Eat those weeds!

A few days ago I sampled a new delicacy that grows like a weed  in our part of the country; in fact it is a weed. Himalayan Balsam has a pretty flower that is loved by bees.

It also has copious seedheads that are incredibly fun to pop-they EXPLODE!!  Technically you shouldn’t, as this is a

VERY invasive non-native species that can completely take over to the detriment of native plants and the myriad insects that depend on them. In fact, its one of the 10 most invasive species worldwide! Here is a local

example: over the past 3 years the HB has traveled down the stream to the left of the lane, jumped over to the right hand side, & has made it’s way down to the river. (The HB is the plant that looks deceptively like a low-ish hedge with light pink flowers in this photo)

But you can have fun exploding your cake & eating it, too. The seeds are edible, and really quite tasty! They can be eaten at all stages of maturity, from green through to dark brown. They have a lightly nutty taste. It would be interesting to know what nutrients are found in them, but I’ve not found any info so far.

(NOTE: the green bits here are from the exploded seedpod itself- I don’t think this bit is edible)

The seeds can be eaten raw, or used in cooking. There is a curry recipe here from an interesting site called eat weeds. For best practice in harvesting the seeds, explode them into a bag to prevent strays- the seed came fling itself many feet away! It is also suggested that you pull up the plants, to help slow down the spread. Make sure the removed roots are not in contact with the ground, in case they re-root themselves. Enjoy your yummy seed harvest!

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