What is Kudzu?
Kudzu is considered an invasive vine by most. This vine was brought to the United States from Japan in 1876 and was used for its thriving vegetation and fragrant flowers. In the early 1900’s it was discovered that kudzu was a nutritious fodder. By the 1930’s-1950’s, it was used for soil conservation because of its ability to grow in poor soils and its fast growing deep tap root that holds soil in place. It was also discovered that kudzu is a nitrogen fixing vine, increasing the nutrients and organic matter in the soil. Kudzu can grow up to a foot a day and I have seen it cover entire houses and cars here in N. Georgia. There are no known enemies of kudzu and this is one of the many reasons it flourishes here in the south. One very good reason for making kudzu jelly (yum-tastes like grape jelly!).
Parts of the Kudzu
The kudzu vine consists of the vine itself, leaves, root system, and blossoms. Every part of the kudzu vine can be utilized in some way either for edible food, medicinal, or practical uses. If you are interested in more articles on the many uses of kudzu, read Teresa Erwin’s article “Kudzu: Weed or Wild Edible?” If you are interested in learning how to cook kudzu, read Teresa Erwin’s article “How to Harvest and Cook Kudzu Leaves” for ideas.
What You Will Need
4 Cups kudzu blossoms
4 Cups water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
5 Cups sugar
6 half pint canning jars and lids
Steps to Make Kudzu Blossom Jelly
1) Pull 4 cups of kudzu blossoms from vine and rinse thoroughly.
2) Place blossoms in large pot, pour 4 cups of water on top, cover, and bring to boil.
3) Strain through a colander and then cheesecloth. Refrigerate overnight.
4) Add lemon juice, pectin, and sugar.
5) Bring to a full boil for two minutes, while stirring constantly.
6) Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
7) Pour liquid into canning jars and seal.
8) Complete canning process by boiling canning jars for 7 minutes (boiling times may differ according to elevation levels). Make sure all canning jars are cover by two inches of water.
9) Remove jars with jar lifting tongs and place on towel for cooling. Jars have sealed when you press on the center and it does not pop up and down.
10) Store in cool dry place and enjoy all year!
For more information about kudzu please read Teresa Erwin’s articles, “How to Harvest and Cook Kudzu Leaves” and “Kudzu: Weed or Wild Edible?”
Related articles about kudzu:
“Kudzu: Weed or Wild Edible?”
“How to Harvest and Cook Kudzu Leaves”
Authors’ Disclaimer: While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with the most accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this article.