Types of Edible Flowers and Their Properties
By Nmami Agarwal
Inviting flowers (edible) in your kitchen to be a part of numerous dishes and desserts might sound surprising to lot of people. But there are variety of edible flowers combined to create the scrumptious experience right in your plate sprinkling their delightful essence and sheer beauty! Collaborating edible flowers in cooking is an exotic act that have been implemented since 60’s. Whether candied over cake or infused in some dishes, cocktail, ice cubes or simply garnished over salad, the listed blossoms promise to add savory touch to your meal.
- Rose:Rose, the most easily available and recognized flower that is commonly seen in the form of gulkand, gulabjal, thandai and jamlike paste kewra filled in pan for its natural coolant. Darker the rose petals are intense the flavor will be. Usefulness of rose goes way beyond from calming and soothing environment to an additional lilting flavor to dishes such as Mughal cuisines. Therose has medicinal properties and contains vitamin c, pectin and citric acids. Its petals have cooling and astringent properties, helps the body to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, whereas rose water reduces inflammation, soreness in throat and mild sedative improves body’s natural immunity.
- Hibiscus: Known by plenty of names depending upon the region where it is grown, hibiscus is a flower that has been used from ages not only in ayurveda but also in multiple dishes around the country. Its sorrel leafs are added to soups, tea, curries, salads, chutneys, jam, cooling drinks and to fruit cakes as well for sweet-sour taste. Widely popular for its vitamin c, minerals and hydro citric acid which helps absorbing carbohydrates. Hibiscus petals are used to extract liquid out of it that can help treat a variety of conditions like high blood pressure in type 2 diabetic person, upset stomach, fever, bacterial infection and holds the key of anticancer properties.
- Lavender:Lavender flower, a fragrant one and yet edible that is used to add flavor in baked goods and many other recipes for its sweetness.Fresh flowers seem to have a sweeter flavor, making them a better choice for making desserts, honey, sauces, beverages, various teas, or for salad dressings. Also, it serves many benefits when included in your meal plan with an access over vitamin A, iron, calcium, lower calories and fat with a floral scent. Due to its relaxant properties, possibility of enhanced medication also exist that treats central nervous system depression. prevents digestive issues, promotes heart health, have anti-inflammatory qualities, treats restless nights, good for skin and hair as well.
Note: Consider avoiding the use of lavender flower in any form, if you suffer from pain, anxiety and takes medication to control it.
- Lotus:Being a symbol of purity, Lotus has been used in traditional medicine and cuisine for centuries.All its parts are edible, dried flowers are used as seasoning, stem used in salad and seeds are roasted, candied or used in soups and sauces directly at times.Lotus is a considered a great source of protein that has also been used in tonic and tea. Its seeds are beneficial for kidney, spleen, and heart, leaves and root extracts help regulate timely menstrual cycle, stop excess bleeding and improves over all blood circulation in body.
- Sunflowers: The brightest and most popular summer flower that can be eaten entirely while enjoying its nutrients in all the stages of life, from seeds to mature and dry. Seeds of it are grounded to make flour out of it for breads and cake also, can be eaten dries, raw, cooked and roasted. Petals are coked and eaten like artichokes. Sunflower seeds are the notorious snack containing rich source of protein, vitamins A, B, and E, nitrogen, calcium, and iron. Apart from that, several health benefits can be reaped out of sunflower oil that improves digestion, prevents heart diseases and retains skin moisture.
- Chamomile: Daisy like flower with feathery petals has been used from centuries in different ways while cooking such as tea, used with baked potatoes, chopped up to stir in butter or sour cream and smoothies and Its fresh flowers are also used for garnishing over salad. Chamomile flowers are among the high source of antioxidants that fights anxiety and depression, has pain reducing abilities and anti- inflammatory, improves skin health and heart health.
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