Flowers delight me. My friends, my family know how much they do and they are so thoughtful to bring me flowers often. But, I think my all-time favorite bouquets I have received over the years were the ones my children gave to me when they were teeny-tiny. They would rush in the house from playing outside with a bunch of freshly picked flowers (mostly weeds) so excited to surprise me. And, they did! Yes, they did delight me - in so many ways!
But, weeds or not, flowers look pretty incredible wherever they are - bunched up in a tiny child's hand, in a field, a landscaped garden, in a vase by your front door or on your plate. Yes, on your plate and in your food. They are lovely there, too, and can make your next dish a beautiful sight.
How Edible Flowers Taste
Health Benefits of 5 Edible Flowers
1. Violets contain phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help strengthen capillary walls. They taste sweet and you may have seen them adorning wedding cakes and desserts. This wild violet vinegar sounds like a interesting addition to your next bowl of salad greens and what a beautiful gift idea.
2. Lavender contains vitamin A, calcium and iron and may be calming to your central nervous system. Try your hand at this drop over gorgeous gluten-free and raw fig, cherry, lavender and honey cake. It was made by raw foods chef Lauren Glucina and makes quite an impression.
3. Chive blossoms contain vitamin C, iron and sulfur, and may be used to help support healthy blood pressure levels. Here is a new way to serve scalloped potatoes with the colorful addition of chive blossoms to get it some life!
4. I grew zucchini several years ago and the squash blossoms on those plants were to behold. They are high in calcium and iron and especially high in vitamins C and A. The blooms really are gigantic and lovely and taste great stuffed with all sorts of things. Cheese is a common stuffing but I thought this quiche with squash blossoms looked terrific.
5. Some say rose petals can act as a mild sedative and even enhance your mood. They do contain bioflavonoids and antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, B3, C and E. This rose petal honey sounds terrific drizzled in some English breakfast tea or over some fresh fruit for breakfast or afternoon snack.
Below are three tips when using edible flowers in your dishes:
3 Considerations When Using Edible Flowers in Your Cooking
1. Careful what your choose.
Unless you grow the flowers yourself from seed and know they have not been sprayed with pesticide, choose edible flowers from your market that have been specifically grown for eating and are organic.
2. Some parts are not invited.
The pistils and stamens from flowers taste very bitter and contain pollen, an irritant to many. Make sure to remove them first. Always rinse the flowers with cool water very gently to rid of any remaining pollen or dirt that may have adhered to the petals.
3. Be an early riser.
If picking your own flowers, choose them in the morning before they wilt in the sun. Store them in the refrigerator with a damp paper towel in a plastic bag.
Have you used edible flowers before? What did you think? Please tell us and give a link to a recipe you have created or liked in the comments.
chive: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bg/3571762268/">bgblogging</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
lavenderloose: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/32458744@N02/3690250943/">Elle Jane</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
violets: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/robfon/2336636957/">Roberto F.</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>