But another benefit of growing zucchini plants are the seemingly endless supply of delicate and delicious zucchini blossoms. These large golden orange flowers are entirely edible, delicious and versatile.
They are often stuffed, battered and fried, but are also used in salads and pastas.
While we refer to zucchini flowers primarily, any squash or pumpkin flowers are edible and can be used in the recipes below.
How To Pick Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini flowers are highly perishable so you’ll be unlikely to find them in the supermarket. Some local farmers markets might carry them in season, but for reliable availability, you should grow your own.
Only female zucchini flowers produce fruit so to avoid reducing your harvest, pick only the male flowers. You’ll want to leave some male flowers on the plant so they can pollinate the female flowers.
Identifying Male & Female Squash Flowers
A male squash flower has a stamen that looks like a small fuzzy banana or mushroom and is covered in pollen. The male flower also extends on a long thin stem.
A female flower has multiple stigmas and if you look at the stem behind the flower, it will have a small bulbous growth which is the start of the squash formation.
Leave the female squash flowers on the plant to mature into fully formed zucchini or squash.
To pick your squash blossoms, use a clean and sharp pair of pruners and snip the stem half an inch below the flower. You’ll remove the rest of the stem before cooking.
It’s best to pick zucchini blossoms early in the morning before it’s too hot but after the dew has dried.
Zucchini flowers are highly perishable so use within 24 hours.
Eating Zucchini Flowers – 20 Delicious Recipes To Try