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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Cattails: The Supermarket Of The Marsh

Cattail pollen is often used in pancake recipes. We're changing it up a bit with this recipe for muffins.

cattail pollen muffins

Cattails are called the supermarket of the marsh because they’ve got lots of different edible parts to them that you can enjoy throughout the season.

Right now in early June, we’ll be looking for the shoots. They’re similar to hearts of palm. Enjoy them raw tossed in a salad.

You can also pull the roots, dry those and grind them into a flour.

Later in the season, the plants will shoot off their characteristic cattails. The female part of the plant is the brown cob that all designer decorator stores use in flower arrangements. Believe it or not, you can eat this like corn on the cob come July when it turns green. Enjoy it broiled or grilled.

The male part distributes the pollen — and that’s my favorite part. You can make breads, muffins and pancakes by incorporating the pollen into batters. But forage for it while you can — the wind will carry it away soon enough!

Cattail Pollen Muffins

Yield: 10-12 medium muffins


  • 1 1/3 cups white flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of Sweet Seasons Spice Blend
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups cattail pollen
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (white flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and Sweet Seasons Spice Blend, brown sugar and cattail pollen).
  3. Combine wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk, another pinch of salt and vegetable oil).
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Leave the mixture somewhat chunky -- it shouldn't be smooth. Apply non-stick spray to muffin tins. Fill 2/3 of the way to allow for expansion.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes in preheated oven.

This recipes uses the Sweet Seasons Spice Blend.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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