Even in ancient times, flowers were used in cooking. From the Greek, Chinese and Roman civilizations, they reached our table. Some we eat and do not know that it is a flower, for example, broccoli, saffron, cauliflower, capers, artichokes. Italian cuisine is tightly connected with pumpkin flowers, and Indian uses petals of the finest roses.
At present, about fifty edible flowers are known. From the point of view of nutritional value they contain a lot of nutritious and useful substances, proteins, vitamins, minerals. Moreover, they have a huge amount of antioxidants and at the same time they practically do not contain fats.
Edible flowers are an indispensable attribute of modern cooking, they are used with pleasure by the most eminent chefs, returning to forgotten traditions, creating new interesting recipes. They give any dish a special taste, a beautiful and mouth-watering look. Therefore, it makes sense to use food colors in cooking, making them more colorful and exquisite.
Magnificent tasty food with flower petals fascinates not only with its beauty, but also with an indescribable taste that can surprise even skeptics.
What kind of dishes do they put flowers in?
Edible flowers are very often used in salads, cakes, desserts, added to cocktails and teas. However, one must understand that not all varieties can be eaten, there are also poisonous flowers. Therefore, before you start actively using them in cooking, you need to study this question in order to be guided by what flowers you can safely take, and which ones should be abandoned.
Follow these rules:
- Eat only edible flowers. If you are in doubt, better study the issue in more detail.
- It is best to eat self-grown flowers without chemicals. Sometimes they are sold in supermarkets.
- Categorically you can not eat flowers from flower shops, because they are processed by a lot of chemicals. Do not also collect flowers along the roads and in the squares.
- Eat only the petals, removing the stems, stamens and pestle. If you are allergic, then it is better to introduce gradually this product into your diet. At the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease immediately abandon the novelty.
Observing these simple rules, you can please yourself with new floral dishes.
What kind of flowers are edible?
Let's look at some edible flowers, what they taste, where they can be applied.
Pansies - a beautiful flower with a sweet herbaceous taste, irreplaceable when decorating dishes.
Acacia - very fragrant and sweet. It is fried in deep-fried or candied, its taste with honey is especially interesting.
Basil - food is used not only for its leaves, but for flowers. Their taste is identical, but the flowers are slightly weaker.
Elderberry - only edible flowers and ripe berries, otherwise it is poisonous, because with it you need to be very careful. Small inflorescences are put in salads from fruits, omelets, pancakes.
Cornflower - has a grassy taste.
Carnation - its petals are sweet, with a pleasant gentle fragrance. Used for desserts, and in dried form are indispensable for making sauces to white meat or fish. It is necessary to remove the white part of the petal, it gives the bitterness.
Hibiscus - used for tea. Petals have a sour taste. Well combined hibiscus with blueberries in sweet dessert dishes.
Geranium - has a bright color and bitter taste, is used for soups, salads and for decorating ice cream.
Desserts with flowers
Nowadays it is very popular to use edible flowers for cake. The result is a work of art, not a simple dessert. Flowers for decoration choose only the best, necessarily grown without the use of chemistry. Petals for decoration can be covered with sugar. It turns out not only delicious, but also beautiful.
You can freeze small edible flowers in the water. For this purpose it is convenient to use ice containers. You need to put one flower per cube. Such ice can be safely added to summer cocktails.
With the help of flowers you can make flavored sugar. Especially fragrant rose petals will do this.
Edible flowers for salads
The use of flowers in cooking has already been tested for centuries. If you finally decided on flower experiments, then you must choose the right flowers. For food you need to take only tested plants.
In addition, they must necessarily be fresh, just collected. This is an obligatory condition, otherwise they will look ugly and will spoil the appearance of any dish. Yes, and taste may not change for the better.
If you want to keep the flower for one or two days, then the generative parts of flowering plants can be put in a glass of cold water, like a normal cut flower. The petals and inflorescences themselves can be stored in the refrigerator in a bag for a day. It should be noted that most of the flowers can not be frozen.
But the leaves of flowers are better stored in bags, and are amenable to freezing. In general, each plant is individually. As a rule, in many flowers the white base of the petal has a bitter taste, and therefore it is better to remove them.
All inflorescences before use should be rinsed from dust, and then dried with paper towels. You need to be very careful with them, they are gentle enough. But to the leaves you can not show so much delicacy, they coarser and calmly withstand washing and drying.
Primroses and sugar icing
As we have already explained, flowers are not only an ornament, but also an edible product. So you need to use them safely, adding bright colors to life.
For example, flowers of lavender are put in biscuits, rose petals - one of the ingredients in the preparation of rahat-lukuma, and nasturtium is so beautiful that it will proudly adorn any summer salad.
If you want to use edible flowers to decorate dishes, then for a longer preservation of their appearance you can use sugar glazing or crystallization.
Primroslows are very good in this sense. They are very beautiful and bright, but nothing interesting is interesting. But in sugar they become a wonderful sweet adornment, which will become the pride of the most exquisite dessert.
Beautiful spring primroses are one of the first early flowers. They look great in the sugar glaze. How to cook it? Everything is simple enough.
It is necessary to whip the egg white with a teaspoon of water. Next, with a soft brush, you need to smear the solution with a solution on all sides. And then place it in the sugar. It is necessary to achieve such a state that the entire flower is covered with sweet crystals. Next, put it on the parchment and let it dry. Primrose dry for a few days, but denser plants may need more time.
After the flowers solidify, they can decorate the cake, dessert, pastries. Any dish with them acquires such a springy lightness and refinement that it is simply not possible to describe in words. It's actually very beautiful.
You can sugar and mint leaves. The cake, decorated with leaves and flowers, is incredibly bright.
The most beautiful flower is a rose. Her petals have long become the most common decoration of desserts. But it is used not only for jewelry, but also as an independent ingredient. Remember, for example, jam from a rose. His recipe came to us back in Soviet times from Bulgaria, where sweetness is a national pride. Many of our sweets also had such a jam to taste, especially since it is not at all difficult to prepare, but it has an unusual taste and aroma.
Rose petals are added to tea, desserts, jelly, drinks, tinctures.
Flowers for salads
To use edible flowers for salads is for a long time already not exotic. Now there are many recipes for such dishes. The most eminent chefs vying with each other demonstrate miracle recipes. Let us give an example.
Spring salad with flowers. Ingredients:
- Lettuce Salad.
- Spoonful of plum mustard.
- Compote of mango - 3 tbsp. L.
- Vinegar from the flowers of primroses.
- Olive oil.
- Flowers of daisies - 2 tbsp. L.
- Flowers of violets - 2 tbsp. L.
- Primrose flowers - 2 tbsp. L.
Salad dressed with a sauce of mustard, compote, vinegar, oil, pepper and salt. All ingredients are mixed.
Salad leaves are washed and cut, and then greased with sauce. On top of the salad is decorated with flowers and served on the table.
Avocado with clover
Avocado and clover are an interesting combination. Light summer salad is very easy to prepare. And the sauce for this salad has an interesting taste and makes it very unusual.
- Avocado ripe - 2 pcs.
- Pink clover (flower with stem) - 4 pcs.
- Cream - 50 g.
- Lemon juice.
- Soy sauce.
- Wine vinegar (white).
Lettuce leaves are washed and laid out on a dish. Purified avocado is cut, the bone is extracted. Then cut into thin slices and laid out on a salad.
To make the sauce, mix lemon juice with cream, add soy sauce, vinegar. Add salt and pepper. The resulting mixture to fill the salad. And decorate it with flowers from above.
Such interesting and unusual dishes can be prepared with edible flowers. If you have not decided to use them in food, then to begin with, experiment with decorating them with desserts and dishes. Who knows, maybe the next step is to prepare a salad of flowers.