Edible flowers make the meal colorful and more appealing. Yet they provide you with lots of health benefits as well. There are various kinds of edible flowers established in different cultures.
You Eat with Your Eyes
Many things associated with the meal make multisensory dining possible. Even though food is mainly judged by its taste, there are other ways to make it more tempting. It can be the sizzling of meat in the pan or an aromatic chocolate shake.
But the usual concepts and cooking methods do not involve other senses as much as the visual appearance and taste. What looks appealing usually tastes delicious. Perhaps, this is the reason the focus while cooking is to make the food look good.
What Makes the Food Look Attractive?
The main aspects of food that make it look attractive are texture, color, proportions, and presentation. The colors make the plate look beautiful yet appealing. Hence, you can add colors to your plate in many ways, for example, adding fruits and veggies.
Adding edible flowers is another way to make food look beautiful. There are different types of edible flowers used in other regions and cultures worldwide.
This post from Mind Body Green highlights some attractive edible flowers that you can use to decorate your plate.
Health Benefits of Edible Flowers
Since these flowers are grown in a safe and pesticide-free environment, they are safe to eat. Also, it is better to choose the ones which are intensely colored.
According to nutritionist Molly Knudsen, edible flowers are antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties too.
When it comes to gut-friendly foods, edible flowers are one of the choices that help in improving your gut. Although they have no direct association with the gut, they contain compounds that help in the digestion process.
Some of the flowers are well-known for gut relief, like lavender, chamomile, etc.
The usual way of consuming these flowers is to add them to your tea or steeping them in hot water. Whether you add them to your meal or take them in your tea, they will benefit your digestive system.
Top Picks for Edible Flowers
Some commonly used edible flowers are:
Foeniculum vulgare, commonly known as Fennel, is suitable for improving digestion and reducing gut irritation. Besides, it helps to relax the muscles that are linked with the digestive tract. Therefore, people make fennel tea to ease gut irritation.
Moreover, it is rich in fibers and has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
The addition of Fennel to your salads enhances the taste and adds color to your plate. You can add yellow fennel flowers to your soups to add more flavor and make them easily digestible.
Calendula officinalis, commonly known as calendula petals, can have beneficial effects on your skin. Hence, skincare products include them for enhanced nourishment.
Marigold, which is a calendula blossom, is commonly used in meals to produce an anti-inflammatory effect. It also makes the food look tempting.
Its use dates back to ancient Chinese and Ayurveda medicines for centuries because of the anti-inflammatory properties.
You can sprinkle them on the top of your meal, soup, or salad.
Taraxacum officinale or dandelion blossoms are golden blossoms with lots of nutritional benefits. Their properties make them likable for herbalists as well as cuisine artists.
There are anti-inflammatory benefits that further support the liver and improve its functioning. Also, these flowers consist of bioactive compounds that are good for your gut.
There are various methods of adding dandelion flowers to your meals. Dandelion flower cookies are another addition to the list. Furthermore, soups and bitters are also common for the intake of a dandelion flower.
Matricaria chamomilla, publicly known as chamomile, is famous for its therapeutic properties. It also helps to soothe inflammation. Besides, chamomile flowers benefit digestive health as they reduce gastric disturbances like diarrhea, indigestion, and other digestion-related problems.
Moreover, chamomile flowers can help treat vomiting, nausea, and motion sickness.
Chamomile oatmeal is beneficial to reduce anxiety, headache, and menstrual cramps. Adding these flowers to your smoothies not only enhances the flavor but also makes it healthier.
Nasturtium, chemically known as Tropaeolum majus, is famous for its medicinal benefits. Traditional medicines of the mid-east include fleshy flowers to enhance gut health.
Medical science uses nasturtium in the manufacturing of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial medicines. Besides, the antioxidant properties help in treating digestive problems.
Its taste is a little spicy and peppery. Hence it can be a good option for garnishing the food. Adding vinegar to it can enhance the flavor.
It is somehow difficult for an ordinary person to decide which flowers are edible and which are not. To make sure, always double-check with a trusted source.
You can consult a nutritionist to find out the correct flowers. Moreover, always buy them from a reliable store or a trustworthy seller. The ‘edible’ mark confirms the safety of its edibility.
Try not to buy flowers from gardens or florists as they use pesticides to protect the flowers from rotting. Similarly, avoid eating flowers garnished on the platter served in restaurants because most chefs are unaware of whether the flowers are edible.
Just because the chef used it never confirms its edibility.
Edible flowers can be a healthy addition to your meal. They contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, and flavonoids that lower the risk of severe health problems, including cancer and heart diseases.
These flowers enhance the color and aroma of your food and make it appealing. The best time to pick these flowers is in the morning time when the color and flavor of these flowers are at the peak. These flowers are nature’s gift to humans in many ways.