Eating flowers is a tradition thousands of years old. In many dishes of the Middle East and Persia were used rose and orange petals. Cherry blossom and chrysanthemum has been popular in Japan. Petals carnations were part of the of the famous French liqueur Chartreuse, whose recipe kept in secret. Dandelion is mentioned in the Old Testament as the bitter spice.
In the last three hundred years nasturtium, which comes from Peru, became popular in the cuisine of Europe and North America.
In our kitchen we all use flowers, and that we are not even aware, these are: artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower. Flowers can decorate not only the garden, but also your table. Flowers such as violet and marigold can serve as a colorful and exquisite decoration for salads and raw desserts. Watercress – for many favorite flowers – have a wonderful spicy flavor.
The benefits of edible flowers
It is widely known that flowers have a positive effect on mood and emotional state of man. In the western tradition consumption of flowers is still relatively young and therefore there is not enough research on the positive effect of flowers on health.
However alternative medicine testify to the many health benefits of flowers. Flower roses helps the work of the liver and intestines. Chamomile relieves stress and strengthens the immune system. Begonia eliminates toxins and cleanses the liver. Chrysanthemums treats the flu and colds.
Valerian soothes and eases insomnia. Marigold is known for its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties and is used in the homeopathic and conventional medicine for faster wound healing.
Marigold also relieves menstrual pain, tonsillitis and sore throat. Watercress, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties, cures colds, respiratory infections and diseases of the urinary tract. Flowers plums is used for cough, respiratory diseases and diarrhea.
Do not eat flowers from florists, due to pesticides. It is best to grown your own flowers – so you can be absolutely sure that it does not contain pesticides. When choosing flowers you need to know that not all flowers are edible. Some flowers is difficult to digest, while the other is toxic. Pick the flowers in the morning or in the evening, when they contains most water. Choose flowers that are only opened and looks alive and healthy. Avoid flowers that look sick or which are eaten by bugs. Usually only eat the petals of flowers, excluding safflower and saffron, whose pestle is used as a spice.
Wash the flowers, by gently immersing it in a bowl of salt water. If you want to “revive” the flowers, put it in a bowl of ice water to 30-60 seconds. After that, dry it on a paper towel. Now, carefully tear off the petals and other parts of the flower, which you plan to consume.
If you want to leave flowers for later, put the flowers in a glass jar with water and store it in the refrigerator. You can keep petals of flowers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for one day, but it is best to eat the petals within a few hours.
Cooking with flowers
The flowers are beautiful decoration for any meal, but what about its taste? Flowers bean has a sweet smell and taste of beans. Nasturtium has a wonderful spicy flavor, as a watercress. Borage tastes like cucumber, while pansy has a delicate taste of evergreen plants.
Violet, rose and lavender give salads and desserts sweet taste. Bright yellow marigold can replace saffron. If you suspect which flavor flower has, try it – but firstly be sure that it is not toxic.
- Decorate your favorite sauce with gladiolus or hibiscus flowers (tear off the stigma and pestle).
- Sprinkle salad with edible flowers for beautiful look and taste.
- Freeze every flower in an ice cube for a great decoration for drinks.
- Use flowers to prepare jellies and marinades.
- Use candied flowers to decorate the cakes and pies.
- Do not serve dishes with flowers to asthmatic and allergic people.
- Never use inedible flowers for the purpose of decoration. Your guests will probably think that is edible flowers and eat it.
- Start with a small amount of flowers. Give yourself time to get used to a new kind of food.
- 4 cups of lettuce
- 4 cups mixed salad
- ¼ cup of petals of edible flowers
- 1/8 cup finely chopped herbs (basil, chives, tarragon, etc.)
- ¼ cup pecan and pine nuts
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, finely sliced
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion, finely chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Grind all the ingredients in a blender, add the salad and mix it very well.