I Have Been Gifted With A HUGE Amount of Kudzu - What Can I Do With It?
May 28, 2015 6:43 AM   Subscribe

So someone gave me like a few pounds of ground kudzu root with many other herbs as well - what could I possibly be doing with all of this kudzu root?

Can it be made into anything cosmetic, soaps - what's the most far-out thing that people do with it?

Any ideas, most welcome! Thank you
posted by watercarrier to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I grew up in Georgia where kudzu is all over damn everything. People make all sorts of things with kudzu. Kudzu jelly, for instance, is pretty great. I have no idea what part of the plant it's made from, though. It's kind of a pinky orange, so probably some flowery bit, which it sounds like you don't have. Kudzu root can be pulverized into a flour to be used for all kinds of floury-type reasons, like for coating fried chicken. Pretty sure you can eat every part of the plant, which means it would probably be safe for cosmetic use if that's the way you want to go with it.
posted by phunniemee at 6:58 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh god, you about gave me a heart attack - I thought you were going to plant the stuff.

In which case the answer would be, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON'T DO IT.

I think you should probably burn your stash anyway. That stuff is evil.

/Georgia native
posted by telepanda at 7:17 AM on May 28, 2015 [16 favorites]

Response by poster: ahahahah!

Hey - tptb once planted heaploads of that stuff on the coasts to stop erosion. After that, it got out of control. Water? Sand? Kudzilla. The plant itself is pretty cool if you get to know it. Don't blame it for stupid people's ideas :)
posted by watercarrier at 7:24 AM on May 28, 2015

Is this chopped or ground whole root (brown in color, possibly fibrous) or extracted kudzu root starch (white and clumpy, possibly light tan if unrefined or toasted)?
posted by pullayup at 7:39 AM on May 28, 2015

Response by poster: It's ivory colored - bitter and very fluffy. Looks unrefined. It was intended for medicinal purposes.
posted by watercarrier at 7:48 AM on May 28, 2015

If you want to get fancy, you could make enough kuzumochi to last several lifetimes.
posted by fifthrider at 7:58 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Kudzu jelly, for instance, is pretty great.

That's made from the flowers, used to do that when I lived in Georgia. You can add the leaves to salads (younger leaves are better).

Not sure what you do with the root, maybe roast it and add it to coffee kind of like chicory?
posted by bradbane at 10:04 AM on May 28, 2015

Kudzu root is considered a medicinal substance in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda). I know it as part of a formula used for increasing energy and stamina (see e.g.: Shatavari compound).
posted by Atrahasis at 11:17 AM on May 28, 2015

There's apparently lots of pudding and desert recipes based on it.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:19 PM on May 28, 2015

Kudzu root powder makes an excellent thickener/plant-based gelatin replacement. I'd definitely try the kuzumochi, or use it to make mochi-style chilled sweet cakes with berries, if it isn't too bitter.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 9:18 AM on May 29, 2015

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