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Thread: Edible flowers

  1. #1
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    Edible flowers

    Fruits and veggies like apples, tomatoes and potatoes are the first things that come to mind when most of us think about growing our own food.
    But what about adding some color to your garden, I know I'm more familiar with the companion flowers such as Marigolds, geraniums and tansy's.

    So how about some edible flowers to add to those salads or other dishes.

    As with all flowers you plan to eat, avoid using pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on leaves, flowers or stems for your own health and safety. And never cook blooms from a florist or harvest flowers from a roadside or public park, as these picks may also be contaminated with toxins.

    Also, only eat the parts of each flower that are edible. Other sections may be tough on your stomach. For more rules of thumb for cooking edible flowers, check out this guide from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
    Last edited by Te Hopo; 05-31-2012 at 10:04 AM.

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  2. #2
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    I'm gonna start with the humble dandelion.


    We've all probably been served a few wilted dandelion leaves in our salad at a fancy-schmancy restaurant. Most of us probably scraped them to the side (politely, of course).

    But don't let a few bad appetizers spoil your opinion of this lovely (and surprisingly versatile) little flower. Young, fresh leaves can be used in place of greens, like collards and chard, and actually taste great raw or steamed in sides and main courses.

    The flowers themselves are also edible, although young flowers and buds tend to be sweeter and tastier than mature flowers.
    As kids we would pick the flowers, dip them in batter and then deep fry them, delicious!

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  3. #3
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    Sunflowers.


    Sure, sunflower seeds are edible. But what about the rest of this summertime staple that is such a favorite with kids?
    Sunflower buds taste surprisingly similar to artichokes when steamed, while young sunflower stalks taste like celery and add a refreshing crunch to salads.

    You can also eat the sprouts when seedlings are around 6 inches tall, which is a great way to reduce waste when thinning out your sunflower patch. Just saute them in a tasty stir fry, or try them raw in your next summer salad.

    Once the flowers open, they'll take on a bittersweet flavor. Older plants are best harvested for their seeds, which you can easily bake up at home for a tasty snack.

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  4. #4
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    Chamomile.


    This daisy look-alike is not only a tasty addition to teas but also pairs perfectly with lemon in desserts and light snacks for a soothing, sweet and simple bite.

    To harvest your chamomile, simply separate the flower from the stem, and chop or grind petals into small pieces.

    For savory applications, mix your chamomile with butter or sour cream and use it to top baked potatoes or roasted veggies. Flower petals can also be added to salads for their sweet, apple-like flavor.

    For something sweet, combine chamomile flowers with lemon in pies, cookies and shortbread, or try infusing them into a simple syrup.

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    "That road less traveled is a toll road, and sometimes the charge is more expensive than we ever expected. Most of the time, it's a one way road. Make the decision, hope for the best, and start traveling. Carry lots of coins."
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  5. #5
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    Violets.


    Along with its relatives, violas and Johnny jump-ups, the violet has an almost lettuce-like flavor and makes a fabulous compliment to warm-weather salad dishes.

    Heart-shaped leaves can also be lightly braised like spinach. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try a violet-infused vinegar - which is perfect for salad dressings and other light fare.

    Unlike actual lettuce, violets have a slightly perfumed flavor - making them a viable option for sweet treats as well. The prim and pretty flowers make lovely candies and can also be crystallized and incorporated into cakes, cookies and parfaits.

    Stick to the petals and leaves only. The stems can be a tad bitter.

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  6. #6
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    Lavender.


    It may not surprise you that the sweet lavender shows up in bath salts, perfumes and scented candles. But this pretty purple flower also has loads of unconventional applications in the kitchen.

    Lavender flowers are edible and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes - from sugars and sorbets to flavorful sauces for roasted meats and vegetables.

    Toss a few flowers into the pot the next time you're making some vegetable stock. Reduce and use as a sauce for roasted chicken, or try it with grilled eggplant.

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    "That road less traveled is a toll road, and sometimes the charge is more expensive than we ever expected. Most of the time, it's a one way road. Make the decision, hope for the best, and start traveling. Carry lots of coins."
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"
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  7. #7
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    Begonias.


    The beautiful begonia is a garden staple. But did you know you could eat it, too?

    Leaves, flowers and stems are edible: The petals have a tart citrus flavor and are often used in salads and garnishes, and stems can be used in place of rhubarb.

    Note that only tuberous begonia petals are edible. Its cousin, the wax begonia, can have a slightly bitter and "swampy" flavor.

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    "That road less traveled is a toll road, and sometimes the charge is more expensive than we ever expected. Most of the time, it's a one way road. Make the decision, hope for the best, and start traveling. Carry lots of coins."
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"
    Dr Seuss

  8. #8
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    Lilac.


    Confectioners from around the globe have long been fans of the lilac, which takes on an exotic, floral and pungent flavor when candied or crystallized with egg whites and sugar.

    When using lilacs at home, be sure to remove the flowers from the stems, as the green portion can be slightly bitter and hard on the tummy. Use age-old methods to candy your lilac flowers, or lightly saute them in fruit sauces and compotes for an added "wow" factor.

    If using lilacs in sauces, compotes or jams, simply saute with the fruit of your choice for two to four minutes, and remove most or all of the flowers before serving. They'll impart their tasty flavor, but leaving the blooms in your mixture may be overpowering.

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    "That road less traveled is a toll road, and sometimes the charge is more expensive than we ever expected. Most of the time, it's a one way road. Make the decision, hope for the best, and start traveling. Carry lots of coins."
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"
    Dr Seuss

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