea of if you might experience any issues with allergies. If you’re a cardiac patient then you should probably avoid this one.
There are few better things to enjoy other than a patch of milkweed being visited by monarch butterflies. I’ve always enjoyed milkweed as a source of butterflies and bees but I recently learned that if they’re processed right the young pods are not only edible but frequently enjoyed by a wide variety of people. In the spirit of full disclosure I haven’t tried them myself but they come with such wonderful reviews that it’s definitely on my list of things to try. I’m going to advise one more time that you pay close attention to the disclaimer at the top of the page and always check with multiple sources. Keep in mind that some people are going to be more sensitive to a plant than others. I recently saw a post on social media from a person who was knowledgeable and experienced in foraging wild mushrooms but the first time she tried hen of the woods she had a bad allergic reaction to it. Hen of the woods is a mushroom that’s extremely popular with people who forage and even brings top dollar in high end restaurants so it was a huge surprise for the person who got sick from it. So a little extra caution is always OK for the first time.
The first thing I learned about foraging milkweed pods was that you want the young pods. How young is something I’m not sure of yet but if you open the pod and see fibers it’s probably too late for foraging. The silky floss inside of a pod that’s too mature will make it stringy and probably not be a pleasant experience for you. However if you find them that are young enough the final product has been described as having the texture of a jalapeño popper without the spice. The inside of a properly cooked milkweed pod should be creamy like the cream cheese in a popper. So age of the pod is important.
Next is that milky sap that gives milkweed its name. Not only has it been used to remove warts in the past but it’s the source of the toxins. Fortunately, the toxins are water soluble and can be removed by boiling the pods. At least 2 changes of water are recommended by most sources but if you’re still seeing cloudy water after the second boiling then a third treatment will be a good idea. I’ll be including a video from an experienced person at the end of the article.
The flavor of the milkweed Pod at this point is said to be a bit bland but other people say it tastes like a pea Pod. But you can add your spices in the next step. You’ll want an egg to make an egg bath and a four mixture with your spices. Depending on how spicy you want it to be red pepper, paprika, salt and pepper, and Sriracha have all been recommended. Of course you’ll heat up a pan with oil and then brown the pods.
Before I close with the video from my friends at WVPBS I do want to point out that milkweed and the the highly toxic dogbane are in the same family and confusing them could be a fatal mistake. The toxins of dogbane are strong enough to stop your heart! Steffi Hone does an excellent job of showing you the difference between the two as well as a great way to cook the milkweed pods.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.
We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.
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