How to Eat Milkweed Flower Buds

It is such a pleasure finding food growing wild, especially on our farm.  I had heard that milkweed is edible after finding a whole bunch of it in our hayfield.  When there is a whole lot of something growing wild here, I try to find it’s uses, edible or not.  
Milkweed stalks can be eaten when they are just shooting up through the ground.  I have read where you cook them like you would asparagus.  Our milkweed is beyond that stage, but I had also read that you can eat the flower buds.  So, one day, I went out in the field and found a few flower buds.
I sauteed them in butter and salt and took a bite, rather hesitantly.  Oh my!  What a delicacy!  It has a hint of an artichoke flavor.  As soon as my 10 year old daughter took a bite, she immediately left the house and took a hike out back and came back with a shirt full of them.
I went out after she came back with a bowl and some scissors.  I cut off the flower buds and dropped them in my bowl.  I tried my best not to touch the milky substance coming from the stems as it stinks and kind of sticks to your skin like glue.  Don’t worry if you get a little in your frying pan.  It won’t taste bad!
I saw a lot of interesting bugs around the milkweed plants.  I did see some monarch butterflies, but I also saw a bunch of these red bugs below.  These strange bugs are actually Red Milkweed Beetles, not to be confused with Milkweed Bugs.
So, after picking a bunch of buds, I then cut off the buds from the stems that were attached to the stalk of the milkweed plant.  I didn’t worry about the little stems of each bud as it did not affect the taste.

Now for the easy part.  Saute the butter and buds in a saucepan.  I added salt to taste.  Once the buds start to turn a little brown but not burnt, they are ready for you to eat.
I also put them in salads, and I think they would be wonderful in certain casseroles as an added bonus.
So, the next time you see milkweed plants with buds on them, pick a few and try for yourself.  Just make sure you save some for the monarch butterflies!
Don’t miss a thing!  Come follow me on /Facebook/ /Twitter/ /YouTube/ /Pinterest/ /Google+/

5 comments on “How to Eat Milkweed Flower Buds

  1. The girls seem to think ours may be too mature but I told them to check and see! They're always foraging for wild food. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We have lots of milkweed in the field–love foraging food–will have to try this out.
    Monarch butterflies love milkweed–we have found several caterpillars on this plant before and brought them home to watch them hatch out as butterflies. It's a wonderful school project!

  3. I was looking through your site and I don't know if you know about this but Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats on page 90 says milkweed is bad for goats. Just thought in case you didn't know I'd say something about it.

  4. I haven't ever tried the buds at this stage. I think that will be tomorrow's dinner. Don't want to get considered spam with a link in the comment. Will just say I posted tonight's dinner on the Grazing the Ditches blog

Comments are closed.