Monday, August 6, 2012

Edible Flowers: Adding beauty to your meals

It's summer, and the gardens are starting to burst with colour! Did you know many colorful blooms are edible? Yes, there are edible flowers!
Just a handful of flowers from our garden that are edible: Calendula, Johny-jump-ups, Bachelor Buttons, and Nasturtiums

  And not only are they beautiful, they come in a range of flavours, from refreshinlgy cucumber-like flavours, to sweet and licoriceey to spicey and peppery. This range of flavours means a range of uses.

A gorgeous Calendula bloom: to use remove the petals and only use the petals for eating (unless making a medicinal salve)

 Flowers as a garnish: 
 Here are some ways of using edible flowers to enhance your meals. Nowadays its all about getting food cheap, making food fast, and then gulping it down without much thought. I think there should be more reverence in our daily meals. Slowing down your hectic schedule in life, in small ways, goes a long way for your quality of life. Like putting flowers on your salad as a garnish. Such an unnecessary thing. And yet, the value is priceless. Beautiful. Tasty. Taking the time to enjoy a beautiful salad, garnished and tossed with extra flavor and prettiness.  And really, it's so easy (wait till you take a salad garnished with flowers to a potluck- sure to be a crowd wowser!)

Ever made pesto? Nasturtiums spicy, peppery flavour makes for a flavourful and colourful pesto.
 Nasturtium pesto on a snadwhich, garnished with borage flowers

Here is the Nasturtium Pesto Recipe: 

Chop the blossoms ( it takes a lot!) then added olive oil, some yogurt, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, a dash of salt and pepper and some chopped pine nuts.

Stir into cooked noodes, or spread in a sandwhich. Infinite uses!

Flower Butter is another interesting way to incorporate flowers into your meals:
 Chop a handful of flowers and stir into softened butter. Can add salt or onion, garlic powder. Place in a small dish and chill. 
Tip: Use savoury flowers like Nasturtium, basil, oregano flowers. 
This flower butter looks like it has confetti in it. Looks beautiful spread on toast. Place a spoonful on steamed vegetables or a baked fish. Lovely!!

*Warning*: Not all flowers are edible- some can make you sick.  If you are harvesting your own flowers do your homework to make sure you are only harvesting edible ones. Do not use flowers if they have been, or if you even think they might have been, sprayed with pesticides, or herbicides.

Here are some links about which flowers are edible:
Edible Prairie Flowers Only a small list at the bottom of the web page, includes other info on other edible prairie plants

Visit our farmers market booth in the summer! We will be selling our edible flowers that have been grown all-naturally and harvested that day for freshness. For the summer of 2012, we will be at the following markets (subject to change in the future- please check our website or email us for more info) :