Perfectly Edible…

There are many beautiful flowers, indigenous and exotic, which are perfectly edible – in the true sense of
the word! You may even have them growing in your garden. Here is a short list of some of these beauties you can use to decorate your salads or add to your baking. They can even be added to your bath or tea.
Edible flowers from your vegetable patch and herb garden give a more subtle flavour to food than the leaves. For example the leaves of basil, chives, lavender, mint, rosemary and thyme.

Pelargonium (wild malva)
The leaves of the Pelargonium plant, diffused into a tea, can be used to treat stomach disorders. Add the leaves to your bath for a fragrant, relaxing soak to relieve tired muscles. The pretty little pink flowers of the wild malva are great in salads and baked goods too.

Marigolds with have been used for thousands of years with food, and can be eaten as petals or leaves. You can
eat them raw or blanched, fresh or dry, sweet or savoury. To prepare marigolds, pull all the petals from the stem,
and as you hold them firmly in your hand, cut off the white (or pale greenish) “heels,” with scissors as this could
give a bitter taste.

The flowers, leaves, and seeds of the hibiscus can all be consumed in may culinary dishes. Hibiscus flowers make a
delicious tea that has a tart taste similar to that of cranberries. Simply add dried flowers to a teapot and pour boiling water over them. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain and sweeten it if desired.

The best tasting edible lavenders are the ones with the
sweetest perfume. Lavender is part of the mint family.
English lavender is extremely popular as a culinary
lavender. Both the flowers and leaves can be eaten and
have a pleasant yet slightly bitter flavour.

That’s right – pansy flowers are edible blooms you can use as garnishes or in salads. They have a mild floral flavour and a velvety texture. Unlike many other edible blossoms, you can eat the entire
pansy bloom, petioles and all, not just the petals as you would with other flowers. Pansies are hardy plants and can bloom over an extended period if you take good care of them.

Nasturtiums are a beautiful flowering plant that is easy to grow and wonderful to cook with. The whole plant is edible, from the flowers to the leaves and is packed full of flavour and beneficial
vitamins and minerals. All parts of
nasturtiums (pronounced na-stir-tchums) are edible. Their name literally means nose twister or nose tweaker, because of their peppery
kick. The flowers are sweet and the leaves, flowers and seeds all have
that spicy flavour.

Not only are roses edible, but they’re also delicious! All rose petals are edible, as are the leaves, hips and buds. Roses are a great source of nutrients, particularly vitamins a, c and e, all of which help strengthen the immune system. Rose petals taste a lot like their fragrance, delicate and slightly sweet, similar to strawberries in many ways. They’re lovely tossed in salads, as a garnish, or used to make herbal teas. You can even use them to make jam,
sauce and jellies! It is safest to grow roses yourself if you would like to eat them so that you can be sure they haven’t been treated with
toxic chemicals or pesticides.

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