Flowers which can be consumed are known as edible flowers. They maybe eaten as meals, used for garnishing or as herbs. They are an important part of many cuisines including Asian, European and Middle Eastern. They are a creative way to decorate dishes since they have unique textures, colors and flavors. They are sometimes used in salads and times eaten with the main dish. The use of flowers is becoming more and more popular in the culinary world. These can also use be used in making beverages like wine.
If you wish to use edible flowers in your dishes to make them unique, you need to take care of few things:
- Flowers must be harvested or picked at early time of the day.
- They should be fresh and fully bloomed as wilted and unopened buds can be unpleasant in taste.
- You need to have a good knowledge about which part of a particular flower is eatable and which not. Since, sometimes the flower is edible but the stem is not.
- Different species have a different taste, so the color and nectar may vary.
- Few of the flower species are good to eat in a limited quantity and can prose risk to health if you eat them more than the suggested amount.
- DO NOT mistakenly take every flowering plant as edible. Toxic plants can have a similar name to other species, even non-toxic plants can cause allergies and flowers for garden use or for ornamental purpose are not edible.
Let’s look at some of the edible flowers.
Chamomile is a floral herb used for cooking, tea and traditional medicine for centuries. They are known to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. They give an earthy and slightly sweet taste to the food. Chamomile tea is also a very well known healthy drink. It is also infused with many syrups, smoothies and desserts. The flowers are look-alikes of daisy but slightly small in size.
With 150 various species, rose comes in different sizes and colors. If you wish to select the best rose for your dish try selecting the one with most pleasant smell, as the smell of rose is directly proportional to the flavor it gives. Only the petals of flower are edible and they give a floral, slightly sweet and aromatic flavor. Rose is also known to have health benefits as it reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation. The petals can be eaten raw or dried and added to fruits, salads and herbs. They can also be used for making syrups.
All the species of rose are edible.
Weeds can sometimes be more than just headache. Known as stubborn ground weed, these bright yellow flowers are highly nutritious and are known to have powerful antioxidant properties. The best part is that the whole plant is eatable. The flowers can be eaten raw or used in salads, fried and used to make jelly and wine. Roots are utilized for making tea and the green part of the plant is cooked or consumed raw and can also be used as salad toppings.
You will already fall in love with the food just by looking at these flowers. These brightly colored flowers are small in size and the hues of purple, blue and yellow can be found commonly. It consists of 5 overlapping petals with dark color and an ink stain like center. These are used for decorating several dishes and specially cakes and other desserts. Chopped pansies are also used in salads for adding color. With so many advantages it also consists of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In conclusion, apart from decorations some flowers can also be used for making dishes. These edible flowers can give a beautiful twist to the dish, adding a refreshing taste and aroma to it. Although it is advisable to research about these flowers throughly before using them. Otherwise these edible flowers are easy to use and also come with various health benefits.