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Blue Camas Bulbs for Sale

Blue Camas Bulbs for Sale

Blue Camas Bulbs for Sale

Bulbous herbaceous perennial. Native to the NW. Prefers moist garden soil of meadowland that is moist in the spring and gets dry in the summer. Flowers deep blue violet, on long racemes, excellent for cutting. Bulbs a major foodstuff of the Native Americans, roasted in pits, providing a sweet and nutritious staple food. These are actually very easy and rewarding from seed. Flowers deep blue violet, on long racemes, excellent for cutting. Always transplant dormant bulbs in the fall. Plant prefers full sun, and soils that are very wet in the winter and go dry in the summer. Plant bulbs 3 to 6 inches deep and at least 6 inches apart.

Bulb

I also knew that camas is loaded with inulin. Yes, inulin. Long-time readers of this space may remember I’ve had run-ins with this indigestible starch before, with Jerusalem artichokes. Inulin cannot be processed by most humans, so our gut bacteria do the job for us. And those bacteria create gas while performing their duties. Lots of gas. I read stories of pioneers eating undercooked camas bulbs and experiencing the Mighty Wind. Also not good eats.This slow and low cooking breaks the inulin down into fructose, a simple sugar we can all enjoy. How long you cook the camas bulbs governs how sweet they will be. Many Indian groups actually called blue camas “black” camas, not because of anything to do with the plant, but because they baked the bulbs so long the inulin turned to sugar, which then caramelized, darkening the bulbs dramatically. Reportedly, if you take things that far, blue camas bulbs will taste like a combination of a baked pear and a cooked fig. Pretty trippy, eh?

Next morning I took them out and tasted a small one. Now I will be honest: Taking that first bite gave me a little flutter. Why? Because there is also a plant called a death camas, and eating one bulb will make you sick. Eating many can kill you. I was 99 percent sure I’d correctly identified these plants (click for a full identification guide), but there’s always that zephyr of doubt that crosses your mind. I ate the bulb. And it tasted… well, OK. Boring and remarkably like unseasoned mashed potatoes. I added a little salt, and it was much better, but still a little meh.Camas bulbs are native to North America, and there are several varieties -- all blue. The plant is most common in the Mountain West, where there can be whole fields full of it. Be very sure of your identification, as there is a similar plant, the death camas, that looks close enough to a blue camas to keep you on your toes. Camas needs to be cooked slowly and for a long time before you do anything else with it. If you skip this step, all the inulin in the bulb will still be present when you serve them, and you will all be farting like crazy in a few hours. Slow, moist cooking breaks the inulin down into fructose. I cooked the bulbs at 220 degrees for 12 hours to get to a point where the bulbs were still savory, but with a hint of sweetness like a parsnip. You could try cooking longer or hotter for different effects. (Source: honest-food.net)

 

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