(5 edible flowers and water cress salad)
The other day, while I was shopping at the big supermarket at the Shizuoka JR Station I was reminded of a recent post by Natasha at 5 Star Foodie when I noticed edible flowers on sale.
Edible flowers have been on the Japanese markets for quite a few years already.
They tend to first appear in late winter, although it is only a question of time when they will be sold all year long!
They come in very cheap, at 98 yen a small box (1 US$), but they ought to be used as early as possible.
Aichi Prefecture, our neighbour Prefecture seems to have become the largest growing area in Japan.
Thai, Indian and Persian citizens, as far as I know, have been using flowers in food for quite some time. The Japanese have served mini-chrysanthemum and perilla flowers since immemorial times.
Most edible flowers are of the pansy, snapdragon, primura, roses, Cosmos, nasturium and so on.
Do you recognize some of them above?
Now, the great news is that they contain an enormous amount of Vitamin A carotene:
1,100 to 9,400 micrograms per 100 grams as compared to 390 micrograms for tomatoes, 720 micrograms for broccoli and 3,100 micrograms for spinach.
as well as Vitamin C:
230 t0 650 mg per 100 grams as compared to 20 mg for tomatoes, 100 mg for spinach and 160 mg for broccoli!
The Japanese will use them either in flower or vegetable salads or on cakes.
Perilla flowers/shiso no hana are regularly served with sashimi or many kinds of fresh foods!
-Edible Chrysanthemums combined with shiitake or mackerel enriches the blood, helps combat ageing and stress.
-Edible Chrysanthemums combined with wakame/seawedd or ginger helps combat muscle/body swelling and helps lower blood pressure.
-Edible flowers combined with oil is a generally beneficila combination.
-Edibke flowers combined with grapefruit or strawberries are beneficial to the skin and helps combat ageing.
One small advice for caution: don’t overeat them as they have purgative powers!
The best season for edible flowers is from September to December in Japan.
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