Blossoms are not only beautiful; many are also tasty, nutritious and can fill you with their energetic goodness. While you can, and should, try growing them for yourself, these days you will find suppliers, growers and stores sharing edible flowers amongst the fruit and vegetables. Have a look in your area as there are even specialists that have made edible blossoms their only or main business, such is the growing popularity and interest in flower feasting. Not all flowers are edible and some are not safe, so be sure you identify correctly and only ever eat organic.
You can easily add flowers that are edible to your existing recipes, especially salads and sandwiches and naturally they make delightful and yummy decorations for finger foods and sweet treats. The energetic qualities of flowers will also be imparted when using them in your foods. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus), for example, have a zesty pepper-like flavour that makes a sandwich or salad zing but they may also give you added vitality, confidence and a boost in creative thinking. Sprinkle pretty and nectar-sweet Heartease (Viola tricolor), over your desserts, drinks and vegetable dishes to impart peace of mind, comfort and to add an element of merriment. Try these easy Flower Fest Recipes to add some Flower Power to your day -
Blossom confetti risotto
This delicious and nutritious rice-based dish is also a delight on the dinner table with its kaleidoscope of floral goodness. Select a brilliant mixture flowers and petals or perhaps one of two with properties/energies you are wanting to add to your dish.
YOU WILL NEED
2 - 4 cloves garlic (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Arborio rice
up to 4 cups of warm stock (vegetable or meat)
*1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup finely grated parmesan (optional)
a good handful of chopped edible flowers/petals (see list below for suggestions)
Finely chop all the white end, a little of the green of your leek and sauté in the oil until translucent over a medium heat. Finely chop the garlic and add, cooking further for another few minutes, constantly stirring. Reduce the heat, add the butter and then the Arborio rice and finely chopped thyme. Pour in the wine/stock substitution and stir constantly while the rice absorbs all the liquid. Keep adding stock slowly and stirring constantly until the rice is cooked. You will want a creamy texture and the rice to be cooked to your liking. Take off the heat and stir in your flowers/petals and if desired, grated parmesan.
*additional stock can be substituted for wine
Borage and nasturtium fritters
A really delicious all-day breakfast favourite made floral-wonderful with the addition of purple borage and sunny nasturtiums. You can substitute these blossoms for other edible flowers, just watch the flavours as more savoury flavours will work best.
YOU WILL NEED
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup milk
2 cans corn kernels (400g)
1 tablespoon butter
a dash of olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped borage flowers
1 tablespoon chopped borage leaves
2 tablespoons chopped nasturtiums petals
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk and then pour slowly into the flour, stirring constantly until well combined. Drain the corn well and add along with fetta, flowers and leaves. Melt butter and olive oil in a large frypan and create the fritters by dropping ¼ cup sized balls into pan. Flatten to about 2cm and cook until golden, flip to cook through other side. Serve with your selection of lemon wedges, sweet chilli sauce, hummus or smashed avocado.
These are just some of the many edible blossoms you may like to grow, find and try, their flavours and their energies. Ensure that only organic and properly identified flowers and their parts are used.
Borage (Borago officinalis) - fresh bity cucumber – optimism
Basil (Ocimum basilicuum) – aromatic and slightly sweet - preservation
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) -zesty pepper - understanding
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) - aromatic and sweet - relaxation
Cherry (Prunus serrulate) – sweet and aromatic – harmony
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) – garlic and sweet – long life
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – nectar-sweet - healing
Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) – sweet – inner-strength
Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) – sweet and slightly tart – amiability
Heartsease (Viola tricolor) – nectar-sweet - comfort
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) – slightly sour - joy
Lavender (Lavandula) – aromatic - cleansing
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) – peppery - vitality
Orchid (Dendrobium) – slightly bitter – self-love
Rose (Rosa) – aromatically sweet – love
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) – slightly bitter - assertiveness
Violet (Viola odorata) – softly sweet – protection
Violet, native (Viola hederaceae) – sweet – self-reliance
Grow a Flower Feast Salad Booster Planter Box
This box could be mounted to a window that enjoys full sun throughout the day or placed in a sunny spot in your garden, balcony or courtyard. All are easy to maintain plants that will give salads a yummy and lovely floral boost. Pick as flowers bloom, wash well, chop and toss into your salads and salad fillings in wraps and sandwiches. Grow organic. This includes potting mix selection, pest control and fertilisers. Any flowers could be grown, but try these for an easy start - Chives, Borage, Native Violet, Nasturtium, Basil.
Cheralyn Darcey is a botanical history author & artist with a passion for flowers. An organic gardener, she is also a florist, presenter and teacher as well as being the best-selling author and illustrator of nine titles (books and oracle decks) exploring the connections between flowers and us including the popular reference book, ‘Flowerpaedia, 1,000 flowers and their meanings’, Rockpool Publishing 2017. www.cheralyndarcey.com