Cooking & Recipes

Add a touch of spring to your cuisine

March 13, 2012
Add a touch of spring to your cuisine

Spring is in the air! The snow is melting and the grass is softly growing. Are you thinking about what kinds of seeds or sprouts you could plant in your garden? If so, why not plant some edible flowers for a change? You can season the meat you arrange on your wood cutting board with any kind of spice, but garnishing a meal with an edible flower, now that’s something that requires flair!

Be safe; make sure the flower is edible:
Just like mushrooms or any other type of indigenous plant, some things are not meant to be eaten. Before you start eating every flower that grows in your back yard, consult a guide that will inform you on what is eatable and what is not. If you don’t feel like buying a book, you can consult a variety of websites with charts and lists to refer to in case you need some information on the flower you’re about to eat.

Make sure you know how the flower was grown:
Unlike what some people might think, flowers that come from a florist aren’t safe to eat. Some of them travelled long distances to end up in a vase on your counter while others were sprayed with pesticides to avoid insect infestation. If pesticides were used to grow the flowers you want to incorporate in your meal, make sure they were certified to be used on edible crops. If the flower wasn’t grown organically, it is not safe to eat.

Slowly introduce flowers into your diet:
Even if you are sure the flowers you want to cook with are safe, don’t go overboard and include them into all of your meals. You could get indigestion or develop an allergic reaction to the flowers. To avoid that, try a small quantity of the flowers before incorporating them into a meal. Also, make sure you properly take the flowers apart on your cutting board before you them it to your salad. Remove the stems, anthers and pistils since they have a bitter taste and choose only fresh flowers that were picked early in the day.

How to cook with flowers:
Not only are flowers pretty on a plate, they are good for you since many flowers are high in vitamin A and C. A flower makes a lovely garnish and flowers are a great addition to any salad. Flowers are used in many types of recipes including sauces, jellies, syrups, vinegars, teas and even liquors. Dry some flowers to add them to your favorite tea or use them in your grandmother’s strawberry jam recipe, you will not regret it.


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