How to Pick Zucchini Flowers in the Garden

They are beautiful, aren’t they??!!

It is so nice to go to the garden and see such beautiful, colourful flowers when all you expected was vegetables!

I did a post on frying these beauties (you can see the original version here and a healthier version here), but before you fry them, you’ll need to know how to harvest them.

zucchini flowers

These grow as your zucchini are growing.  For those of you that have ever planted a zucchini plant, you know how many zucchini you get…hence, you will get many, many, many flowers!

 

When you pick your zucchini flowers, you are looking for a “male” flower.  These are the flowers that grow on a stem (as opposed to the flowers that grow at the end of the actual  zucchini…those are the female flower).  They are usually easier to pick because they tend to grow straight upward, where the female plants attached to the zucchini are closer to the bottom.

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Each plant only needs one male plant to keep the females happy (nature is amazing, isn’t it?!).  Choose flowers that are mature but not wrinkled (it’s hard to open them when they start to close as the leaves are so delicate).  The best time of day to pick the flowers is first thing in the morning (you will find the flowers open and it will be easier to remove the stamen – if you choose to do that – and also easier to stuff).

If you are picking them from your garden (that I am hoping you haven’t sprayed!), there is no need to wash them (you can’t really wash these because they are so delicate).  You can get these flowers from the market as well, but just make sure they haven’t been sprayed!

Also, make sure you check the insides for spiders and bugs before you stuff them (just making sure you don’t get added protein when you don’t need it ahaha!!)

When you open them to stuff, you will see the stamen inside.  You can pluck it off with your fingers, but it will soften in the cooking process, so it’s not necessary.

If you’d like to read more behind the science of the zucchini flower, this is a great article from The Science of Cooking!

So, go ahead and try these…you will be hooked and will find yourself planting zucchini just so you can make all the zucchini flowers!!!!!

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