Beautiful flowers can decorate your table, not only in vase but also in your plate. Not only they can make your lunch visually attractive, but thanks to its amazing unusual tastes they are also big gourmet experiences. People have used blooms for centuries to embellish the flavour, taste and appearance of different dishes. Currently, the flowers are returning back on the plates. At the moment it is in vogue, mainly due to the use in the kitchens of luxurious restaurants. Flowers are rich in minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes.
If you want to decorate a festive dish with flowers, use only those flowers that you truly know. You must e really sure that they are edible. Use those flowers that are in the top flower and also grown without chemical intervention and not have been treated with pesticides. Beautiful not faded flower will guarantee you good culinary experience, because it must be, as well as other ingredients must be just matured, otherwise it could be acrid or bitter.
When and how to collect edible flowers?
The ideal time for collecting flower is in the morning when the flowers have high water content, which makes it last longer fresh. Be careful to consume only the petals, pistils or stamens are not intended for consumption. It is better to remove these parts of the flower, because they contain pollen, which could be unpleasant when it's consumed, but it also may have significant bitter taste which can destroy any food experience. Also be aware if you are allergy sufferers. The flowers should aggravate your allergies. Therefore start with the consumption of flowers slowly and gradually to see if they will not worsen yours health problems. Be sure you are not serving whichever flower. It is important to know which flowers you can consume.
Avoid poisonous flowers, such as: earthnut pea, oleander, narcissus, azalea, verbena, sage and rhododendron. On the contrary, very popular flowers which belong to the kitchen are for example, violet, lavender or rose. If you tear flowers, but you can not use them the same day, take an airtight container put inside wet paper towels on which lay the flowers. Thus preserved they last longer than a week.
In China and Japan they were putting eatable flowers on their plates already three thousand years before Christ. Europe's first tasted edible flowers at the time of ancient Rome, and another golden era for experiencing eating edible flowers was in Victorian England. Now it comes back as a popular material in many luxurious restaurants and homes, where the culinary art tries to be closer to eco and natural cooking.
Let's have a look at the particular flowers that are suitable for the preparation of meals, drinks or beautiful edible decorations.
- Lavender is a flower that smells from afar. It can be used for example as a trimming to ice cream or other desserts. It looks beautifully frozen in an ice cube. Lavender can by also leave to infuse. This way you can produce beautifully scented oil into salads. Lavender flavour is spicy and sweet, and so it is suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes. From lavender you can prepare jam as well. Use its flowers immediately after flowering.
- Roses so popular gifts for women is also perfect as a beautiful garnish for a lot of dishes. Her beautiful petals need not only decorate your bedroom during a romantic dinner, but you can also use them in salads or to decorate with them fruit lemonades. It contains significant amounts of vitamin C and polyphenols, which protects against cardiovascular diseases. Rose is widely used in Indian cuisine. You don't have to be worry to use these flowers at all. The petals of all the species are edible. Though there one rule: the richer the colours are the stronger the flavour is. But beware not to use the white bottom of the petal, because they are bitter. Cut them off.
- In our household very popular Violet can also be a great addition to desserts because it has nice and sweet taste. It can be beautiful garnish for custard desserts, sorbets, or ice cream. Violets flower can be even candied. Just soak them in whisked egg white and wrap them in a sugar. When it dries, you can eat them like candy. It is also possible to chop its flowers into a salad and make it so unique and special. The violet flowers contain rutin, which positively acts on capillary fragility. It also increases the elasticity of blood vessels and it improves blood circulation. Violet candies are still very popular in Austria. Empress Sissy (Empress Elisabeth of Austria) really loved them.
- Have you got in your garden Marigold or Calendula and you wonder how to use it other than for a tea? Tear its florets off and add them to rice, pasta or soup, or you can also bake them in cakes. The marigold flowers have a beneficial effect on digestion. Its flavour is pleasantly spicy. It can also be used in the preparation of homemade butter. Calendula flowers beautifully give butter naturally yellow colour. But it doesn't give pleasant colour only to butter, but it also may increase the time of your tan because of the included beta-carotene. If the calendula flowers are yellow, it is also full of lutein, which is very beneficial for healthy sight. Other healthy substances in this flower are vitamin C, Lycopene, and carotenoid, an antioxidant protecting the body against free radicals, which is also considered as a fighter against cancer.
- Flowers of Carnation are not, maybe thanks to its popularity in the past communistic era, amongst the most popular flower, but they can enrich fruit salads or fruit juice. You can prepare from them great syrup. As in the case with rose we definitely recommended cut off the white part of flower, because they can be unpleasantly bitter.
- Excellent elderflower may not be use only in the kitchen as a squash. Believe it or not, you can prepare from it an excellent soup or you can wrap these beautiful flowers in breadcrumbs or in batter and them fry them in oil as a schnitzel.
- Hibiscus flower is beautiful to look at and you can nicely liven up with it champagne toast. When the flower submerges the bottom of the glass, you can see nice play of bubbles around this beautiful flower. You can serve the same way beautiful and exotic orchid flower. If you sprinkle hibiscus flower with cane sugar and pour with the water, you will get syrup with a pleasant taste reminiscent of rhubarb supplemented by mild acidity.
- Daisies can be used as a supplement in salads or cocktails, or you can decorate with them bread with butter. You can also add daises into the broth. They will no be only pleasant for your eyes, but they are also great source of many vitamins and minerals and they will help to clean your body. Their flower is bitter and it contains traces of bitter substances and tannins.
- Did you also weave as a child headband from dandelions? You may know that this weed may not look finery just like headdress, but also can enrich the culinary arts. The taste of flower is honey sweet and dandelion honey is very popular product prepared from these beautiful yellow flowers. The sweet taste can also be used to prepare the syrup and pulled petals can also add special flavour to rice and salads. Young and not opened dandelion flowers can fry in butter. It is very tasty and nice if you load dandelion flower into the wine. There it can fully develop its health benefits as blood purification or its ability to improve metabolism. In the kitchen we can use dandelion leaves, which contain calcium, iron and phosphorus. However with leaves, pay the attention to the age of the flower. The older the plant is, the more are the leaves bitter, so we recommend using rather young plants.
- Tropaeolum or commonly known as nasturtium which tastes as a radish can be named as a panacea. You will find this plant on a large number of our gardens. Thanks to its expansion is probably the best known of flowers, which we use in the kitchen. Thanks to its flavour it is added to vegetable salads. For treatment is used tincture from nasturtium, specifically from their seeds and buds. It works as a natural antibiotic. In addition to its antibiotic qualities it also has antiseptic effects. Flowers, or buds, can also be loaded into the vinegar like capers, which then can be used as a side dishes or as an appetizer.
If we entice you to try edible flowers, you can follow these simple recipes to test how good and suitable are these unusual materials for use in the kitchen.
Salad of daisies
- Handful of daisies
- 200 g of a thick plain yogurt
- 2 large grated carrots
- Few drops of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
- Handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Mix yogurt with syrup and lemon juice, add daisies, carrots, and sprinkle with seeds.
Cottage cheese marble cake with lavender
- Handful of lavender flowers – you can also use dried flowers
- 4 eggs
- 250g of butter
- 250g of soft cheese
- 300g of plain flour
- 220 g of sugar
- Half of vanilla pod
- 1 baking powder
- 4 tablespoons milk
Wipe together sugar, vanilla, softened butter and egg yolks. Make stiff whipped egg whites from egg whites. Add the cheese and flour, which you've already mingled with baking powder. In conclusion, carefully add the egg whites and lavender flowers. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C in the form of pre-greased and sprinkled with flour or breadcrumbs. After tilting the cake off the form you will experience beautiful scent of vanilla and lavender and the taste of this violet miracle will give it plate mark of the something extraordinary. We wish you a good taste.
Do not be afraid to use edible flowers
Ideally consume flowers that you harvest from your own garden, where you know how they have been treated and you also know their age. Surely, consume only flowers said above and beware of poisonous ones. Like with mushrooms, consume only those that you are sure about and you know, that you can put them on your plate. Feel free to use these beautiful supplements and delight your eye and mouth. Already now you can look forward to spring when these beauty gourmet gems begin full bloom these.