Did you hear about flowers for your kitchen? Flowers are for love. Flowers are to express feelings. Flowers are for food! Yes, what you have heard is right because edible flowers can give your recipes a quirky, tasty and sumptuous feel! Moreover, rather than adding preservatives for the color and flavor to the food, you can use flowers for the kitchen that are organic, rich in antioxidants and offer remedial measures as well.  In fact, using flowers and plants in cooking has been prevalent in India, Nepal, and China since times immemorial. If you aren’t used to the idea of using flowers for food, it might take you some time to acquire the taste of certain herbs and kitchen flowers.  Here is a list of some flowers that you can introduce to your kitchen and grow in your backyard.

Rose:

Rose is not just the Universal language of love! It is antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, hypnotic and has cleansing effects as well. In summers, Indians use rose flower petals for sherbets and jams, which help them to combat heat and dehydration that comes along with it. Rose is alkaline in nature and also helps people with acidity problem. If you have trouble in sleeping, you can inhale rose water steam to calm you down and help you have a good night’s sleep. Rose petals are also a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins. You can also make rose tea to help with your indigestion and sleep problems. If you are not able to find roses for your kitchen from your back yard then you can buy Roses online from Arena Flowers.

Basil:

Basil is considered to be a holy plant in India, and its air-purifying properties have been mentioned in abundance in Yoga and Ayurveda. Moreover, it is the leaves and flowers of the plant that can help you keep a cough, seasonal allergies, sleeplessness and anxiety at bay. It is one plant that rolls in almost every health benefit you could imagine. You can use the leaves for tea; swallow them with water the first thing in the water or use in the dishes to give them a strong flavor. It was suggested some time ago that basil leaves shouldn’t be chewed as it can cause damage to enamel. However, it has not been proved scientifically, but if you could just swallow basil leaves with water it would be better. No side effects have been reported due to the usage of this plant in the recipe so far.

Cilantro / Coriander:

Coriander leaves have a strong flavor and equally strong health benefits. Make chutney of coriander leaves mixed with mint and basil to keep yourself cool in the scorching heat. You can sprinkle dry leaves on curries, salads or vegetable dishes for that after flavor and fragrance.

Fennel:

Fennel is a very well-known kitchen herb that is mainly used to flavor fish or pork but its benefits aren’t just limited to the mere flavor. Boil its seeds in the water and drink the water at night or first thing in the morning before you start your day to improve your digestion or improve stomach issues. The water can also help you in achieving weight loss. You can also use fennel water to your tea to make it full of flavor. Having fennel seed water or tea can relieve common cold symptoms and cough.

Peonies:

Chinese treat peonies as a tea-time delicacy.  The water of peony is used by senior citizens to prompt better digestion and stay healthy. You can use peonies as an icing on the cake and for punches and lemonade to add an extra appeal.  Summer salad looks even better and cooler with a garnishing of peonies’ petals.

 

Tips for Using Flowers in the Kitchen:

  • Eating flowers can be a fun experience, but you need to be little careful before you add them to your food because some part of plants and flowers can be toxic and can cause serious allergies, digestion issues and in some severe cases, even result in the death. It is not to scare you off because you just need to be little cautious as you would be with mushrooms or fish while making sushi.
  • Know your allergies beforehand. It is better to start with a little to not go wrong. If you start slowly, you can save resources and understand the taste as well.
  • Only eat flowers that are known to be edible. You can check with a gardener, botanist or the internet for the ready references. However, in the end, let it be your taste buds and body to decide what is working for you.
  • It is suggested that you only use organic flowers or the ones that you have grown in your garden. The flowers of the bouquet you have received as a gift or the ones you can get from the florist nearby would be most probably sprayed with pesticides and almost close to being dead, leaving them with no original flavor or goodness, whatsoever.
  • Roadside flowers are also a big no, because of the pollution they are unknowingly subjected to.
  • You are only supposed to eat the petals. The rest of the part of a flower such as stamens or pistils aren’t considered edible.
  • Cut flowers should be kept fresh and rolled in a damp towel. Refrigerate the flowers in an airtight box and take them out only when needed. Ice water can work wonder and make them come alive.

Using flowers in the recipes isn’t new. So, don’t worry about using and treating it as a new-age alternative science that yet needs to be established. However, go easy on the sampling as per your taste, allergies and digestion issues- if any.

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