(NaturalNews) People have been eating flowers almost since the beginning of recorded time. Who knows what prompted the first floral snack? It could be that the flower looked so tasty somebody tried eating it. We can be glad, for flowers still provide a delightful addition to a healthy diet. Let's explore some of the more popular edible flowers.
There is scant research related to the nutrient density of edible flowers. Most commonly known is that many, like roses, contain good amounts of Vitamin C. Dandelion petals are also high in Vitamin A. Flowers are about 95% water. Because of the water content, it is doubtful that flowers are nutrient dense in any way. They are pretty to look at and many have an interesting flavor. Nasturtiums, for example, have a peppery flavor, while blue borage flowers are quite sweet.
The ancient Romans used violets and roses in their diet; the Chinese prepared daylilies. Asian Indians have long eaten rose petals and the Hispanic culture contributes use of squash blossoms.
The most important consideration in the use of flowers as edibles is to know your source. Flowers you grow yourself are probably the safest. You know they don't contain pesticides. Never eat flowers purchased from a florist as they have many unhealthy additives.
Flowers are best when picked and prepared within a few hours of eating. In most cases only the petals are used. The best known exception to this is saffron. After washing your flowers well in a salt water solution, they may be stored for a few hours in a glass of water in the refrigerator.
A lovely recipe for daylilies: * 8 cups daylilies, sliced * 2 medium-size carrots, grated * 4 celery stalks, grated * 1/2 cup raw cashews Sauce: * 3/4 cup drained silken tofu * 1/4 cup dark-colored miso * 2 tablespoons curry paste * Juice of 1 lime * 1 tablespoon kudzu or arrowroot To prepare: In a large salad bowl, mix the daylilies, carrots, celery and cashews. Then make the sauce by combining tofu, miso, curry paste, lime, and arrowroot in a blender. Process until smooth.
Pour the sauce over the mixture. It can be served with brown rice.
Dandelion tea is another edible floral recipe. * 4 cups dandelion petals * 4 cups water * 3 (1/4-inch) thick slices lemon * 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half * 2-1/4 cups raw honey To prepare: Pick dandelion flowers during the daylight while in full bloom, remove petals, then measure petals only.
Place petals in a heavy saucepan along with the water, lemon slices, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 6 hours.
Strain dandelion tea through cheesecloth. Discard all solids. Add raw honey to sweeten.
Sources: Yzabal, Maria D.T., et al. Oct 1995. The Mexican Gourmet. (Thunder Bay Press)
Brill, Steve "Wildman". May, 2002. The Wild Vegetarian Cookbook. (Harvard Common Press)
Shomp, Virginia. March, 2005. The Ancient Chinese. (Scholastic, Inc.)
About the author
Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner. Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.