Here are flowers you can eat

Get to know which flowers are good on your plate
Last Updated 04 January 2019, 13:32 IST

When you dine at high-end restaurants, you may have noticed that your food is garnished with a pretty little flower. If you’ve wondered if that’s safe for you to eat, don’t worry, it is. In fact, any flower that is served to you at a restaurant is safe to consume. However, there are flowers that aren’t edible. There are poisonous ones too. Whenever you have a doubt about it, check with a trusted source.

Apart from using them as decorative elements on your plate, you can also use them in various other ways.

Before that, let’s explore what some of the commonly used edible flowers are.

It’s known to be great for your digestive system, helps your insomnia and calms your nerves. Chamomile flower is light in flavour but if you add it to your tea as some people do, you might experience a bitter taste. You can also use the flower in baked goodies and ice cream.

Apart from elevating the look in your plate, lavender is popular for its calming effects, especially a cup of lavender tea before bed. The smell is strong and has a minty and earthy flavour to it. Lavender ice creams are a popular dessert across the world.

Squash blossoms
It’s a possibility that you might not have too many squash blossom flowers as an edible item on your plate. If you are a squash lover, you’ll enjoy the taste, so we suggest that you give this a miss. It can be fried, baked, stuffed or consumed simply on its own. It’s known to be high in Vitamin A and C and has calcium and iron components too.

This is a flower that most of us have seen grown in our home garden, and many of us would have probably used it to wear it as a hair accessory. But hibiscus flower has a lot of other edible elements to it and chefs are happily experimenting with it. This edible flower is sour and astringent in flavour. You can even use it as a dry ingredient on your plate. When it’s Summer, try making some freshly brewed hibiscus iced tea.

You must have seen chefs present an avocado toast or salad with violet flowers as a pretty garnish. Thanks to its colour, it screams Springtime. It is known to be anti-inflammatory, has anti-tumour properties and helps clear your mucus. Many also use it to make infused oil.

Here are flowers you can eat

With a slightly sweet taste to it, this is one flower that we have all grown up seeing. You can use it in tea, a garnish on your toast or with a porridge. If you’re looking for a bright a colourful salad, add some dandelions to it. It’s said to help with digestion too.

Arugula blossoms
The best way to have this edible flower is to use it in a savoury dish or salads. They help to enhance the flavour and add a zest to your dish. Expect a bit of a peppery taste when you bite into it.

Some other tricks
The best part about edible flowers is that you can experiment with it however you want. It’s much more than just a garnish or a colourful element on your plate. If you want to green salad to have a colourful element to it, add a flower to it. It’ll not only add to a pretty item on your plate but also enhance the flavour.

You can also freeze these small flowers into ice cubes and use it in your drinks. If it’s a special occasion and there’s champagne involved, use these ice cubes to fill up the tray and place the bottle it in. You can also make infused out of them. You can make anything from oils, vinaigrettes, jellies or even marinades to give your food a colourful and flowery twist.

Things to remember
As mentioned earlier, not every flower out there is edible. If you find any on the roadside, you should be sure that it’s not good for you. Don’t overuse the flowery elements. Each of these flowers has a flavour to it that can help your dish but too much of it can also ruin it. Never serve your guests non-edible flowers as garnish. They might not know much about it and your dinner party could just turn into a disaster.

Be careful what you’re serving and to whom you’re serving it to. Too much of edible flowers or one that the guest is allergic too could create problems for you and them. If you are unsure about the usage of an edible flower, always ask an expert or do a bit of online research.

(Published 04 January 2019, 13:08 IST)

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