Moshknewen Kwesman Waskonedo - Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Squash, the super food that is highly underrated and under used.
Traditionally we grow all sorts of squash during the summer months, harvesting as much squash as possible to go into numerous dishes. My favorites to grow are sugar pumpkins and Hochunk squash.
All kinds of squash fruits can be used fresh, dried, or bottled for use all through the year. This nutrient and healthy fat food staple is a traditional food for Indigenous people all throughout Turtle Island and fortunately many original heirloom Indigenous squash seeds are still grown.
Not only are the fruits from the squash vines loaded with nutrients but squash leaves are rich sources of minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. They are also a good source of essential vitamins A, B and C, which have immune-boosting benefits and are beneficial for overall health.
More than squash and squash leaves, squash blossoms provides a hearty supply of nutrients, offering low amounts of sodium and saturated fat while being a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium, folate, potassium and phosphorus.
One of my FAVORITE things to make with squash is Moshknewen Kwesmen Waskonedo (Stuffed Squash Flowers). They are so delicious, easy to make, and jam packed with essential nutrients, protein, and healthy fats.
The best time to collect squash flowers are in the morning when they're still open. As soon as the sun hits them they close up. Moths at night get nutrition from squash blossoms and in turn pollinate.
I prefer to use pumpkin blossoms for this recipe because they're larger and softer however any squash blossom works.
2 C dried beans (pinto, black, Potawatomi, cranberry beans, lima, etc..)
6+ C water
Cedar twig (optional)
Culinary sage sprigs (optional)
2 TBS Sunflower oil
1 TBS pure maple syrup
12-24 Squash blossoms
2 duck eggs or 3 chicken eggs
1-2 C Finely ground corn mean/flour
Ground sumac (optional)
Sunflower oil, lard, vegetable oil (for frying)
Rinse beans and then place them into a pot. Add 6 C water (you will need to add more water as it evaporates and is absorbed as needed). Add Cedar and Sage and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a simmer and keep simmering for 4 hours or until beans are soft. (I do this ahead of time and keep in my fridge until I'm ready for the next step)
Gather blossoms and carefully rinse, allow to dry upside down over a clean towel or paper towels.
Drain beans when fully soft, remove sprigs (leaves are okay to leave in), and cool
Put drained beans into a food processor fitted with a steal blade, a blender, hand mixer, or you can use a mortar and pestle or fork. Add sunflower oil, maple syrup, and about 1 tsp of salt and blend until you have a nice bean paste.
Heat over medium/high heat enough oil in a large skillet that will cover each blossom at least half way. While the oil is heating up proceed to the next step.
Whisk eggs in a bowl or dish.
In a separate bowl or dish add corn meal, 2 tsp salt, pepper to taste, and mix.
Very carefully hold the petals of the flowers open and spoon the bean paste into the inside of the flower. Carefully close the petals over the bean paste and gently twist the tip of the petals to close. I like to complete this step with all of the squash blossoms before I proceed to the next step, but do whatever works for you.
Drench the stuffed blossoms in the egg wash
Gently roll the stuffed blossoms in the cornmeal mixture until it's covered well. I use my hands and a spoon because the blossoms are still very fragile.
Gently place the stuffed squash blossoms into the hot oil and fry on each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from hot oil and allow to drain on a screen, clean town, or paper towels.
Plate and drizzle maple syrup over the top and sprinkle with wild sumac. This goes well as an appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, or with a fish or poultry entrée.
* Any leftover bean paste can be kept in the fridge until you're ready with more blossoms.