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Waterblommetjies – The edible South African water flower

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If you do know waterblommetjies, you either not sure how to cook ’em, love ’em or you’re not fond of that waterblommetjie bredie texture, right?! 

Or you might be asking…what on earth are those and where do I get them?

What are waterblommetjies?  

A waterblommetjie (Afrikaans: vaa-ter-blom-ekie) is a “small water flower” and is endemic to the Western Cape. The flowers grow in dams or marshes in the Western Cape, and a short season in which they flourish – July and August.  These lightly scented flowers drift on top of a valley pond. The texture of the flowers is somewhat like miniature artichoke leaves, but the taste steers more towards green beans with a hint of lemon.  

Let’s start with the preparation.  

waterblommetjies

How do you clean, prepare and store waterblommetjies? 

Soak waterblommetjies in heavily salted water for a few hours, and then wash them well under running water. This will get rid of any sand. Dry them well.  

If you are not using them straight away, store them in the fridge with a little lemon juice which will help them keep their colour. 

If you want to enjoy waterblommetjies for a longer season, then freeze them!  

First clean them as per the above steps, and then cut them in half, place them on a single layer lined sheet or lined in a Tupperware. 

How are waterblommetjies usually cooked? 

waterblommetjie stew

Waterblommetjies are typically cooked in a bredie, potjie or stew. However, in recent times there are some new creative ways to cook them.  

These spanakopita’s will change your mind about waterblommetjies. A South African ingredient paired with one of our team’s most-loved Greek dishes; we bring you a waterblommetjie spanakopita!  

A new take on spanakopitas for the season of waterblommetjies.  If you have never tried them then this recipe is how you should try them. 

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