Edible flowers make meals vibrant and fancy. These are usually used as an ingredient that adds fresh and unusual flavor or simply as a garnish to dishes like salad, desserts, and appetizers. However, prior to picking and eating edible flowers, one must always be reminded of these:
- Pick edible flowers in the morning. They have the highest water content at this time.
- Make sure that the flowers are not sprayed with pesticides and chemicals. Better yet, grow organic flowers yourself to ensure that they’re safe for consumption.
- The flowers must be washed properly with cold water before using.
- Remove the stamens and styles from the flowers as the pollen of some flowers can cause allergic reactions if eaten.
Here are five flowers that are a feast for the eyes and the stomach:
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Sunflower is locally known as Mirasol. Aside from it being the ‘happy flower,’ sunflower petals can be used to upgrade a meal. The flower carries a bitter taste that can be added to soups and salad ,or can be freshly eaten after washing with cold water. It is said that unopened sunflower buds can also be steamed or sautéed with butter and contains a flavor similar to an artichoke.
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) Also called touch-me-not, the impatiens flowers have vivid colors that bloom in bright red or white. If you want a taste of sugar into your food, consider impatiens flowers. It has a sweet flavor that can be used in a salad or be floated in drinks.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
With basil plants, what is commonly used are the leaves that serve as a seasoning herb to several meals. But its flowers are edible too. The basil’s flowers are colored white and lavender and are bitter in taste. It can also be sprinkled on and added to pasta just like its leaves.
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Mint is widely familiar as a flavor to countless food like desserts and to cosmetic items like lip balms. Aside from this, all mint varieties like peppermint and spearmint have edible flowers that are similarly minty and sweet or lemon-scented.
Arugula (Eruca vesicaria)
Edible arugula flowers bloom in color white or yellow. It has a spicy and nutty kick that can be added to salads, sandwiches, soups, and eggs.
All the mentioned flowers possess different nutritional values. It is important to know the source of, as well as how the edible flowers are grown prior to cooking and serving them on the table.