Edible Flowers

The scent of blooming jasmine, the sight of a well kept rose garden… and the taste of a marigold?

Yes, you read that correctly.  I wrote, the taste of a marigold.

I first experienced the idea of eating flowers in a very obvious place- the produce section of my local Whole Foods Market.

No risk there; clearly they were meant for eating and preservative and toxin free (as opposed to if I’d randomly picked and  eaten flowers from a walk through a forest!).

I brought them home, gave them a quick rinse in cold water and then proceeded to produce the most beautiful salad I’d ever made!

I dug a little deeper- not into my garden, but into the internet, to learn more about what these lovely, tasty little buds would provide from a nutrition perspective.

Not surprisingly, they all have health benefits, just like spices and  herbs.

A few noteworthy examples include:

  • Lotus is also known to be an antioxidant (reduces the damaging free radicals in the body) and researches have shown that the lotus rhizome extracts have the highest antioxidant properties. In addition it is also cardiotonic, hepatoprotective (protects the liver), reduces cholesterol and acts as an astringent. 
  • Dandelions have been used as a digestive aid as it galvanizes the salivary and gastric juices.  Rich in vitamins such as vitamins A, B complex, C and D and minerals such as potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron,  some say it is a“blood purifier.” 
  • Borage is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) besides being rich in fatty acids such as palmitic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, erucic acid and nervonic acid. It is also used in the management of a number of inflammatory conditions including arthritis, atopic dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), fever, diarrhea, heart ailments, and of the lungs and respiratory passages, regulates the hormonal and metabolic system besides regulating the flow of milk in nursing mothers and is used in the treatment of depression.
  • Roses contain vitamin C, malic and citric acids, antioxidants, phytochemicals and bioflavonoids.

Also, check out What’s Cooking America for ideas on how to incorporate more edible flowers into your diet!