Have you ever wondered which flowers are edible? First you should learn if you are allergic to pollen, as eating a flower, whether wild or domestic, could trigger an asthma attack. So be careful, ask your doctor first if it safe for you to do.
Next, before you decide which flowers are edible or not, make sure you learn if the area has been sprayed with a weed killer. You do not want to eat any flower that is found growing on top of a toxic waste dump, been sprayed with weed killer, or raw sewage.
One of the earliest edible flowers that I encountered was right in our herb garden. I was a little girl and my mother, a professional economic botanist, loved to serve cold, jellied consomme to guests during her summer garden parties. Floating on top of each bowl of jellied consomme was a deep blue borage flower. Borage (Borago officinalis) is an annual herb that has hairy, dark green leaves that are hairy. Its taste is similar to cucumber. It is native in the Mediterranean area. However, it has been documented to have been in America in 1806. Their flowers are star shaped, sometimes a pale rose colour, but more often a deep, brilliant blue colour. I enjoy picking off the star shaped flower and adding it, not only to jellied consomme, but cool, refreshing summer drinks.
Nasturtiums are very colourful edible flowers. They come in fresh pinks, but more often are seen in blazing, bright orange, fire engine red, or a sunshine yellow colours. They add colour to any garden. Nasturtiums are easily grown by seed. They have a mild peppery flavour and are an excellent addition to a green leafy salad. They enhance a stir fry dinner or a simple omelette.
My favourite thing to do with nasturtium flowers is to make a homemade vinegar with them. To do this, start with an empty clear bottle. Boil the empty bottle in water and once sterilized, add your washed nasturtium flowers, and then pour inside boiled white vinegar. Use a knife to clear the bottle of any air bubbles. Place them on a window sill for a few weeks in order to have their white vinegar turn to the colour of your flowers. These sun filled bottles of vinegar make a lovely house warming gift!
Researching about flowers you should pick up Kathy Brown’s book “Edible Flowers”. She nicely summarizes complementary foods and flowers. For example, you can make delicious ice creams using lavender, mint flowers, or roses. Use flowers to decorate your ice cubes, such as borage and violet flowers.
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