Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The power of flowers (and how to use them!)

A flower is nature’s way of offering the miraculous cycle of rebirth. It is often the most delicate part of a plant, fragile due to the amount of energy being dedicated to it. From seed to plant to flower, it is this peak energy that we are nurturing our bodies with when we choose to eat flowers. Not surprisingly, they are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

They say that the food on your plate should reflect a host of colors, indicative of the nutrients and vitamins you are about to eat. Some food for thought: borage flowers are one of the few naturally occurring blue food items! Borage flowers have a faint cucumber taste and go great atop gazpacho soup (a tomato based soup).

You can get as creative as you want, but flowers make for a stunningly beautiful garnish. Green salads suddenly pop with color and the flowers can be used to enhance to or imbue flavors ranging from the subtle to the surprising. For instance, nasturtium flowers can be found in a vast range of colors from rich ivories, bursting yellows, intense oranges, to deep mahogany reds, and they have a spicy, peppery taste, most similar to arugula. Their bright and spicy bite is a wonderful kick to any salad. Regardless of your tastes, you cannot go wrong adding edible flowers to salads – flowers already naturally look so good with green!

Another way to use flowers is by stuffing them; squash blossoms are an excellent choice to be stuffed and/or fried. They also have a creamy quality, making them an excellent milk/cheese substitute if you want to make a dish vegan. Lastly, flowers add an incredible dimension to desserts. The delicate qualities of both are a perfect combination. On the farm, we refer to the flowers of ginger root as ‘velvet ginger’. They have large, dreamy white petals with an iridescent sheen that just sparkles. To the touch, they feel velvety smooth and the flavor of them is silky smooth, fresh, with a crisp ginger flavor. Absolutely delicious.

Flowers elevate any dish. They showcase nature at her best and add an elegance and beauty that is unmatched by any other garnish. They are rich in nutrients and they bring life to a dish. Afterall, flowers are key for nature’s rebirth cycle!

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