Nasturtium Flowers

By Melissa Petitto   |   June 4, 2024
The edible Nasturtium flower is packed with vitamins (photo by Mary Hutchison via Wikimedia Commons)

Nasturtium, the beautiful red, yellow, and orange flower that we get to witness bloom wild every April and May here on the Central Coast, is an herbaceous plant that has been used in traditional medicinal practices since the early 1500s. Ojai Microgreens has some featured at the farmers market right now and they make a fabulous addition to salads and desserts with their peppery flavor profile. Traditionally, nasturtium has been used to treat sore throats and colds, natural antibiotics to help heal internal infections, and natural anti-inflammatory property. Vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2, and B3, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, manganese, copper, zinc and iron are found in both the leaves and flowers of the nasturtium plant, making it rich in nutrients and great for immune boosting. Its antioxidant content includes lutein, which is associated with protecting against free radical damage and support for eye and skin health. Many studies have been done on the antibacterial effects of this incredible plant. The essential oils have been shown to be naturally antimicrobial, antifungal, hypotensive, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory, and have certain anticancer effects, as well. One study found that nasturtium contains unique compounds that are effective against some microorganisms that are resistant to common antibiotics. One leaf eaten per hour at the onset of a sore throat can drastically reduce the severity of the infection. This plant is miraculous. Let’s take it into the kitchen! 

Nasturtium Kimchee 

Yield: 4 Servings

2 each English cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch slices 
2 each garlic cloves, crushed 
2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce 
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, peeled and grated 
1 teaspoon unprocessed sugar 
2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 each nasturtium seeds, crushed 
12 each nasturtium leaves 
12 each nasturtium flowers 1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes, gochugaru


1. Add the sliced cucumber to a large bowl and add the garlic, fish sauce, ginger, and sugar. Stir to combine. Then sprinkle with the kosher salt, stir and allow to sit for 15 minutes. 

2. Add the nasturtium seeds, leaves, flowers and gochugaru, stir to combine. 

3. Place the cucumber kimchee to a glass mason jar or container, pack it in tight and then allow to marinate for at least 1 to 2 hours. 

4. Serve with all your favorite dishes!  


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