Hogweed Seed Spice, Cashew and Date Sweets

I no longer recommend this plant be served to the public.

This plant is not for beginners. Never eat raw. Always wear gloves when gathering.

Please read these important Safety Notes.

Hogweed seed spice is deliciously warming and is reminiscent of cardamon.

I crafted this recipe and served the sweets at a gathering of plant-walkers who had met to remember Frank Cook, herbalist and botanical explorer extraordinaire. Frank died on 19th August 2009.

He was also my plant mentor.

Each year I do a memorial event, and this year I decided to create these sweets to share with the participants.

It was a lovely gathering with beautiful plant people from various ‘disciplines’ attending.

I hope you like them.

Hogweed seed (see warning) is reminiscent of cardamon, so goes perfectly in floral tasting sweets and desserts.

Species used: Heracleum sphondylium

Hogweed Seed Spice Recipe


  • 400 g pitted dates
  • 300 g cashews
  • 200 g mixed seeds
  • 20 g coconut oil
  • 2 tsp Naturya organic cacao powder
  • 2 tsp ground hogweed seed spice (species used Heracleum sphondylium)
  • Equal parts of ground flaxseed and almonds


  1. Using a very hot frying pan (no oil) quickly toast the dried (not green) hogweed seeds until they emit their cardamon-like aroma.
  2. Grind in a pestle and mortar, or use an electric herb/coffee grinder, then set aside.
  3. In a food processor, process the cashew nuts, and mixed seeds until very fine. Like a coarse flour. Then tip into a large bowl.
  4. Next add the pitted dates (make certain there are no stones in the mix), and process. First, the dates will become a large ball, then as you continue processing the ball will get smaller and turn into a paste. Using a spatula empty into the bowl containing the ground nuts and seeds.
  5. Add the coconut oil, cacao powder and ground hogweed seed. Using your hands squeeze and mix everything together.
  6. The best way is to put your open hands into the mixture then open and close as if you were squeezing a ball. The mixture will press through your fingers, and you will get very, very sticky. But it’s fun. Like making mud pies as a kid was fun!
  7. Next, put equal amounts of ground flaxseed and ground almonds into a new bowl. Take a small amount of the date/nut/hogweed seed mixture and roll it into a ball. How big depends on the size of the balls you want. Then roll in the flaxseed/almond mixture to coat. Place in a container like a Tupperware box with a lid to store until ready to eat.
  8. “One for the box. One for me. One for the box. One for me”, et cetera.
  9. Makes: Roughly 40 balls the size of a 10 pence piece.


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