Cultured Red Cabbage and Apples

Cultured Red Cabbage and Apples

Sunday, June 27, 2010

EAT YOUR FLOWERS!

 

Just about everyone remembers their mothers telling them to eat their vegetables. I know that was part of my childhood and I told my children to do the same. Now that I have discovered the beauty, nutrition and the exciting different tastes of flowers, I now admonish my friends and family to Eat Their Flowers! It's fun watching the different reactions people have. Some people dive right in, others never heard of eating this part of a plant but will hesitantly try some and then there is the subset who doesn't want anything to do with it.

The flowers in the picture above are nasturtiums. These flowers are among the more well known varieties that are used for culinary purposes. Nasturtium flowers have a peppery taste, as do their leaves, which can also be eaten. I'm fairly new at  incorporating flowers into recipes. So far, I have mainly used them in salads and for dressing up serving bowls of food or garnishing dinner plates. I also used some red bee balm petals in some kefir cheese I made....which was quite beautiful.
This morning I was reading a bit more online about the properties of flowers and found it interesting that nasturtiums contain mustard oil which may have anti-microbial properties. Flowers also contain vitamins A , C and other nutrients. Some flowers have a crunchy texture and others are silky soft. Their tastes range from peppery, sweet, oniony, spicy....and some seem to not have much flavor at all.
If you are a visual person and colors excite and soothe you,....and you love to try new things, you might want to read the book  The Edible Flower Garden (Edible Garden Series)


The photography in this book is absolutely stunning.This book is what started me on the edible flower journey and has enticed me to take photographs of my own, which I have included here. I am having so much FUN running around growing, picking,taking pictures of, cooking and decorating with flowers. For me its uplifting...and whatever is uplifting is good for the soul and the immune system. The Edible Flower Garden lists the different flowers that are edible, along with their pictures. Some recipes and food decorating ideas are also included. One word of advice...Always be sure you identify a flower correctly before eating it.
 
Part of my interest in edible flowers stems from the idea of edible landscaping and foraging and how we need to get back to using what nature has to offer and making better use of the land we own. Grass is ok...but can you eat it? We have been conditioned to think that we need outside carpets that are as perfect and sterile as the carpets inside our homes. This leads to the use of weed killers and pesticides and chemical fertilizers....and the poisoning of the very land we live on. Think about it
 
This is a picture I took of the salad we ate last night . Kinda pretty, huh? It's certainly easy to put together.

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