It may surprise you to find that whilst they are extremely pretty to look at flowers can provide a source of food and are edible. Though we are unlikely to see them as a side order in your local pub any time soon there are an enormous variety of flowers that can be enjoyed as part of a salad or even featured as a cake decoration.
Before you set out into your garden in search of these foodstuffs it should be remembered that the ones that are available have been farmed and cared for to the highest standard. Also, some can only be consumed in small quantities and others should not be consumed at all, so it might be wise to seek out the professionally grown varieties first before you have a go yourself. There are several common examples that are a good introduction to try first however this article is not a substitute for gaining professional advice before trying any edible flowers.
- Known more as a scent for toilets and a favourite of National Trust formal gardens Lavender is one of the most commonly used food flowers. Its primary use is a flavour agent in salads and dressings. It goes well in chocolate and can make a refreshing ice cream/sorbet and can even be added t champagne to liven the drink up. A word of caution though as the levels of flavouring need to be right as too much can be very over powering and leave a soap like aftertaste.
- Not just any Rose’s mind we are talking Rose hips here. These are very high in vitamin C. Rose water is gleaned from the petals and is used to make tea but also as a popular flavour in Turkish delight. The distinct taste is used in many sweets especially those in Asia this also includes flavouring ice cream and sorbets.
- The leaves and flower buds can make up a nice surprise in a salad, but they can also be added to soup and even in the humble sandwich.
- Yellow and White Chrysanthemum is extremely popular drink in the Far east where it is used to brew tea. It is also used to flavour a particularly interesting rice wine from Korea. For the very daring amongst you there is a variety that is added to snake meat to make a nourishing soup.
- Most people know that the old English drink mixed with burdock gives us this drink however that is just the tip of the iceberg. Dandelion Wine is becoming very common. When the leaves are boiled and left to dry that can make it into a sandwich for a little bit of difference.
- This little blue flower is a welcome addition in a salad bringing colour and even being blended with Lady Grey tea to give a very distinct flavour to the brew.
This is just a small selection available and there are many more on the market.
If you are interested in how you can incorporate nature more into your life you can take a look at https://www.alive.com/lifestyle/edible-flowers/ . And if you have pets in your life you can find natural products for Itchy Dogs at https://www.stinky-stuff.co.uk/product-cat/dog-remedies/