Eating Jewelweed seeds?

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by babysteps, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. babysteps

    babysteps living at 6800 feet

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    My husband and I both love just looking at the jewelweed so we have been cultivating it and now have a great crop. Recently I read in a 1981 Mother E.N. that you could use jewelweed seeds in cooking or just plain pop them in your mouth and eat them. Then I read recently in a diffrent more recent mag. that you don't want to eat any part of the jewelweed. So....hmmm I sure would love to collect those seeds and use them, but what's the facts. I've searched the interenet, but not answers come up.

    Anyone have knowledge on this topic. Can I ingest jewelweed seeds? If so when do I? When they are green or when they have dried brown?

    Thanks, Christine :walk:
     
  2. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry....I just came in here to be alone.

    I don't think anyone is willing to say, yes you can eat them, or no don't. I wouldn't tell someone to go ahead and eat celery, if they asked me if it were safe. You could choke on the strings in it, or trip while eating a stalk and have it go down the wrong way. :shrug: You see, what if the plant I call Jewel weed is not the same as what you call Jewel weed. The other thing is, let's say that Jewel weed is perfectly safe but you have an allergic reaction? Or, Maybe it won't poison you but in ten years you die of throat cancer from it? Euell Gibbons used to all manner of wild plants and he is dead now. You see? I'm sorry that I can't answer your question, but I didn't want you to think that you were speaking Greek. In your question you state clearly the problem; that some sources say it is ok to eat, and others say no.
     

  3. babysteps

    babysteps living at 6800 feet

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    Woodspirt,

    I just saw your response. Thank you so much for an answer. It made me laugh and smile. I do see your point. Perhaps my question should been, have people eaten them in the past and how have they used them in their cooking? I have read about using them like walnuts for flavorings in breads and muffins. I'd compare that use to more of a poppy seed because of it's size.

    I've keyed my Jewelweed out and have spotted.

    So if anyone knows of how Jewelweed has been used in the past let me know.

    Thanks, Christine
     
  4. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    You can eat them though they are hardly worth the trouble. the seeds are quite small and it would take you a while to even come up with a mouthful. they taste kinda like walnuts. You can also supposedly eat the shoots in the spring but I have not tried them. you cook them the same as poke weed in two waters. Do not eat them raw. They are very high in selenium according to "Wild man" Steve Brill. So, since Steve Brill says you can eat the seeds in his book, (which is why I tried them) when you die you can sue him.
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Here is something new about Jewelweed that I learned a few weeks ago. I was talking with a forester from Pa, and he told me they always called it siverleaf. ???? He explained that as kids, they would put a leaf in water and it would turn silver.
     
  6. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this is something that you really need to try to believe. When I was a kid we called it neverwet. if you stick a leaf under water it will turn silver because there are tiny hairs on the leaf that repel the water from the surface of the leaf. when you pull it out the leaf will be dry. Waaaaay cool.
     
  7. babysteps

    babysteps living at 6800 feet

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    Willow and Woodspirt,

    Oh, gosh it is so fun to turn the leaf silver. I discovered it as a kid at camp, just playing around with plants by the creek. I think I got into nettles and was using it to sooth the itch and just decided to stick it in the water.

    As far as eating and cooking. My husband and I have been cultivating the stuff just because it is so darn neat. My thought is to use them in baking. If they taste like walnuts would spice up bannana bread. Free spices are always good. :)

    Babysteps
     
  8. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    I don't know about eating it, but I sure would like to cultivate a healthy stand of it! My DH is always getting poison ivy rashes both from yard work and from the dogs' fur, and Jewelweed works wonders. If I had some I'd puree it up and freeze it into ice cubes.

    And yes, absolutely, I always teach my kids and anyone else who will stand still to listen that you can ID Jewelweed by its silvery sheen underwater.
     
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i like jewel weed. i like the shape of the stalks. i like the orange flowers. i like how the seeds pop. i keep it around just for the fun of it. when i read that it sooths poison ivy, and it worked for me, that was a bonus.