Nasturtium is not only a delightful garden plant, but it also has many culinary and medicinal uses. Medicinally an infusion or juice of the flowers, leaves and seeds is used as an expectorant to break up congestion in the respiratory passages and chest during colds and flu and can also be used as an internal or external antiseptic. An added benefit of consuming the aerial plant parts of nasturtium is the effect the plant's said to have on the blood by promoting the formation of blood cells.
The flowers and leaves of nasturtium are used in salads and the leaves add a peppery flavour to sandwiches, however one of the nicest ways to use the plant is to harvest the seeds when they're green and pickle them as a substitute for capers. By following the recipe below you will have a delicious and inexpensive addition to your pantry.
green nasturtium seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Put the seeds in sterilized glass or ceramic jars and bring the spices and vinegar to boiling point. Pour the liquid over the seeds and cover the jars tightly. Leave to pickle for two to three weeks then use them as you would use capers.
If you would like to read more information about nasturtiums please go to Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus).