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Nutritional Information of Fiddleheads

Learn to Love: Fiddleheads

It's that time of year for fiddleheads, the veggie that's named because they resemble the coiled head of a violin. They're actually the tops of baby ostrich ferns, and many people go foraging for them in the woods during this time of year. Since there are many types of toxic ferns, you want to be sure you're only choosing ostrich ferns. If you don't go picking for yourself, fresh fiddleheads can be found at farmers markets and grocery stores. Just to warn you, this pricey produce can run you $12 to $20 a pound or more.

Fiddleheads must be cooked well since they contain natural substances that can cause gastric distress if eaten raw or not cooked properly. Once prepared, this green veggie tastes like Spring to me. They have a unique earthy, woodsy flavor that's a cross between asparagus, artichoke, mushroom, cooked broccoli, and cooked spinach. Look for bright green fiddleheads with tightly coiled tops. You want only one to two inches of stem attached to the coil. Anything longer should be cut off.

If you're wondering how nutritious these circular plants are and how to prepare them then


Fiddleheads must be cleaned before you eat them. Use your fingers to remove any of the brownish fuzzy or papery covering that may be remaining. Then rinse them in several changes of cold water to clean off any dirt or grit. Use them as soon as possible after harvest or purchase to ensure the best taste and texture.

When you're ready to cook them, place the fiddleheads in a pot of water and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain the water. Then transfer the fiddleheads to a pan and sauté in olive oil and freshly chopped garlic for another five minutes, or until the fiddleheads are soft. Don't overcook them, as they'll get mushy. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. You may also add fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Enjoy them on their own or add them to stir-fries, pasta, or other dishes. As you can see form the chart, they're low in calories, but a great source of potassium and vitamins A and C.

1/2 cup raw Fiddleheads
Calories 40
Total Fat (g) 0
Sodium 0
Carbs (g) 8
Fiber (g) 1
Sugar (g) 0
Protein (g) 4
Vitamin A (IU) 4,052
Vitamin C (mg) 29.6
Calcium (mg) 36
Iron (mg) 1.6
Potassium (mg) 416
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LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 7 years
I know I said "all you want" but I know it's important to leave some! :) I always seem to be coming up with things like that. It's an idea anyway!
missyd missyd 7 years
Ha ha littlemzfit, you are making me wonder if that might be a viable business undertaking! Maybe people would come New Brunswick Fiddlehead B&B Wake up to a lovely breakfast, sounds of the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks, and all the fiddleheads you can pick on the river banks. Hmm.......:)
missyd missyd 7 years
Ha ha littlemzfit, you are making me wonder if that might be a viable business undertaking! Maybe people would comeNew Brunswick Fiddlehead B&BWake up to a lovely breakfast, sounds of the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks, and all the fiddleheads you can pick on the river banks.Hmm.......:)
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 7 years
Really Missyd? East Coast Canada is the fiddlehead capital? Hmmm! :) I :heart: fiddleheads! That would almost make up for the cold weather. I know they are commonly found in Maine along riverbeds...must be a northern latitude thing. There should be vacation packages where you can pick all the fiddleheads you want & ship them back home! :)
jdeprima jdeprima 7 years
Surprised at the squeamishness a native of northern New England, I look forward to the arrival of fiddleheads and ramps every spring! Sure, they're a little pricey, but to get enough of these guys for a meal is about $5 to $10 and is a delicious wild treat that's available for only about 10 days a year. Worth it, if you ask me.
missyd missyd 7 years
I live in New Brunswick, Canada, and here they are EXTREMELY popular and they grow all along the river banks behind my house! I have been picking for weeks. I have almost a full freezer full. Love them! the east coast of Canada is the Fiddlehead capital.
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
They don't really look like "eww" to me, but the price, the careful preparation, and gastric distress? Nah, there are plenty of other veggies in the world.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 7 years
I have seen them before..... They look like bugs..... yuk!
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 7 years
I have seen them before.....They look like bugs.....yuk!
GwenCaprica GwenCaprica 7 years
wow...I've never seen one of those here in Switzerland...not even in the special stores, where they sell Exotic stuff...though I guess I'm already happy with aspargus and broccoli ;)
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 7 years
I had no idea you could actually eat those!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 7 years
Mommy, I'm scared.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 7 years
Mommy, I'm scared.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I've had them before, but I would never buy them. $20 a pound??? Insane. My dad found some wild ones once and he assured us they were OK to eat. They aren't bad, but I don't exactly crave them or anything. I'd much rather have asparagus.
aeschere aeschere 7 years
EWWW. thanks for showing me something i didn't know about.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I dunno, possible gastric distress plus huge price tag?
MrsPhilly MrsPhilly 7 years
They look gross to me but maybe because its something different?!
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
I've never even heard of them... is that bad? I'll try anything once, and I love green veggies, they tend to be my fave.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 7 years
The look of them grosses me out too much. I doubt I could put it in my mouth. blech.
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