Fragrant Floral Eatables

Eat a Rose. Be a Rose. Smell like a Rose. Yes, Roses are definitely edible as are so many others of our floral friends — as long as they’re not sprayed and are grown in a protected, organic, sustainable space. And given that we are what we eat, edible flowers should definitely be on the preferred short list. I don’t see Marigolds on the list. That’s fine with me. It’s not a scent I’d like to be. Though when planted with certain veggies etc., they’re supposed to discourage pests. Now there’s an interesting idea to consider at times.

Having cultivated and eaten several varieties of edible flowers, though I can attest most definitely that I’ve not become one, they are uniquely pleasing on the palate as they are to the eye with the benefit of being nutritionally good for you.

When I’m commissioned to bake natural wedding cakes, my decorations often include edible flowers. But the pictures should be taken first…the novelty plus their tastes make them disappear fast. With edible flowers also as part of the table decorations, the aroma and scent become unforgettable for an unforgettable day not only for the ceremonial couple but also for their guests. And the taste? Well, that’s remarkably unforgettable as well. Edible flowers can be included in the themes for all occasions as eatable decorations while marking extremely memorable occasions with flavor and fun. Just make sure the tastes compliment the full dinner and decor themes. But really how can you go wrong with the limitless color choices from the ultimate living rainbow?

Roses –
Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples. Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. In miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Petals used in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals
Rose Petal Jam

Day Lilies – Slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor, like sweet lettuce or melon. Their flavor is a combination of asparagus and zucchini. Chewable consistency. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Also great to stuff like squash blossoms. Flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad. In the spring, gather shoots two or three inches tall and use as a substitute for asparagus. NOTE: Many Lilies contain alkaloids and are NOT edible. Day Lilies may act as a diuretic or laxative; eat in moderation

Borage – Has lovely cornflower blue star-shaped flowers. Blossoms have a cool, cucumber taste. Wonderful in punches, lemonade, gin and tonics, sorbets, chilled soups, cheese tortas, and dips.

Nasturtiums – Bright, happy, tasty. A definite favorite of mine. Come in varieties ranging from trailing to upright and in brilliant sunset colors with peppery flavors. Nasturtiums rank among most common edible flowers. Blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavor similar to watercress. Stuff whole flowers with savory mousse. Leaves add peppery tang to salads. Pickled seed pods are less expensive substitute for capers. Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, cheese tortas, open-faced sandwiches, and savory appetizers.

Lavender – Sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. Flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes also, from hearty stews to wine-reduced sauces. Diminutive blooms add a mysterious scent to custards, flans or sorbets. NOTE: Do not consume lavender oil unless you absolutely know that it has not been sprayed and is culinary safe.
Fresh flowers bring the outside in — the sweet aroma, the compelling hypnotic scent that can make you stop what you’re doing instantly.You close your eyes tilting your head slightly upward straining your neck gently, you flare your nostrils to breathe in as deeply as you can filling your lungs to savor not only the heaven scent but wanting to preserve that memory to your very fiber, to the marrow of your bones. I swear that if you pay rapt attention, you can feel your brain responding, swelling with the sheer relaxation of the scent and sending that same command of openness and reception throughout your body and spirit. Even tho it might only be moments the memory of those flowers, fragrances, and feelings will be with you forever.

Of your five senses, smell is usually the only one associated with flowers. Most people never think of them as food. And I can understand that until I discovered their edibility. I become transported with the sweet fragrance of my mother-in-law’s Honeysuckle tree. Equally wonderful – the flowers are edible!
My whole approach and outlook toward food, when not cooked for medicinal purposes is to have fun with it. And what’s more fun at your own dinner table than to be able to eat your floral designs!

The pictures above with descriptions come from the link below.
http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

Two other recommended sites:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-8513.html
http://www.herbalgardens.com/archives/articles-archive/nasturtiums.html

Of course you want to stay away from the poisonous ones. Below are a couple of websites for those and others to lead you in a more accurate and safe direction:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/poison.htm.
http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/index.html

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ABOUT: Wellness Chef Helen Sandler
Lecturer, personal chef, teacher, wellness coach, & speaker, Helen promotes a healthier lifestyle through common sense, organic / natural approach to a happier, positive life.

Helen Sandler is used to being an innovator and at the cutting edge of whole foods whole grains awareness. After graduating from SUNY, New York with a teaching degree, she began to follow her real passion for healthy cooking which took her from Los Angeles to Boston to attend the cooking school of the late and great master Japanese natural chef, Aveline Kushi. Later that passion took her to Kyoto, Japan to continue her studies, where she spent four more years learning the art of healthy Japanese cooking (Seishoku).

As Wellnes Chef Helen she is the featured authority at CTNgreen /wellness with articles in the library there and the virtual paperless magazine at CTNGreen Magazine



970-618-0731
helskitchen@gmail.com