Foraging Red Clover

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Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a native plant to the United States that is often grown in pastures. It’s a plant many people may remember from the scene in Bambi, where Thumber is about to eat a flower, but his mother reminds him to eat his greens first.

All parts are, of course, healthy. It is a highly nutritious and all parts of the plant are edible for humans.

The flowers are indeed the tastiest part. The stems and leaves are slightly bitter.

Identification:

Leaves: In sets of 3 with a “v” shaped white mark on each.

Flower: Pink, sometimes almost red, with many small florets. Blooms from May to October.

Edible Uses

Harvest only healthy looking leaves and flowers. The flowers add a gorgeous color to a salad.

The flowers also can be added to a tea blend or consumed alone. They can be dried on a tray for several weeks and then stored in a cloth bag or mason jar.

The leaves can be eaten cooked, in a salad, or a smoothie.

Caution

Allergies to clover can happen in some individuals, so it’s best to try a small amount first before a large amount.

Fermenting clover can produce a blood thinning chemical, so avoid fermenting.

Red clover can affect estrogen levels, so it’s not recommend for nursing or pregnant women.

It’s not recommend to consume red clover daily, even though it has many healthy properties. Occasional use is best.

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