I will readily admit that I am a lazy gardener and that finding any sort of wild edible makes my heat sing (and my stomach growl). I love the fact that I can just go over there and yank something or other and put it in a pot and have something yummy to eat without having to plant, water, weed or otherwise care for said yummy thing.
This is the view outside my office window…..
|Yuccas to the right|
|No, Fozzie, it's Yucca Yucca Yucca!|
I’ve been looking at those yuccas for five years now. And just now realized that I could eat them.
They started blooming in early June and I would snack on the flowers back and forth from the car to the office. I meant to gather more for putting in a salad, but always forget to do so (i.e. lazy).
So now I’ve noticed that the seed pods have formed and I did one of my usual internet searches, “Can I eat this thing?” and came up with enough “Yes” posts that I thought I'd have a go at it.
I picked one off the stalk and took it into the office, washed it off a bit, plunked it into a coffee cup with water & boiled it for a few minutes. Drained, salted and proceeded to take a bite. Not bad! Kinda like a green bean exterior taste, a wee-bit mucilaginous like okra, and the seeds were still forming so they were soft like okra seeds as well. On my way to the car after quitting time, I stuffed the remaining ripe pods into my bag and headed home to cook them up as well.
And on my way home, I spied more yucca plants! I pilfered a few more plants (yes, I had permission!) and added them to my sack. I bet I had over five pounds of yucca pods.
Took them home and boiled up a few more, lightly salted & buttered them and proceeded to munch away. But this time there were some that were over-ripe, at least for eating.
|Pod on the left, not good. Pod on the right, excellent!|
|Getting too old to eat. Notice black shells forming on the seeds.|
|Younger and yummier!|
|Yummy seed pod showing tough, center thingy.|
The ones that started getting black seeds were definitely not worth eating, although I did try my darndest to do so. You could choke through it, but it was very, very fibrous and the black seed coverings were a bit much to swallow. There is also a center vein in all of the pods, but I just yanked those out or chewed around them. Seeing as this is my first time harvesting the seed pods, I will definitely make sure I get to them earlier in the season as to avoid those tougher, more mature seeds.
You can eat the entire pod as is, just kind’a using your teeth to peel the three sections off and leave the stem in your fingers, or I suppose you could just cook them, then separate the sections off and then butter & salt them for a more “normal” looking side dish. Either way, I’m glad I found out about these and I’m already driving around looking for more yucca bushes for next year’s harvest.