For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved daylilies. Growing up, my Mom grew them on the side of our house (and still does), and their blossoming became emblematic for the arrival of summer. As an adult, I am lucky enough to have them grow in abundance next to my own garage. Their vibrant, enticing color is hard to ignore and always brightens a room or garden. However, until last week, I had never been aware that they were edible!
I’ve been bringing them into the café that I work at and one of our regular customers recently told me that her friend makes salads and uses them as edible cups. With my curiosity piqued, I did some research, and, sure enough, they are! Not only are daylilies edible, they are also nutritious! The flowers, which which are used in this recipe, contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A, among other key nutrients.
The flavor and aroma of the flowers is complex, yet delicate and is akin to floral baby greens with a very mellow herbal retronasal that comes through on the finish (it’s no wonder that some Asian cultures classify it as an herbal ingredient!). You can also consume the buds and tubers. In order to consume the flowers, first remove and discard the stamens and stem before washing thoroughly. You can eat them with salads or smoothies when they are freshly opened, or in soups once they are wilted. I put them into this delicious smoothie after trying them plain, and will definitely be having it again before my daylilies are out of season!
This recipe serves 1-2.
6 daylily flowers, stamens and stems removed, thoroughly washed
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
3-5 large leafs of kale, center removed (any variety will do)
1/2 C frozen cherries
1/2 C frozen mango
1/2 C raspberry or plain kefir
3/4-1 C water
Once you have thoroughly prepared and washed the daylilies and kale, place everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy fresh for best results.
If you try my recipe or any variation of it, let me know what you think! Find me and share pictures on Instagram @thewisconsinskinny or Twitter @radiantlyjess