Edible Flowers Make Cheap Food Beautiful Again
Those of you with gardens are probably entering a new season of produce. Squash plants are getting icky, but they are still producing more zucchini and summer varieties than you can handle. If you are looking for a bit of variety in your day, why not give the flowers a try!
While picking her dozens of zucchini and summer squash last week, my always resourceful mother commented that I should try eating the squash flowers. "Come again?" Yep, she knew all about frying the flowers for food. I had heard of flowers for salads and such, but never squash flowers, and never frying them.
Well, I took some home (the male flowers only) and I washed them, cut off the green bottoms, and the inside boy parts (this would be the stamen for those who are anatomically aware). I dipped them in a bowl of eggs, and then in a bowl of seasoned bread crumbs. Two minutes in a hot bath of vegetable oil, and I got the most mouth watering, crunchy delights. They had a floral hint, but tasted more like a delicious fried thing that I can’t describe.
If you get the chance, this is what it is all about! I enjoyed the flowers with some fried zucchini, summer squash, and mushrooms. This would also be dandy as a tempura. The kids even ate them!
I began searching frantically for even more flower recipes. My eyes were opened to the world of Stuffed Nasturtiums, Lavender Cookies, and Squash Flower Soup. With even more research, I found that most of us eat flowers everyday and didn’t even know it. (Ever hear of a clever flower called broccoli?)
While you most certainly can plant edible flowers for the sole purpose of a nifty new recipe, your most budget-friendly approach is to grab a checklist of the safe flowers to eat and get foraging! (Please note that there are also some very common flowers in most yards that are very poisonous. If you don’t know what it is, please don’t eat it.)
Rose hips, nasturtiums, bachelor button, apple blossoms, carnation, coriander, sweet Williams, honeysuckle, lotus, and glads are just a few of the hundreds of edible flowers just waiting to be fried, baked, or boiled into a delicious gourmet meal. For even more inspiration, check out Edible Flowers by Kathy Brown, or visit your local extension office website for some great entertaining ideas for an edible flower get-together everyone will enjoy.
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