Adding fragrant and edible flowers to your recipes can increase the aroma and aesthetic appeal of your food, and edible flowers have health benefits as well. Below are some edible flowers that you can add to your recipes to increase flavor and enhance your well-being.
The sage plant is a perennial, so it doesn’t have to be replanted each year. Traditionally, the sage flower was used to treat a variety of ailments including stomach ulcers, inflammation, digestive problems, and gout. Due to its high antioxidant value, it is useful in protecting cells in the body from free radicals, which can cause cancer. It is also high in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Often enjoyed as a tea, sage is believed to enhance memory, improve blood sugar, promote oral health, and minimize menopausal hot flashes. It may also be effective in providing relief for illnesses and conditions such as heart disease, depression, lupus, obesity, cancer, and diabetes.
The sage leaves are not something you want to eat raw or as a garnish because they are too pungent. For this reason, sage leaves are used most often to season fish, pork, and chicken before cooking. However, the sage plant produces beautiful purple-blue flowers that provide a more delicate flavor than the leaves, and they can be added to salad or sauces without being too strong. They are also beautiful as a garnish. You might even try dipping the entire stem and flowers into a batter of your choice and deep frying the flowered stalk. Holding the stalk from the stem, you can dip it in your preferred sauce, making it the perfect finger food.
Chrysanthemums are easy to grow. They attract butterflies and look great in gardens and in bouquets, as cut chrysanthemum flowers can last up to two weeks. Chrysanthemum flowers also have a slightly bitter, tangy taste ranging from a peppery to mild cauliflower flavor. Since there is such a variety of chrysanthemums, you will want to determine which type is going to work best for your use.
In traditional medicine, chrysanthemums were used to treat health problems such as high blood pressure, chest pain, diabetes, headaches, and dizziness. The flower can increase blood flow to the heart and has been found to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Many people drink chrysanthemum tea at night to relax, and it is also believed to be anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, and anti-arthritis. It also provides a cooling effect and can help reduce fevers. It may have adverse effects, though, in individuals allergic to ragweed.
While chrysanthemum tea is widely enjoyed, an elegant and aromatic side dish of chrysanthemum salad is a great way to add flavor and color to your meal. Boil the leaves quickly and squeeze out the excess water. Boil the petals separately with a splash of vinegar and layer the yellow petals atop the green leaves. Dress with traditional Japanese ingredients such as mirin and dashi (soup stock), along with soy sauce.
Find a Variety of Plants at Flower Works.
Please consult your local grocery store to purchase edible flowers.