Comfort Food with Yucca Flowers

2 months ago

Yucca flowers are big, substantial, and really good to eat! I'm making some real comfort food here in my post. Come on in and join me!

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I was inspired by a discussion with @galberto about eating yucca flowers. He does a lot of foraging in El Salvador, where yucca flowers are a traditional food. I hope he shares some traditional recipes with us when the yucca flowers come into bloom there.

In the meantime, I'll be posting a few ways that I've been enjoying yucca flowers - so stay tuned! Heres's one great meal I made this over the weekend. It's real comfort food and it's healthy comfort food, too! So good! Here's how I made my comforting yucca flower lunch.


Yucca Plants Are Easy To Identify

There are many kinds of Yuccas (Yucca spp.). They grow in the wild, but are common landscape ornamentals, too. Yuccas are all perennial, so when you find them or grow them, you will have an easy source of food for years!

When a yucca plant (Yucca spp.) is in flower, it's hard to confuse it with anything else. The year-round part of the plant can be a low clump of spiny-tipped, tough, strap leaves. Or it can be tall, like a columm. Or they can even be a branched, small tree, still with those leaves.

This is one of the low-growing yuccas, Yucca flaccida, growing down the street in my neighborhood. Most of the year, that clump of leaves just sits there, unnoticed. But it's impossible to ignore when it's in bloom! There is a lot of food on those flowerstalks!

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I have a different species of Yucca in my yard, Yucca gloriosa. It grows in a column about 4 feet high, with the flowerstalk growing out of the top! The flowerstalk is another 4 feet tall, so it's too hard to stand on a ladder to pick the flowers. I use loppers and cut off the whole stalk to bring into the kitchen. My species of yucca doesn't have as many flowers on it, but there is still a lot of food there!

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Yucca Flowers Are Easy to Process

Bringing a whole yucca flowerstalk into the kitchen can be challenge. They are big and take up the whole counter! But they are easy to process. You can see that the flowers are at different stages of maturity. Some are too old and withered. Others haven't even opened up yet. Each has their own use!

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For my lunch, I'm using the thick petals from flowers in peak bloom. I can identify those flowers by looking at the reproductive parts in the middle of the flower. Look at how fresh those 6 white stamens are, circling the potential yucca fruit in the center. Those stamens get faded and limp as the flower matures.

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It's quick to peel the flower petals off. For my lunch, I started with a dense 2-1/2 cups of whole flowers, then I peeled off the petals that you see here. I'll use the other parts, too, but not here - stay tuned!

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Yucca Flowers Are Easy to Cook

Some species of Yucca have more bitter flower petals than others. And some can leave a scratchy feeling after eating, when they are raw -- it's not anything like the burning from hot peppers, but it might bother some folks. Just like some wild greens, I blanch my yucca flowers in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, to get ride of the bitterness in these petals.

I added the drained yucca petals to a skillet where I had carmelized half of an onion in olive oil. After cooking for a couple minutes, I added half of a homegrown tomato that I had in my freezer from last year's garden and let that cook down. Then I added 1 egg, beaten. I let that cook slowly, over a low heat, stirring every now and again - until the egg was well cooked.

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1. Blanch the yucca petals. 2. Add to carmelized onions in a skillet. 3. Add tomato. 4. Add a beaten egg.


Yucca Flowers Are Easy to Eat

Oh, yeah, yucca flowers cooked this way are easy to eat! It goes great with avocado with a dash of lime juice and wild sumac spice, frozen wild sweet cherries, and a hard cider! The yucca flower petals don't have a strong flavor in this dish, but they contribute to a rich flavor that goes well beyond scrambled eggs!

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What Do You Think?

I hope you get a chance to eat yucca flowers sometime! If you do eat yucca flowers, I would sure like to read about it!

  • Do yucca plants grow near you?
  • Do you eat yucca flowers?
  • Do you know any traditional recipes that use yucca flowers?
  • Would you eat my yucca flower lunch?

I write about foraging because I believe that we can all have lives that are richer, more secure, more grounded, and more interesting by getting to know the plants and the land around us – in our yards, our parks, and our wilderness.

I would like Steemit to be the premier site for Foraging on the Internet! If you have any thoughts about foraging, or experiences to share, write a post and be sure to use the Foraging tag. And check out the @foraging-trail to see curated quality posts about foraging. Happy Foraging!

Plant List

  • Yucca (Yucca spp.)
  • Weak-leaf yucca - Yucca flacida
  • Soft-tipped yucca - Yucca gloriosa
  • Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra)
  • Wild sweet cherry (Prunus avium)


** Haphazard Homestead **

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*** foraging, gardening, nature, simple living close to the land ***

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Thanks! It is good. If I got this at a restaurant, I'd be happy!

I need a Dandelion flag. love it

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haha -- You are the first person that has said anything about my dandelion flag. So thanks for noticing it! :D

Thanks a lot for consider try to enjoy our national flowers
I am very pleased with this post :)
i say about some people say what happen to salvadoream people they do not have enough food that they eaten their nacional flower, but as you know and tasted it is very very delicious resource. Thanks for share our passion for get natural food.
This plant as very nice thanks and the variants for prepared by Haphazard looks very very tasted, you should try with meat or chicken as a vegetable and looks like delicious.
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Thanks a lot and please please continued with the foraging trail.

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Thanks, @galberto! Thank you for your inspiration! I am looking forward to seeing how you cook these flowers! I agree -- eating Yucca flowers is not for hard times -- they make good times even better, because they are good food! And for you and your neighbors, it is traditional food and something to be proud of. It is natural, easy to harvest, and tasty! Flor de Izote es muy bien!

You know that I love food directly from nature, and today you actually tought me something. Stunning post!!! I cant say that I have seen this flower around and I have never eaten it, but now I will be looking out for it
Even the name sounds yummy!!

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Hellow in El Salvador we know as Flor de Izote
The local name it is very nice post i am really really happy for inspired someone to eat some plants that would be eaten. Thanks for this post and enjoy it when you found

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I hope you do find some. Once you see your first yucca in bloom, you will notice it all over the place. The plants blend into the background in neighborhoods most of the year. In the wild, they like sandy places. What region are you in?

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Limpopo - South Africa. partly subutropical ranging to bushveld.

LOL I will have to go read up if they occur here. :D

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They are not native to your area, but I bet you can find them in neighborhoods or at old homestead sites. It would be worth planting some in your own yard if you have the space. They are such easy care plants, so pretty, and so useful!

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I am definately going to look out for some. Yes I live on a farm, so I have ample space, now just for finding one to grow :D

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It's winter for you now, so the plants won't stand out so much. But when they bloom in the early summer, they are a lot easier to notice. There are probably plant nurseries that sell different varieties. Good luck with them - and keep us all updated! :D

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Will do!

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Yuca growing it is very easily to grow, if you have a plant and need to reproducer it
Only cut the trunk in a little parts as a circular parts and bury this part in soil and as art of magic
The plant star to root and you. Have a easily plants
Good luck with the plants i hope you get a lot for enjoy the endible flowers.
Thanks for eat and try to eat a delicuous plant flower.
Let me say you that the shoot of this plant too are endible it is morw bitter than thw flowers but it is good it is same as the bamboo shoot.
Plant yuca and you will have cute plants good flowers for eat and endible shoot and finally it is good source for make a live barrels for protect the soil (barrersas vivas para proteger el suelo de la erosion por sus poderoso sistema radicular)
So please if you have cows take care because the cows like the plant for eat a lot, well it is here maybe because our cows eat a lot of silvester plants.
Thanks a lot for your interesting in information very very nice for have a better life style in armony with the nature.

I have often wondered about the seeds, but never even thought about flowers. We have a northern version yucca that grows all over. Once tried to make soap with the root, but that is the only experimenting i have done with this plant.

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That's great that you have access to yucca plants! If you try the flowers, I'd like to read your review of using their flowers! Some varieties have good fruits, too -- roasting them is good!

Looks good. So do they have any flavor or just give it some creamy type texture?

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They do have a flavor, but it's yucca, lol. Maybe like a mild green bean flavor. But in this recipe, it adds to a more complex flavor rather than stand out on its own. Just like in a stew, it's hard to say what some of the ingredients taste like. I've got other recipes, that I'll post about, where the flavor stands out more.

Oh yeah, yucca is yummy! I just got to try some of the flowers for the first time this past week on a camping trip. We did a tin foil packet with rainbow trout, yucca, sego lilies, and fireweed...and it was amazing! Thanks for the additional ideas and info!

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What a great meal, @colorado-girl! Nice foraging, for sure! I hope you enjoy plenty of yucca flowers from here on out! I'd like to read a post about your great tin foil packet meal, too! :D

I don't know if we have yucca flowers here in Nova Scotia or not, I'm going to look it up! And they look YUMMY!!!!!!!!

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They really are good. One plant can sure put out a lot of flowers, too. They can stand the cold, but like good drainage. They aren't native to your area, but people do plant them in a lot of different places. I hope you find some!

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Mmmm yes, I'm wondering if I could get ahold of some seeds and start growing them in my greenhouse, would be a wonderful addition, and I'm sure the bees wouldn't complain either!

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I'll keep my eyes open for fruit and seeds on some of the yucca around town here. I ate all my flowers, lol, so no fruit or seeds for me this year! :D

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Haha! Right on! :) I'm sure I can get some online @haphazard-hstead :)

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I am not sure if the plant would reproduced by seeds by the way i never saw the yuca seeds
I think it is not posible you only reproduced it by the wood of the plants.

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I think it depends on what kind of Yucca. Where I grew up in Kansas, we had the Yucca glauca and it made a lot of pods and seeds. My mother painted the pods like little owls and sold them at art markets. That Yucca glauca does not have wood, only a clump of leaves, the thin roots, and the flowerstalk. So it sends up little yucca plants from the roots sometimes. But they made a lot of flat, black seeds that grew well, too.

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Yucca elephantipes
It is our variety for this reason is different that the other spices, maybe for this reason I never saw a pods or seed, but I try to see and pay attention the next time that I see a flowers of this beautiful plants. Thanks a lot.

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There's just about everything online, lol!

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Ooh very very true!

Interesting :)

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Thanks! Those yucca flowers are worth getting to know!

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I've grown yucca :)

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That's great! You are all set for some yucca comfort food! I'll be posting some more ways of using their flowers, too. Enjoy your yuccas! :D

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Thanks! :)

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You're welcome!

So cool! Yucca plants grow all around my neighborhood, but I had no idea they were edible. Thanks for the instructions....I'll have to try some recipes in the future!

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It's surprising how many yucca plants are planted all over. They are barely noticed most of the year. I'll be posting more about eating these plants. They put out a lot of those flowers! Enjoy your neighborhood yucca! :D

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@mtgmisfit
Does Yucca grow in specific regions? which location/ country do you live... havent heardofths Yucca except now...
nice comment though...

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It can be grown in the warmer, arid areas of the Southern United States.

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Very Good...As a health lover read up my latest post on "How to Treat Ear Problems with Natural Remedies"!
support and comment also. thanks

https://steemit.com/health/@kenhudoy/how-to-treat-ear-problems-with-natural-remedies

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Yuccas are native to all of the Americas. But they do well when they are planted in many other parts of the world, too.

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Ok dear...great....As a health lover read up my latest post on "How to Treat Ear Problems with Natural Remedies"!
support and comment also. thanks

You are a standout for natural dish. :) I like watching your cooking. @haphazard-hstead See you around.

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Thanks, @bontonstory! There are so many good plants to eat! Thanks for stopping by!

Beautiful dish! The flowers look like cabbage when cooked. Do they have a lot of flavor?

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Cooked this way, they just contribute to a richer flavor of the eggs, without standing out. Different species have a little different flavor, from slightly bitter to sweet. The ones I used here a like a mild green bean, but their exture was like a cooked cabbage leaf, a thin one.

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Thanks @haphazard-hstead for such a great explanation. I can almost taste them hehe.

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You're welcome. My food description vocabulary isn't the most refined. I use a lot of "good", "great", "nice", lol. At least I didn't compare it to another plant that few people eat. I described pine pollen as tasting like cattail pollen, lol. Not the most helpful! ; )

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I hear you. I'm not the best describer of flavor myself..... I just like to eat hehehe

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haha, I'm with you on the eating -- Sometimes I forget to even take a photo of what I have made. That has happened more than once on the Culinary Challenge, lol!

I love this post and also realized that my mother n law has these growing all over her yard 👍🏻 I'm super excited to try!

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Thanks! I'll be posting more recipes for them, too. It's great that you access to some yucca plants! If you do try your yucca flowers, I'd like to read your taste review! Just use the #foraging tag so I can find it for the @foraging-trail.

I never knew they are edible! They flowers are so gorgeous and there is a lot of yuccas here growing in hardens and near the roads. But they grow sooooo tall that I don't think anyone (besides birds) can reach the flowers.

I like your fork :)

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There are so many good flowers to eat. And these are substantial enough to be real food!

Those tall yuccas would post a real challenge -- don't get hurt. As kids, we used to run into the spiky Yucca filimentosa crashing our bicycles in the sandhills of Kansas in summer, and crashing our sleds into them in the winter. They can pierce a lot of layers of clothes!

Thanks for noticing my fork. My grandmother used it a lot. And I think it was her grandmother's before then. I have a few of them. With only 3 tines, they work better than any modern fork!

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I wont even try to climb there. They are are like palm trees :) Some smaller, but still out of reach.
Nothing like the ones we used to grow at home. They don't grow so big and I never saw them blooming. Here I see flowers every spring.

That is a very old fork! I noticed the 3 tines. It's really cool :)

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You can challenge some teenagers to get you some flowerstalks. They will figure out a way!

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From a 5 meter tall plant? I wound't dare to ask. :p
Some are smaller, but they are in peoples gardens usually.

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Here in the US, I could probably find someone to shoot them off! =8O
Even the ones in gardens are good to eat. And they sound a lot easier to get, unless you've got unfriendly gardeners, lol! ; )

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Hahaha :D
No, I don't know the people. I just see the yuccas growing there when I go on my photo hunts.

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Like my dad always says, "If you can't cultivate a garden, cultivate some gardening friends." So you've got time to get to know those yucca growers and convince them to let you have some flowers! ; )

Beautiful flowers! I haven't ever seen this kind of flower around my area. The dish looks yummy and healthy!

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Thanks, @tangmo! It's amazing how many flowers are good to eat! These are so big, they are real food!

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With my pleasure! Yes, I absolutely agree with you, it's really amazing indeed! ;)

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We love our plants! :D

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That's great! And I love your posts about those plants, too! ;)

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:D

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;D

I didn't know about this - interesting. And re-steemed also for others.

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Thanks for the resteem, @lundsten. I don't know if you have any Yucca that far north. But you could easily see this on your travels elsewhere.

Very resteemed! This is such a suprise to me!

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Thanks for the resteem, @dutchess! I'm continually amazed at how many flowers are good to eat. And these Yuccas put out so many flowers! Do you ever see them planted in your region?

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There isan orangerie at the castle- garden not far from here. I go there to photograph the tropical species,there i saw it once!

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That's so neat! I'm glad you have gotten to see one. Some kinds of yucca can take very cold weather -- they are native up into Alberta, Canada on the cold prairie. And they can take a lot of rain. But they need good drainage in the soil.

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I ll remember that - for future experimenting!

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There are so many great plants to try to grow in our gardens. There will never be enough room or time for them all, but we can try, lol ; )

Very resteemed! This is such a suprise to me!

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Somehow your comment showed up twice. But that's just a chance to say, Hi @dutchess! I hope you're having a good time on Steemit!

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To tell you the truth......i really still have no clue what is wise.....power up? How much? Leave it till there is more std? No clue at all. I like the blogging lay out though and i like it that the ex Tsu community is here.

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It's confusing with all the Steem vs. Steem Power vs. Steem Dollars, that's for sure! I always power up the Steem into Steem Power. That lets your upvote be worth more over time, as your Steem Power builds up. And that Steem Power will be worth more real money, if the value of Steem goes up.

But you can't cash out your Steem Power, except over a 13-week period. So if you to 'play the markets', you keep some Steem, where the value can go up (or down). And if you want stability, you keep the Steem Dollars, because those are always supposed to be worth about $1 US. Sometimes it gets a little lower than that - I've seen it at 80 cents - but not for long.

I'm glad the ex Tsu community is gathering here! :D

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Thank you that actually helped me!

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You're welcome! I'm glad it made some sense! I hope all the ex Tsu folks do so well here on Steemit! I think @sardrt, @kalemandra, and @uwelang have it figured out pretty well!

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Yes! They did! And it will take a bit of patience...they have been here for over half a year

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Yes, I think that's the key. It does take patience and persistence. And figuring out all about the digital currency. I didn't know any of that stuff when I got here. But it's a good thing to know!

I would surely eat that for lunch! They should have called it yumma!

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haha -- that's a good name for it -- Yumma Yucca! If I saw that on a diner menu, I would order it, for sure! :D

Oh my gosh, I took photo of this flower yesterday, Lots of neighbors have them, but I had no idea they are Yucca flowers. The name sounds familiar, but I was not able to make that connection. And what is even more interesting is that they are actually edible. Thank you so much for sharing this, I learned something new 😊

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That's a nice coincidence! Yuccas have such showy flowers. But it's hard to get the whole plant in one shot, at least for me! I'm looking forward to seeing what @galberto does with the flowers when they bloom in El Salvador, where it's their national flower and a traditional food plant. Plants are so great! :D

Wow, its been ages since i saw a yucca flower! My grandpa used to cultivate them. This bring good memories 😊

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That's so cool, @blacklux, about your grandpa. I'm glad you have good memories about them. I'd like to read about that. I surprised there's not a lot of yucca in your area. Did your family eat any parts of the yucca? I'd like to read about that, too! :D

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My grandpa used to have a very big yard full of avocados, guavas, melons, 3 different types of mangoes, breadfruit, all kinds of tubers, and many things more. We eat the roots of the yucca here in different ways. I don't like much the taste of the roots its a bit bitter but if they are made into chips, bread or mofongo (a puerto rican food usually made by smashing cooked plantain or any type of tuber and mix it with garlic, pork skin and olive oil) i eat it. In Puerto Rico we eat lots of tubers we call them viandas. We boiled them with salt and then eat them with olive oil and we usually eat a thing called serenata (codfish salad) with the tubers. You can make hundreds of delicious recipes with tubers 😊

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That sounds wonderful, at your grandpa's place, with all that fruit and tubers! I had a grandpa that was a great gardener, too. Such happy memories. Here's to the gardening grandpa's! And fruit! And tubers! Cooked lots of ways!! :D

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Its awesome to grow in a natural environment, right?! 😀

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Absolutely! We are the fortunate ones!

I am finding so many cool recipes! I have never tried yucca flowers but I certainly want to! I don't recall seeing any of these plants around the neighborhood either but may have to go check the local nursery. I'm fascinated. Not ever having tried it, the first thought that came to my mind, before I saw you blanch and stir fry was... I wonder what they'd taste like dipped in dark chocolate?

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Florida should have a lot of yucca plants in various neighborhoods. But the plants aren't very noticeable until they bloom. That's the time to make a map and get to know the neighbors!

Those flowers are substantial enough to hold up to being dipped in chocolate and would probably be pretty good -- but wouldn't most anything? Lol!

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Bacon and yucca dipped in chocolate sounds even better!

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And if people are hesitant about the Yucca, they can leave it out and just go for the chocolate-dipped bacon! ; )

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shhh... they'll never know Yucca was sneaked in because... bacon.

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Fascinating, I would never think about eating these :)

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We never see them in the stores, do we! It was nice having @galberto add his experience from El Salvador, where Yucca flowers are a traditional food. It makes me not so strange, lol! ; )

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Your not strange I find you fascinating :)

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wow yuccas is a great herb packed with lots of nutritional benefits...
love the combo with avocado...packed with huge nutrients...
thanks for sharing

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Glad you enjoyed my yucca flower lunch! I hope you get to try some sometime!

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yesterday i posted on natural remedies to treat ear infection...do check it and comment/support also. remember, health is wealth

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good post
plise followback...

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