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Are all Nasturtium Varieties Edible?


Are all nasturtium varieties edible?

Are all Nasturtium Varieties Edible?


No, exercise caution and confirm the edibility before consuming. Most nasturtium plant varieties in garden centres are intended for culinary use but check their labelling.


Many other plants in the Tropaeolum family may be unsafe for consumption. Some varieties could be toxic or produce unpalatable flavours. Some ornamental nasturtium hybrids or wild species may not be suitable for consumption.


If you are uncertain if a particular plant is edible, don't eat it until you know. It is best to err on the side of caution. Buy or grow nasturtiums that are well-known edible varieties commonly used for eating and cooking. It's a good idea to purchase seeds or plants from reputable sources that label them edible varieties.


Is Nasturtium Edible?


Most nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are edible plants. Both the flowers and the leaves of nasturtiums are safe to eat.


Not only are most nasturtiums edible, but they are also nutritious. The green leaves have many health benefits. Nasturtiums contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and iron, making them a healthy addition to your diet.


Before eating nasturtium, ensure it is free from chemicals or contaminants. Make sure to wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt or residue. Remember that nasturtiums are delicate and have a short shelf life once picked.


What Does Nasturtium Taste Like?


Nasturtium leaves have a bold, spicy, peppery flavour. It has a lasting flavour but is more potent than rocket/arugula, watercress, or radish. The edible flowers are milder with a delicate texture. The spicy kick of nasturtium can add a pleasant warmth to your meals, while the flowers add aesthetic appeal.


The intensity of the flavour can vary depending on the variety of nasturtium and the growing conditions. Some people enjoy the peppery taste, while others may find it too strong. If you've never tried nasturtiums, it's worth trying them to see if you enjoy their flavour.


Are Nasturtium Leaves Edible?


Yes, nasturtium leaves are edible. The leaves of nasturtium have a strong peppery taste. I would compare their taste to arugula/rocket or watercress, all milder than nasturtium leaves. Nasturtium leaves are popular in salads and sandwiches, or you can even use them as a wrap.

Are all Nasturtium Varieties Edible?

Can You Eat Nasturtium Flowers?


Yes, the flowers of nasturtiums are edible. Nasturtium flowers have a milder, peppery flavour than the leaves. The flowers are often used as an attractive garnish in salads, appetizers, and other dishes. Nasturtium flowers come in various vibrant colours, adding beauty to your meals.


Are Nasturtium Seeds Edible?


Yes, nasturtium seeds are edible. Out of the edible varieties, the whole plant is edible. Here's a guide on how to eat nasturtium seeds:


Harvesting: Nasturtium seeds are ready to be harvested when fully matured and have turned brown or black. This usually occurs in late summer or early autumn.


Cleaning: Once you've harvested the seeds, give them a gentle rinse under cool water to remove any dirt or debris.


Drying (Optional): Some prefer to dry the seeds before eating them. To do this, spread the seeds in a single layer on a paper towel or a dry, clean surface. Allow them to air dry for a few days until completely dry.


Eating whole: Nasturtium seeds can be eaten whole like a snack. Pop them into your mouth and enjoy the peppery flavour. Some people compare their taste to capers.


Grinding: You can grind the dried seeds to create a spicy seasoning. Use a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, or a spice grinder to crush the seeds into a fine powder. This ground seed mixture can be sprinkled on your meals.


How to Use and Eat Nasturtium


Nasturtiums are versatile. Here are some popular ways to use nasturtium flowers and leaves:

Salads: Nasturtium flowers and leaves can be added to salads for colour and flavour. They pair well with other salad ingredients like mixed greens, tomatoes, nuts, cucumbers, and avocado.


Garnish: Use nasturtium flowers as a beautiful and edible garnish for dishes like soups, appetizers, and main courses. They add a touch of elegance and a pop of colour to your presentation.


Stuffed Flowers: Nasturtium flowers can be stuffed with various fillings, such as hummus. Stuffed flowers make for a unique and visually appealing appetizer.


Pesto: Create a peppery pesto. Blend nasturtium leaves with garlic, nuts (such as pine nuts or walnuts), vegan Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. This pesto can be used as a pasta sauce or spread on sandwiches.


Pickled Capers: The unopened nasturtium flower buds can be pickled to create a caper-like condiment. Soak the buds in a brine solution for a few days, then use them in salads or as a tangy garnish.


Health and Safety Considerations with Nasturtiums


Nasturtiums offer a delightful pop of colour to your garden and they are a nutritious addition to the kitchen. While nasturtiums are generally safe to eat, they contain oxalic acid, which can be harmful in large amounts. Oxalate can be problematic for people with kidney issues or those sensitive. Consume nasturtium in moderation.


Growing Nasturtiums in Varied Climates


Nasturtiums thrive in a wide range of climates. They are a hardy addition to any garden. In warmer climates, they flourish throughout the year. In cooler climates, it's best to plant them after the danger of frost has passed.


These resilient plants can tolerate partial shade. This is beneficial in temperate climates and warmer climates. If you're planting in regions prone to light frost, consider moving them indoors when temperatures drop. Remember, maintaining the right soil temperature is crucial for optimal growth.


Companion Planting with Nasturtiums


Nasturtiums are wonderful companion plants. They help to repel pests like squash bugs and cabbage moths. They can act as a trap crop, attracting harmful insects away from your more delicate plants. By planting nasturtiums near other plants, you create a natural barrier. This reduces the need for chemical pesticides and promotes a healthier garden ecosystem.


Key Takeaways


Not all nasturtium varieties are edible. Only eat nasturtiums that you know are edible. Make the plants chemical-free. Nasturtiums have many applications and a distinctive spicy, peppery flavour. Nasturtiums are a common garden plant. They are easy to grow, almost like weeds and will grow in poor soil. Try some of the suggested recipe ideas and find some new favourites.



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