I've been experimenting with my salads lately, and since it's Valentine's now, why not add some rose petals to my dish! Yes, flower petals are edible but not the commercially grown ones. If you want to literally have some roses this valentine [how romantic of me], you gotta make sure these flowers are organically grown or grow them yourself because flowers you buy at the florist will be drowning in pesticides - and we both know you don't want that. And please, don't go adding polluted flowers you picked off the street to add to your meal, it doesn't - and couldn't - work that way. If you want flowers in your diet, invest in them.
What are the benefits of rose petals?
Rose petals contain 95 % water and therefore, they are very low in calories. However, they do contain some vitamin C and fibers. Flowers were used in Chinese remedies to help in treating digestive diseases, menstrual pain and injuries. Rumor says that rose petals can aid in decreasing fever, flu symptoms, asthma and infections; science, however, has seriously scarce proven information about the topic with few studies suggesting that rose petals have natural resistance to microbial attacks themselves.
Keep in mind that not all flowers are edible, so it's better to consult someone about this matter - or probably a book about edible plants and flowers would be smart. Nevertheless, all organically grown roses can be eaten, no matter what color they are. I've heard some roses taste sour, some taste sweet like strawberries and the darker the flower, the stronger it tastes, but the red roses I just had taste like green grass, or more like some green leafy vegetables - not so bad at all. They look good - and romantic - and they boost up fibers in your dish. I'm not really sure about their vitamin C content though, but still, I like the touch of rose petals in my dish, especially on Valentine's!
How can you add roses to your menu?
- Always taste one petal of the rose before adding it to your meal. The first flower I tasted was bitter, so it had to go. The other rose was grassy, so in my dish it went!
- Remove the petals gently and get rid of the white bitter core of the rose as well as any blemished petals. Then wash very delicately with cold water.
- Rose petals can be used on top of salads or desserts. You can sprinkle whole petals on your dish, just like any topping, or on the side. Try not to chop them, petals bruise easily and will only look withered and black in your dish.
- They can also be used in home preserves such as jellies, butters and syrups. So using rose petal jam (recipe here) or adding rose petals over fruit salad would be a romantic, low calorie dessert to have on Valentine's.
- If you're preparing Valentine's dinner at home, you can also freeze rose petals in ice cubes and add them to any drink you're having. These look absolutely adorable!
- You can also have some rose petal tea or iced rose petals tea. Some literature suggests that this tea has a mild diuretic effect and can help in soothing your digestive tract and aid urinary tract infections. I've never had one, but then again, I just started my experiments with roses.
It's actually the first time I taste some roses, but Valentine's seem very convenient for this experiment. The rose petals looked beautiful, added a romantic touch to my salad and added some fibers to my meal! Happy Valentine's Day to all!