Flowers of many plants are being used since antiquity in traditional cooking, to bring flavor, taste and color into the food preparations. They include vegetable flowers, herbal flowers, fruit flowers and ornamental flowers known for their culinary or medicinal properties.
Today eating fresh flowers are becoming popular much as a garnish but also as an integral part of a dish. Squash flowers can be fried or stuffed, other edible flowers like Rose and Pansy are candied; many more are served frozen in ice cubes; made into jellies and jams; used in teas and other beverages; added to cheese spreads, herbal butters; and among ingredients for baking, syrup, flower-scented sugars and new salad dressings.
Nonetheless some flowers are toxic, others may be edible only after appropriate preparations.
• Remember that not every flower is edible. • Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside. • Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers, they might contain pesticides. • Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers. • Flowers served with food at a restaurant might not be edible. • Never use non-edible flowers for garnish on plates or for decoration. • Prepare correctly your fresh edible flowers. How to prepare flowers:
1- Shake well each flower to dislodge insects hidden in the petal folds.
2- Separate the flower petals from the rest of the flower and keep the edible part just prior to use.
2- Wash the flowers by putting them in a strainer placed in a large bowl of water.
3- Drain and allow to dry on absorbent paper.
4- Do not expose to direct sunlight.
Common edible flowers
•Artichoke (Cynara scolymus, flower bud) Broccoli and Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea, flower buds) •Caper (Capparis spinosa, flower buds) Chamomile (Chamaemelum noblis, flowers for tea in moderation) •Chives (Allium tuberosum, lowers or buds) •Chrysanthemum* (Chrysanthemum coronarium, petals) •Citrus blossoms (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit) •Clover (Trifolium spp, flowerheads, soaked before or boiled) Daisies (Bellis perennis, quills) •Dandelions* (Taraxacum officinale, leaves, roots, petals, buds) •Daylilies (Hemerocallis buds, flowers, petals) Elderflower (Sambucus spp, blossoms for drink) •Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, edible garnish) Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica, petals ) •Jasmine (Jasminum officinale, is only edible species and for tea) •Lilac (Syringa vulgaris in salads) Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus blossoms and seeds) •Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana flowers, petals) •Pot Marigold- Signet (Calendula officinalis, petals with white heel removed) •Roses (Rosa, petals with white heel removed, rose hips) •Sunflowers* (Helianthus annuus, petals, seeds) •Violet (Viola tricolor leaf and flowers in salads, candied flowers for pastry decoration, small amounts) •Zucchini blossoms (Curcubita pepo blossoms) * Only the petals are edible, pollen is highly allergenic
Flowers to decorate a dessert - Apple blossom, clover, mint flowers, pansies, rose buds and petals, violets.
Flowers you can eat whole -Alliums (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives), Basil, Clover, Dill, Fennel, Honeysuckle, Johnny-Jump-Up (Viola tricolor), Lavender, Mint, Rosemary, Runner bean, Sage, Savory, Thyme.
For recommended plants with edible flowers:
For vitamins in flowers:
For a list of researched edible flowers:
Persian Honey Almond Brittle
How to make Sohaan Assali
1 cup fine sugar
3 tablespoon thick honey
4 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 cup hot water or rose water
1 teaspoon saffron
1 -1/2cup sliced blanched almonds
1/4 cup sliced unsalted pistachios
Dissolve ground saffron in hot water.
Dissolve sugar in hot water- or rose water- and add honey and cooking oil.
Cook the mixture over high heat for 15 minutes or until sugar turns golden, stirring gently a few times.
The mix becomes brittle.
Add almonds stirring twice until almonds also turn golden.
Avoid too much stirring or almonds will lose shape.
Add saffron and mix gently and lower the heat.
Pour a teaspoon of your Sohaan mix on an oiled flat tray , at this stage the mix should become solid quickly.
Keep the mixture over low heat.
Continue to pour teaspoon portions on the tray and place a few slices of pistachio on top.
Allow to cool.
Separate the dried Sohaan from the tray using a knife and place in a tight box.
Keep in dry place.
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. Tea has historically been promoted for having a variety of positive health benefits. The "herbal tea" usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant.
Tea is prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the tea plant, Camelia sinensis, native to East and South Asia. The beverage likely originated in China with the earliest records of tea consumption dating to the 10th century BC. It was introduced to Portuguese in 16th century, became popular in Britain later and there from was introduced to India for cultivation.
Tea plants are propagated from seed and cutting; it takes about 4 to 12 years for a tea plant to bear seed, and about three years before a new plant is ready for harvesting. Tea plants require rainfall and acidic soils. Many high-quality tea plants are cultivated at elevations of up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level: at these heights, the plants grow more slowly and acquire a better flavor.
A tea plant will grow into a tree of up to 16 m (52 ft) if left undisturbed, but cultivated plants are pruned for ease of plucking. Only the top 1-2 inches of the mature plant are picked. These buds and leaves are called "flushes“. A tea plant will grow a new flush every seven to 15 days during the growing season, and leaves that are slow in development always produce better-flavored teas.
Teas are divided into categories based on how they are processed. There are at least six different types of tea: white, yellow, green, oolong and red and black. Some varieties, such as traditional oolong tea and Pu-erh tea, a post-fermented tea, can be used medicinally.
Tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant. In a freshly picked tea leaf, it can comprise up to 30% of the dry weight. Catechins are highest in concentration in white and green teas, while black tea has substantially fewer due to its oxidative preparation. Caffeine constitutes about 3% of tea's dry weight, depending on type, brand, and brewing method.
Tea also contains small amounts of theobromine and theophylline. Fluoride and aluminium have also been found to occur in tea, with certain types of brick tea made from old leaves and stems having the highest levels. This occurs due to the tea plant's high sensitivity to and absorption of environmental pollutants.
The widespread form chai comes from persianچای chay. This derives from Mandarin chá, which passed overland to Central Asia and Persia, where it picked up the Persian grammatical suffix -yi before passing on to Russian, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, etc. The words that various languages use for "tea" reveal where those nations first acquired their tea and tea culture.