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Edible flowers - a tasty and healthy addition to infusions

2022-12-27
Edible flowers - a tasty and healthy addition to infusions

Flowers are primarily associated with beautiful, fragrant decoration of gardens, meadows or windowsills in the home. A bouquet of freshly cut flowers placed on the living room table brings a fresh, positive atmosphere. And did you know that many flowers are safe to eat? They are tasty and smell beautiful, plus they have numerous health properties. They can be made into an infusion, added whole to dishes or treated as a spice. Edible flowers - where to buy? Which flowers are edible? These questions will be answered in today's article.

Summary:

  1. Even in ancient times, they knew that certain flowers could be eaten
  2. Properties of edible flowers, vitamin and mineral content
  3. Which flowers are edible?
  4. Where to buy edible flowers?

Even in ancient times, they knew that certain flowers could be eaten

Edible flowers - can be eaten fresh or dried, and are also found in candied, crystallised or pickled form. They are used to make infusions, syrups, tinctures, wines, warm dishes, soups, desserts, added to tea, ice cream, cakes and salads. Although the use of flowers in the kitchen has recently become increasingly popular, which is linked - apart from the obvious aesthetic aspects - to the fashion for healthy, natural food, flowers have actually been present in the culinary arts since ancient times. The first records of the use of edible flowers can be found in books from the Middle East, dating back to 140 BC. Rose and orange tree flowers were most commonly used, and their properties were exploited in herbal medicine. In China and Japan, chrysanthemum has been used in dishes and infusions for centuries until now. It is particularly loved by the Japanese, who regard it as a symbol of long life and high social standing. It is added to appetisers, soups and salads. Tea is brewed from dried chrysanthemum flowers. From the Land of the Rising Sun, we are also familiar with the taste of green tea with jasmine flowers, which together make a refreshing, aromatic and highly ethereal combination. In ancient Rome, borage flowers and leaves were added to the wine of soldiers to increase their prowess before battle. On the other hand, rose petals and violets were added to dishes, and lavender was one of the ingredients in sauces. Marigold flowers were added to salads in medieval France, while in Poland, rose petals have been ground into jam since medieval times. Nowadays, herbal infusions of lime or chamomile flowers are popular in most of homes.

Properties of edible flowers, vitamin and mineral content

Edible flowers are characterised by their high sensory appeal, consisting of shape, colour, taste and aroma. They attract attention with their aesthetic appearance, beautiful colours, interesting flavours and fresh, exotic aromas. Based on research into consumer attitudes and behaviour, it has been noted that yellow, orange and blue flowers attract particular attention from consumers - they stand out and make an infusion with them or a dish decorated with them take on a unique character. Importantly, edible flowers do not just look beautiful in a cup or on a plate as a decoration for infusions or dishes. What makes more and more people reach for this unusual addition are the dietary and health-promoting properties. Edible flowers are a natural source of biologically active compounds important for the human body. They are low in calories and contain a range of vitamins (A, C and E), minerals, essential oils, fibre, mucous substances, carotenoids and anthocyanins, as well as compounds that exhibit antioxidant properties. The flowers are used in herbal medicine. For centuries, lime blossom infusions or syrups have been widely used to warm up during colds. Elderflower syrup is popular, which has a cleansing and strengthening effect on the body. An infusion of fennel flowers, on the other hand, relieves babies of painful colic.

Edible flowers

Which flowers are edible?

Since flowers are so healthy and contain so many valuable ingredients, can we eat them all? Which flowers are edible? It is estimated that we can safely use around eighty species of flowers as food. Some of the most popular include: marigold, pumpkin flowers, rose, begonia, elderflower, pansy, cornflower, bergamot, chrysanthemum, lavender, daisy, jasmine flowers, chamomile... It is very important to remember that although the number of flower species we can eat is quite considerable, not all flowers are edible and some may even be dangerous to our health. The job of plants in nature is to produce fruit and seeds to prolong their existence. Probably for this reason, many flowers produce substances to protect themselves from flower loss. Some of these substances may even be poisonous. The way in which the plants that have edible flowers are grown for consumption is also of great importance. They are grown quite differently from flowers intended for decorative, bouquet-making purposes, which in turn are often treated with chemicals. It is very important that flowers intended for consumption are picked at the right time of day, at the right temperature, must not be damp or wilted, and should be free of insects and signs of disease. Some flowers have bitter parts - the stamens or stalks - so are not suitable for eating whole. When buying edible flowers, be sure to check their source.

Where to buy edible flowers?

Edible flowers are a great and healthy way to add variety to dishes and infusions. They are popular with lovers of yerba mate, teas and herbal infusions who want to experiment with flavour in the kitchen. Edible flowers work well for decorating dishes and desserts. Where to buy them? Due to their growing popularity, edible flowers can increasingly be bought in supermarkets, in the health food sections. However, it is difficult to get good quality in this case if they are sold in bulk. Herbal shops are an alternative - they are usually small shops whose range can be quite limited and edible flowers are not always available. Where is the best place to buy it? In our online shop! Through our partnership with the Mary Rose brand, we offer the highest quality dried edible flowers from all over the world. They are sourced from reliable, trusted suppliers who ensure that the finest plants go into each package. Mary Rose's range includes: cornflower petals, marigold, rose, hibiscus, jasmine and prickly pear flowers. Packaged in aesthetically pleasing, beautifully designed packaging. Perfect with yerba mate, guayusa, tea, dishes, salads or desserts, also great as a stand-alone infusion. They will transform every infusion and dish you make with them!


Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_flower.
  2. M. Śmiechowska, Factors that influence attractiveness of edible flowers, Engineering Sciences and Technologies, 2018.
  3. A. Stefaniak, M. Grzeszczuk, Characterisation of some ornamental plant species with edible flowers, Annales UMCS, 2015.

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