Cooking is important for a number of reasons. First of all, it allows us to create healthy and affordable meals at home, thus saving money. However, the act of cooking itself is also fun for many people and can provide stress relief at the same time.
While we all know that we can use different fruits and veggies to cook, those aren’t the only plants we can eat. There are several other types of plants and even flowers that we can use for cooking. Many of these are delicious if cooked the right way and also offer great health benefits. But just what types of plants and flowers should you look to include in future dishes you prepare?
Without further ado, this article will take a look at some different plants and flowers that can be used in your cooking.
Plants That You Can Use for Cooking
If you are anywhere near a marsh or wetland, you have likely seen a cattail. These tall, flowing plants might not look like your next meal, but they certainly can be. While these plants are often identified by their tips that look almost like hot dogs, that is not the part of the cattail you should be eating.
The roots and stems are packed with a lot of protein and can be enjoyed in a few different ways. You can fry them, or even ground them down into a flour. They can contribute to and create a number of different dishes from pancakes, to casseroles and even biscuits.
While dandelions are probably pests in your yard, they can also be your main course: these yellow flowers that eventually turn into white fluffy plants. While the entire flower can be enjoyed, be aware that the leaves will often be bitter once the dandelion has flowered. Dandelions are high in many different vitamins, and also contain iron, antioxidants and calcium. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, as well.
Various Types of Herbs
Of course, there are also many different herbs that you can eat and enjoy. There are dozens that are quite useful in many dishes, and are often quite easy to grow. One of the best to consider is lemon mint, as it offers a unique and very interesting flavor. It is used in cooking, making drinks, garnishing and much more. Learn more about lemon mint and how to grow it.
Flowers That You Can Use for Cooking
While they smell great and are a symbol of romance, roses can also be infused into your cooking. Their scent can be overpowering, but their flavor is actually quite light. It is a fruity flavor that can contribute to many types of meals. Roses can be used in a range of dishes including soups, salads, jams, desserts and is a good source of vitamin C. Of course, when using or preparing roses, be careful of the thorns!
This bright orangey-yellow flower is not only pleasing to look at, but also to eat. Calendula is often used as a substitute for saffron. Their flavor is an exciting mix of tang and spice, they can be enjoyed on their own or as parts of meals, and they can be sauteed or added to tea. There are a number of health benefits as well, as calendula can help treat cramps, sore throat and ulcers. They also have a very bright and vibrant color that can add some fun and excitement to the presentation of your dish.
The state flower of Hawaii is a favorite for its stunning color, but is becoming increasingly popular among home chefs and mixologists. The petals of the hibiscus flower are sweet and can be quite tart, with a flavor that resembles cranberries. This makes it a great option for drinks and cocktails, as well as the famous hibiscus tea. It can also be prepared and eaten as a candy or dessert. The flower can also potentially help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
I hope this article has helped introduce you to some new and unique plants and flowers that you didn’t know could be eaten. I hope that they help you expand your horizons and inspire you to cook with more unique ingredients the next time you need to make a meal.
Guest author: Wendy Dessler