You may be familiar with clover as the weed that grows in your yard, occasionally providing you with a rumored-to-be-lucky four-leaf clover. But did you know that clover blossoms are edible?
In this blog post, we will explore the two major wild clover species: Trifolium repens, or white clover, and Trifolium pratense, or red clover, two species in the pea family. Both of these wild plants are edible raw or cooked.
We will also discuss how and when to harvest to eat red clover, as well as how to store red clover and white clover. Finally, we will take a look at the health benefits of eating clover flowers and what benefits people believe these edible plants have.
Stay tuned for more information on these wild plants!
Is Red Clover Edible?
Yes, clover blossoms are edible, both white clover and red clover! The entire plant is safe to eat, including the leaves, stems, and seed pods. There is no need to harvest only the blossoms.
You can eat clover with or without cooking it. Many people prefer it eaten raw. You can use red clover leaves to make salads, and the dried white or red clover flowers make a delightful tea.
Some people say that the white flowers taste like vanilla when dried. Others say that red and white clovers are an acquired or tolerated taste. You won’t know your opinion on clover until you try it!
There is no limit to how you could use this sweet clover; let your imagination run wild when it comes to these prime edible plants.
How and When to Harvest Clover Flowers
When to Harvest
The best time to harvest the flowers is in the morning after the dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too hot. The best time of year to harvest the blossoms is in spring and summer.
Though the red or white clover blossoms are still edible in the fall, they may not be as sweet and flavorful. This makes the fall an inopportune time to harvest clover.
Be sure that the plant you are looking at is indeed red clover or white clover.
Wood sorrel looks a lot like clover. But don’t worry; wood sorrel is edible as well. Wood sorrel is sometimes referred to as sour grass, so if the “clover” you harvest is sourer than you thought it would be, it’s probably just wood sorrel.
How to Harvest
To harvest, simply cut the stem of the flower and remove any leaves. Harvesting is quite simple.
How to Dry and Store Clover Flowers
Once you have harvested your flowers, you can dry them for storage. To do this, hang the stems upside down in a cool, dark place until the flowers are completely dried out.
You can also store dried clover flowers in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Dried red clover will last for several months if stored properly.
Health Benefits of Eating Clover Flowers
Clover blossoms are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. They also contain antioxidants and phytoestrogens.
Native American tribes used red clover medicinally for countless years, and there are likely medical benefits, though, in most instances, the scientific jury is still out.
Some people believe that eating red clover flowers can help with conditions such as hot flashes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Nutrition Facts of Clover Flowers
Red clover has been more studied regarding its nutrition facts, but white clover and red clover are similar.
One hundred grams of dried red clover plants contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 334
- Protein: 11.0 grams
- Fat: 0.80 grams
- Carbohydrates: 74.0 grams
- Fiber: 23.0 grams
- Sugar: 36.0 grams
- Vitamin A: 80 IU
- Vitamin C: 14 mg
- Potassium: 1760 mg
- Magnesium: 180 mg
That’s all for now on the topic of edible clover blossoms! We hope you found this information helpful and that you will give these sweet flowers a try. Let us know how you liked them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
As with any wild plant be sure of the identity of the plant before ingesting them, some wild plants can be poisonous. If you intent to use clover as a medicinal herb, I strongly recommend you do further research.