Are Those Flowers in your Salad?

Flowers have more purposes than just filling bouquets and decorations at weddings. You can eat them too! They can add great flavors to foods and drinks that will take eating to the next level. However, it is vitally important that you can exactly identify which kinds of flowers and which parts of the flowers are edible. First, here are some tips direct from the experts at What’s Cooking America:
“1. One very important thing that you need to remember is that not every flower is edible. In fact, sampling some flowers can make you very, very sick.
2. You also should NEVER use pesticides or other chemicals on any part of any plant that produces blossoms you plan to eat.
3. Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside or from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. They may have been sprayed with pesticides.
4. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers.
5. Always remember to use flowers sparingly in your recipes due to the digestive complications that can occur with a large consumption rate. Most herb flowers have a taste that’s similar to the leaf, but spicier. The concept of using fresh edible flowers in cooking is not new.”
Now, here is just sample of the edible flowers out there!

1. Lavender

This very aromatic flower, member of the mint family, is often used in desserts, such as Lavender Ice Cream, or infused into teas. However, they can also add great flower to savory dishes, like meats or potatoes. It has a sweet flavor with citrus undertones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Hibiscus

This tropical flower will add a slightly acidic but cranberry-like flavor to salads or glazes. Syrup made from the Hibiscus petals is often served in cocktails and teas.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Roses

There is a never-ending list of things you can use rose petals in. The flavor varies with each color and type, with the darker petals having a more pronounced flavor. You can use these in desserts, drinks, or savory dishes. You won’t have trouble finding recipes; the trouble will be choosing one!

 

 

 

4. Nasturiums

You may not have heard of this kind of flower, but it is one of the most popular edible flowers out there. It has a sweet but somewhat spicy or almost peppery flavor. They are a great addition to salads and pastas, or even mixed with butter to use with meats.

 

 

 

Research is the key to safely adding these flowers to foods and drinks. Be sure you know which parts of the flowers are safe to eat and exactly how they need to be prepared. Once you’ve done the research, don’t be afraid to experiment! You can purchase these flowers dried or fresh from your local specialty food store or grow them yourself (just remember, no pesticides!). Bon appetite!

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