From the Kitchen

Fun with Edible Nasturtiums

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.

17 comments

  1. Great pictures of your little one. Such pretty flowers. I can’t wait to grow more flowers next summer when my kids are bigger. This is a great idea to grow some to use in salads.

    I’ve seen these used on cupcakes too. They are a great way to brighten up a dish. So pretty, thanks for sharing!

  2. I remember my mom putting these in our salad when I was a little girl and being so amazed that I could eat it. In the end, it tasted quite like a flower would, I suppose :) But so pretty and a super fun memory of my mom showing me something cool and amazing that I never knew before…

  3. ooooo…cupcakes WOULD be fun! thanks for the idea! I think I need to get more creative than salad…the possibilities are endless for food decoration! :)

    becca – your comment made me laugh…yes, in the end it tastes how a flower would! :) but yes, very prettty and fun.

    thanks for your comments! :)

  4. I used Nasturtium & Pansy to decorate a wedding cake for a client. She loved the colors and the fact that they were organic, so they could be eaten, bu her guests.

  5. You’re right about them being hearty! We planted some this spring in a pot on our patio and my 3 year old thought it would be a good idea to water them with her bubbles! I thought for sure we would not get any flowers, but sure enough they have been blooming all summer and are still going strong!

  6. Nasturtiums are also a natural antibiotic, as is garlic. When you have a sore throat, you can put a few of the leaves (pesticide-free of course) between two slices of bread, and then eat the sandwich. A few of these sandwiches over a couple of days will see off your sore throat. Just another use for our natural bounty.

  7. It is this post that has inspired me to plant these in my pepper garden, I can’t wait to try them! I love peppery flavors ;D

Make and Takes more recent posts