Roses: Good Food?

If you would like to add some variety to your diet try this:
Does anyone have any good recipes for these?

Flower Power

Eating flowers may seem strange at first, but really people have been doing it since ancient times. They belong to an old heritage of recipes – used in flower waters for flavoring cakes, or for adding delicate flavors to jams and jellies. Today we use them in teas or as a garnish for desserts. Flowers can provide a stunning visual enhancement in leafy green salads and add decidedly bold or subtle flavors to many dishes.

Before you nibble, please remember that not all flowers are edible! If not purchasing flowers marked as edible in produce departments or farmer’s markets, always check your flower selections with a botanical authority before eating. Don’t eat flowers purchased from florists and, in many cases, even wildflowers. Unless labeled as “organic,” there is a chance that these have been treated with pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

To use, wash the flowers gently in a bowl of water and then shake dry. For many flowers, you should eat only the petals, but you can eat all of violets, nasturtiums, and Johnny-jump-ups, including the stems and leaves.

Here are some ideas for edible flowers you may want to try:

Begonias: sweet, lemony
Borage: cucumber-like
Chive blossoms: onion-like
Chrysanthemums: slightly bitter
Geraniums: lemony
Hollyhocks: mild
Johnny-jump-up: mild, lettuce-like
Lavender flowers: strong, lemony
Marigolds: lemony
Pansies: mild, lettuce-like
Nasturtiums: peppery, watercress-like
Rose Geranium: mild, unscented petals (though leaves are perfumed)
Rose petals: strong, fragrant
Tulip petals: sweet, pea-like
Violets: sweet

Source: Good Food: The Comprehensive Food and Nutrition Resource. Wittenberg, Margaret. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1995.

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7 thoughts on “Roses: Good Food?”

  1. I have had Rose candies including a little can of rose mints. They were a gift and I really enjoyed them. Not sure how to make them!

    1. Candied Roses
      1 cup hot water
      2 cups sugar
      2 cups small roesbuds or 4 cups violets
      The flowers, very fresh and firm, should be washed, drained, and stemmed.
      Combine water and sugar, Stir until. sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add flowers. Simmer over medium heat until the syrup reaches 234 degrees farenheit on a candy thermonmeter (or until a small amount of syrup, when dropped into very cold water, forms a ball which flattens on removal). Stir flowers gently with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and continue stirring until syrup begins to crystallilze, and reaches the consistency of coarse meal.
      Drain over a cloander. Shake off excess sugar. Cool on wax paper. Pack into sterilized jars. Use as edible decorations for fruit salads, desserts, and cakes…….dj

  2. IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN YOU CAN TAKE THE FLOWER OFF THE ENDS OF ZUCCHINI AND SQUASH AND PLACE IN BATTER DEEP FRY AND ENJOY. I DID SEE A SHOW ON THE FOOD TV ON THIS EXACT SUBJECT. BUT FOR ME I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ALL THOSE FLOWERS AND ARRANGE THEM IN A VASE AND PLACE ALL AROUND MY HOUSE. SOME OF THESE FLOWERS ALSO HAVE OTHER GOOD QUALITIES, FOR EXAMPLE PLANT MARIGOLDS AROUND YOUR VEGETABLE BED, THE BUGS WILL GO AFTER THEM AND NOT YOUR VEGGIES. THEREFORE ELIMINIATING THE NEED FOR BUG SPRAY, ALSO AFTER THEY DIE PULL THE TOPS OFF AND SAVE THE SEEDS INSIDE REPLANT THEM NEXT YEAR. HERES ANOTHER HINT TO MAKE YOUR ROSES BLOOM KEEP OLD BANNANAS CHOP UP INCLUDING THE PEEL TAKE YOUR OLD COFFEE GRINDS. DIG A TRENCH 6-8 INCHES DEEP AROUND THE PLANT AND PLACE IN RECOVER WITH DIRT YOU WILL BE AMAZED WHAT WILL HAPPEN, BESIDES WHEN THOSE FUZZIES CREATURES ARE LOOKING FOR A SNACK THEY WILL GO FOR THE BANANAS AND NOT THE BLOOM. OK IM ON A ROLL NOW, INSTEAD OF PUTTING BUG SPRAY AND FERTLIZER ON YOUR YARD MIX DISH SOAP BEER AND WATER. SPRAY ON YOUR GRASS. IT WILL TURN YOUR GRASS DEEP GREEN AND KEEP “MOST” OF THOSE UNWANTED BUGS AWAY. I LOVE GARDENING!!!!!!!!! I TRY TO DO THINGS IN MY OWN YARD THAT IS SAFE FOR THE ENVIROMENT. OK MY LAST TID BIT, IM NOT SURE WHO OWNS CATS BUT THIS REALLY WORKS. SAVE YOUR OLD CAT LITTER, BURRY THIS IN THE GROUND AROUND ANYTHING YOU DO NOT WANT THOSE CUTE VERMITS GETTING INTO. THEY ARE REPELLED FROM THE AMMONIA SMELL. IT IS ALSO GOOD FOR KEEPING THOSE CUTE LITTLE MICE FROM GETTING INTO YOUR HOUSE.
    GARY YOU GET THE RECIPIES AND I WILL GROW THE FLOWERS.

    1. These are some great ideas Jersey! I am all for the no chemical approach too. And speaking of beer for the lawn…other gardeners have told me that placing shallow pans of beer protects plants from slugs – they go for the beer instead of the plants and fall in the pan and drown. Have you tried it and does it work?

  3. I havent tried these receipes, but I love Roses…..(Rose-Petal Salad)..2 Belgian endives, trimmed and separated into leaves
    1 head of Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces, rinsed, and patted dry
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    Pesticide-free petals of 4 mature pink roses
    1/4 cup light olive oil
    6 tablespooons raspberry vinegar
    salt to taste
    1. Divide the endive leaves among 4 chilled salad plates, arranging them decoratively, top with the Bibb lettuce then sprinkle with the pine nuts and rose petals.
    2. Drizzle the dressing over the salads. Serve immedialtely. Yeid; 4 servings.

    (RoseGeranium Pound Cake)
    6 pesticide-free rose-geranium leaves
    23/4cups sugar
    1 cup softeened unsalted butter
    6 large eggs
    2 teaspoons rose water 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 cups unbleached flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup sour cream
    zest of 1 small lemon
    sifted confectioner’s sugar for garnish
    Preheat oven to 300 F..Butter well a 10-inch tube pan and dust with flour, shaking out excess…In a food processor, combine the reos-gerinum leaves with the sugar and process until rose-geranium leaves are minced fine. Add the butter and process until light. With the motor running, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and processsuntil combined well. Add the roes waer, lemon extract, and vanilla and process until just combined. In a bowl, sift the dry ingredients 3 times. Add alternately with the sour cream to the butter mixture, processing until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and invert onto a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’s sugar before serving. 12 servings……(receipes from Victoria Magazine 1998 Receipe Index ppage 102)….enjoy ,,dj

  4. Here’s a couple of recipes from one of my favorite herb books “The Complete Book of Herbs” by Lesley Bremness. The first uses rose geranium leaves and the second uses sweet violets (Viola odorata which grow in semi-shady locations outdoors). I haven’t tried them but they sound good.

    Sweet Rice with Rose Geranium
    1/2 cup round-grain rice
    2 cups milk
    8 scented rose geranium leaves
    1 oz dry coconut
    2 oz flaked almonds
    2 oz raisins
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    Serves 6

    1. Mix the rice and milk together in a saucepan. Add 4 geranium leaves to the pan. Cover and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
    2. Remove from the heat and take out the leaves. Preheat oven to 375 F.
    3. Add the coconut, almonds, raisins and sugar to the milk mixture,stirring well.
    4. Transfer the mixture to a large 8″ ovenproof dish. Arrange the remaining geranium leaves across the top. Bake for 45 minutes.

    Violet Herb Salad
    1 head of endive
    1 tsp finely chopped celery
    1 tsp finely chopped tender fennel stalks (peeled if necessary)
    1 tsp chopped parsley
    1 tsp chopped chervil
    2 olives, finely chopped
    salad dressing to taste
    petals of 30 sweet violets
    Serves 4

    1. Separate the endive leaves and place in a salad bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients including the herbs and gently mix well.
    2. Add the dressing and toss the salad. Sprinkle on the sweet violet petals.

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