Check-Up: Take care when eating flowers
Tamar is 16 years old. She recently learned that the crystallized flowers on top of her cousin’s wedding cake were real flowers and that flowers can be eaten, and many aren’t poisonous. She asks Check Up which flowers can be eaten and what can we gain from eating flowers.
Well, there are many flowers which can be eaten, but not all!
Flowers can serve a greater purpose than just looking at them, admiring and smelling them. Many people add flowers to salad dishes when they’re available, and even to cooked meals, as well as using them to make designs on the tops of cakes!
When flowers are used as food, it is important to ensure that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals, and that the male and female parts, the pistils and stamens, are removed as they spoil the taste, and then the flowers should be washed.
Flower petals are used in salads, teas, as garnishes for desserts, in ice cream, in cocktails! It’s a nice and safe way to add colour, taste and even spice to prepared meals, salads and cakes.
But only eat flowers you are sure can be consumed safely. Some cannot be eaten, so you’ll need to check out the flowers you’re tempted to eat before consuming them. Keep flowers fresh by wrapping in moist paper and refrigerating in an airtight container.
SOME FLOWERS THAT CAN BE EATEN
- Dandelions: These yellow flowers and their leaves are a part of a weed which contain high levels of potassium and antioxidants, and can be added to a salad dish.
- Carnations: Can be placed in wine or eaten plain.
- The lily flower has a sweet taste and can be eaten raw, but their roots can be boiled and eaten like potatoes. The flowers are a source of vitamin C.
- The hibiscus flower is best used as a tea. Soak several flowers (8-10) in hot water and add lime or drink cold on ice.
- Lilac and nasturtium flowers make a good garnish to a cooked dish or salad plate, while nasturtium leaves are peppery in flavour and nice when added to a salad.
- Purple violets are edible and are nice with a salad. The flowers are often sugared, candied and used on cakes, and can also be used to make jellies.
Other edible flowers include: basil, angelica, \marigold, chamomile, chicory, chrysanthemum, citrus blossoms, clover, dill flowers, jasmine, lavender, mint, fennel , oregano, sage, rose petals, tadish (which taste peppery),rosemary, sunflower, squash and pumpkin blossoms, and others.