Looking for something fun, edible and unusual to do with your kids? Look no further! Plant {and eat!!} nasturtiums!

cate eating nasturtiums

This summer Cate and I planted nasturtium seeds in our planter boxes, as suggested by my fabulous landscape architect friend. There are so many reasons why this was the perfect idea:

  • The seeds are BIG, which is perfect for planting with kids. They can actually see the seeds, so the process is more gratifying for them.
  • You can eat the leaves and the flowers! This is the best part!
  • We have squirrels who like to dig up my garden…while they did in fact dig these seeds up, they never ate them. I would just replant the seeds (some of them had even sprouted!) and they still grew fine. Hearty little plants, those nasturtiums! In addition to surviving the squirrels, they also survived my black thumb’s care…so these are pretty dummy-proof plants.
  • Nasturtiums are pretty. I love the leaves, they sort of look like lily pads…and the blooms are vibrant and fun.
  • The plants spread and grow like crazy, and they reseed themselves.

nasturtium flowers

When it came time for the big nasturtium tasting at the Maynard home, Cate was totally excited. Until it was time to actually EAT the leaves and flowers. Every picture I have of her, her lips are curled in around her teeth…she was very tentative. But we still had a blast!

cate nasturtium flower tasting

As for the edible aspect…the leaves had a very sharp, peppery flavor, so I don’t know that I would actually use them in a salad, although I suppose other palettes would like the flavor. But, as you can see, the flowers really beautify a salad nicely and their flavor was milder.

nasturtiums in salad

So, when springtime rolls around, grab a pack of nasturtium seeds and get planting…your kids will think it’s loads of fun, and your salads will get a little boost in color and flavor!

Click here for more information on nasturtiums and ways to eat them, including a Nasturtium Mayonnaise recipe.

Jane Maynard, writer and founder of This Week for Dinner, is a wife, mother to two beautiful girls and freelance graphic designer.  Jane loves eating, which comes in handy for a food blog. Chocolate, cannoli, and H&H Bagels are her top foods of choice.