Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard

Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard via Preparedness Advice

Learn about the plants in your area. I live in Northern California and every spring you see acres of yellow flowers.  Most people ignore them, but a few know that you are looking at wild mustard.  They are good to eat and you can make mustard from them.

Some people eat the flowering tops just before they open.  They are cooked like broccoli.  My wife was raised eating the leaves.  The tender young leaves are used for cooked greens or in salads.

To Cook, wash the greens well and cook in salted water. Wild mustard can be somewhat sharp when raw and somewhat bitter when cooked. Blanching it or boiling it in water for a few minutes will remove the bitterness (the longer you boil the less bitter it’ll be).   It can be used like spinach in any recipe.

The seeds are black and can be used to make mustard.  They can also be used in pickling. We are going to experiment with making mustard and will post the recipe in the future.

Chickens and the rabbits love the dried stalks as a treat in the spring and summer.

Wild Mustard grows in most of the U.S. You will see it in the spring to early summer.

Mustard plants are most easily identified by their small and plentiful yellow flowers, growing in clusters atop a long stem.  If you look carefully at this picture, you’ll see that each of the flowers has four small yellow petals, and they’re in a cluster

If you have any doubts as to the identity of the plants I recommend you review the video at the following link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXqYbWMBzqM

A good rule in foraging for wild plants is to always find a local expert to learn from, there are lots of poisonous plants out there.

Howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard

  1. CJ says:

    Pickup a copy of John Kallas’ book, “Edible Wild Plants” which goes into this plant, (which appears to be wintercress or field mustard) among other mustard family plants. He also details several other commonly found plants across North America. His book is well-written, full of pictures and explanations on safely identifying, harvesting, and cooking these plants.

    I’ve begun harvesting this and other plants in my area just this spring. Several things I’ve learned from John’s book as well as through self-experimentation.

    – All mustards appear to be edible. The key to identification is four petals and six stamen (4 tall and 2 short)
    – For wintercress, I’ve eaten the leaves, flower heads, unripened flower heads, and seed pods. I found the flower heads to be sweet, as the petals are said to give this sweetness. I stir fried them with several other vegetables and enjoyed them.
    – Remember if you boil them to remove the bitterness, that you’re also removing part of their vitamin and mineral content. John recommends the following in his book: Only use enough water to allow the leaves to float freely, bring the water to a rolling boil, then add the leaves and boil 3-5 minutes.
    – If in a true survival situation, you would need to make the most out of everything you had, which would mean stewing most everything you gathered or hunted and consuming both the solids and broth. This would ensure maximal caloric and vitamin/mineral intake.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have seen a picture of a vineyard in California showing wild mustard between the rows of grapes ,does the mustard have a commercial value ?

    • Don Johnson says:

      Traditionally the are used to improve soil quality and control erosion. The young leaves and flower buds are pretty tasty.

      • unopened raw buds taste like broccoli. as the buds open they get a hotter taste. the ones with a light blue, I was told that they are wild radish, I didn’t like them but the horse did.

  3. youtube – eat the weeds – by green dean. everything the he has posted, that I have grazed on in the past, must be OK. I am still alive and grazing. he has over 150 posts and goes in to detail about how to ID each plant. plant a garden of weeds and most people will pass it by.

  4. Dina says:

    Hi I want to know how I can grow wild mustard greens in my garden. Also want to know if I can freeze the greens, and if so, how long are they good in the freezer?

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