Monday, November 29, 2010

Edible Flower Power

If you’re interested in adding a little more color to your garden, consider planting edible flowers. Edible flowers can be used fresh as a garnish or as a salad. Squash flowers can be fried in light batter or cornmeal, some flowers can be stuffed or used in stir-fry dishes. The possibilities are endless! Edible flowers can be candied; frozen in ice cubes and added to beverages, made into jellies and jams, used to make teas or wines, added to spreads, and much more.

Please note that not all flowers are edible; some may taste bad and some are even poisonous. Eat flowers only if you are certain they are edible. Consult a good reference book before eating any type of flower.

Below are some suggestions on edible flowers and how to use them!

Marigold: Flavors range from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery. Sprinkle them on soups, pasta or rice dishes, herb butters, and salads. Petals add a yellow tint to soups, spreads, and scrambled eggs.

Carnations: Carnations can be steeped in wine, candy, or used as a cake decoration. To use the sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower.

Chrysanthemums: Flavors are typically tangy to slightly better. The petals should be blanched and then scattered on a salad. The leaves can also be used to flavor vinegar. Always remove the bitter flower base and use petals only.

Johnny Jump Ups: The blooms have a mild wintergreen flavor and can be used in salads, to decorate cakes, or served with soft cheese. They are also a great addition to drinks, soups, desserts, or salads.

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