Flowers add colours to our surroundings. Some are even extracted to create oils and fragrances. Interestingly, flowers can also be enjoyed on the dining table. Edible flowers contain potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. There has been an increase in the use of edible flowers in preparing tea, concoctions and as an additive in your favourite meals. Edible flowers can be enjoyed raw or cooked together with vegetables and meat. Some flowers can be friends and enjoyed as snacks or as toppings for your favourite desserts.
Here are some of the popular edible flowers that can be found in different cuisines and menus all over the world.
There are plenty of hibiscus plant varieties but the most popular and celebrated one is the Roselle of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa. The ornate blossoms of this plant can grow as much as 6 inches in diameter and come in different shades of white, yellow, red and pink. On top of being ornamental plants, they are also used for medical and culinary applications. The Roselle plant can be eaten raw or boiled for teas, jams and relishes. Hibiscus is believed to be helpful in reducing blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels.
Another popular edible flower on the list is the popular rose. All types of roses are edible and their flavours vary depending on their colours. The darker the shade of the flower is, the more flavourful they will be. They are usually incorporated into salads and are used as garnish for ice creams and desserts. Grocery stores are one of the most common places where to buy rose petals. Rose petals can also be extracted to be used as syrups, sweet spreads and jellies.
Lavender is loved for its aromatic and relaxing scent. It is also enjoyed as a food ingredient. Mostly violet in colour, it is a floral herb that is native to the Mediterranean and several regions in Northern Africa. Lavender can be added into a variety of dishes. It is used in baked goods, liquors, teas, herb mixtures and infused syrups. The lavender flower can be dried and used as spices. It works well when mixed with thyme, chocolates, sage, rosemary and several citrus and berry fruits.
The most common type of honeysuckle species is the Japanese honeysuckle and the woodbine varieties. It is one of the most fragrant types of flowers and comes in colours of white and light yellow. It has been used by Chinese for over centuries as a traditional natural medicine. The flowers are used in making teas as well as syrup. It is also used as a sweetener for iced teas, yoghurt, sorbet and lemonades. Honeysuckle can also be used in baking as a sugar additive.
Edible flowers can be enjoyed in many ways. They are nutritious and contain nutrients and antioxidants that are good for the body. Regardless of your cooking skills, you can easily incorporate edible flowers to your favourite dishes.