Well don’t be shocked, for many centuries Asian, Middle Eastern and European cuisines have used edible flowers for adding extra flavour, spice and sometimes use it as a garnish to food.
For generations, people have made exquisite wine from dandelions and other native flowers.
There are many varieties of edible flowers, but be careful, some can only be used in small amounts or as a garnish. However, there are flowers that can be added, along with avocado, kale, blueberries, strawberries, etc., to create a healthy juice.
Now the next question that comes in our mind is which flowers are edible?
Depending upon where you live, edible flowers may be available in your backyard!
So, let’s take a look at which flowers are edible and what are their characteristics:
Meaning “nose twist” in Latin, nasturtiums are a favorite window box flower that comes in a variety of colors. They are easy to grow from seed. In some areas, they are grown as annuals, but in warmer climates they are herbaceous perennials. They have a peppery taste that packs vitamins A, C and D. Popular with chefs, they create a showy garnish for cakes and pastas. Nasturtiums also make a tasty jelly. If adding to your daily juice, toss in five to six petals for a little zing.
A delicate, airy plant, traces of yarrow have been found in prehistoric caves. It has healing properties as well as an aromatic seasoning. Add a pinch of dried yarrow petals to your morning juice. It will add dimension and flavor to most juice recipes. It also makes a great addition to green tea.
Beauties in a flower pot, geraniums are the go-to flower for a blast of color on the patio. Loaded with health benefits, the oil from geranium leaves has been known for their aromatherapy properties, as well as the ability to relive a variety of ailments. Find quality geranium oil and add a drop to your juicer. But, be careful, geranium oil has been known to have a sensitizing effect on hormones, and should be avoided if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.
- Evening Primrose
The topic of poem and prose, evening primrose is a lovely flower that has a taste similar to lettuce. It is a great addition to green juices; avocado, kale, banana, a pinch of primrose and a squeeze of lime. It can also be used in salads and as a garnish.
- Hibiscus Rosella
Whether dried and crushed, or freshly out of the garden, the petals of the hibiscus rosella will add a light-cranberry flavor to any juice. They also contain vitamins and minerals similar to cranberries. Containing many therapeutic properties, hibiscus rosella should be introduced to the diet slowly, as with any herbal remedy; a small amount goes a long way.
- Cactus Fruit Nopalea
Known for its beauty, the juice of the cactus fruit nopalea is one of the most notated edible flowers. The juice of these cactus flowers contains many beneficial nutrients as well as powerful antioxidants. The flower can be added to salads, jellies and jams.
- Johnny Jump Up
Also known as violas, johnny jump ups are an old fashioned favorite in the garden. Petite little pansy-like variegated petals create a stunning garnish as well as a delightful addition to your juice. The flower buds and leaves may be eaten cooked or raw in soups and juices. Healing properties include the treatment of eczema and asthma.
The Chinese have used dianthus (also known as carnations) for herbal medicine for centuries. Stimulating the urinary and digestive systems, dianthus has edible nectar. Its clove-like scent is enticing for cooking, juicing, and as a garnish.
- Squash And Pumpkin Flowers
A delightful addition to soups, salads, juices, and more, the flowers from squash and pumpkin plants have a taste of nectar. The best time to harvest the full flavor of these beauties is to pick the flowers in the early morning. Finely chop a tablespoon of blossoms to add to most any juice recipe.
Few Handy Tips:
- Before adding petals to your juicer, wash them under running water, removing all pollen residues. With juicing becoming popular, and the move to sustainable, organic foods, edible flowers bring a delightful ingredient choice.
- It is wise to choose flowers that are fresh, never faded or wilted. A good choice for quality flowers is your local farmer’s market or health food store.
- Avoid flower stems and stamens, as these can be bitter. Also, be wary of flowers that have been treated with chemicals or pesticides, and flowers that are toxic.
- Food allergies may occur even in non-toxic flowers, so consume edible flowers in moderation until you are sure that you will not have a reaction. As with any herbal remedy, consult with your health care professional or nutritionist before consuming.