Does your diet consist of flowers?

@scheng1 (24806)
Singapore
November 2, 2011 9:41am CST
Do you eat or drink flowers in any form? For us, drinking chrysanthemum tea is part of life. Beside that, we have other flowers in our diet as well. Some Chinese tea leaves have jasmine flowers with it. The tea is very fragrance and very refreshing. We will have the best of the healing properties in the tea leaves as well as the flowers. I like the Eight Treasures tea too. While the ingredients change because of the different flowers and taste, the Eight Treasure tea always have more than one flowers in it. Do you have any flowers in your diet? What about the national culture in your country? Is there a particular flower that is added to the dishes?
3 people like this
15 responses
@peavey (16487)
• United States
2 Nov 11
I never really thought of how many flowers I eat/drink, but I do use them. I drink echinacea and hibiscus flower tea quite a bit. Besides that, there is chamomile tea and I drink green tea with jasmine in it at times, too. I eat dandelion flowers in season, and, as someone else mentioned, cauliflower is the buds of unopened flower, as is broccoli and artichokes. I've eaten sunflower buds, too, but not regularly.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
5 Nov 11
Hi Peavey, I think you will find more if you really think about it. Most of us do not know or think about the sources of the food that we eat. Sometimes we buy the dry spices or herbs without giving a thought to the original source. I am sure you have used rose buds for tea as well. It is a very common drink in many countries. I am glad to see that Chinese food culture includes nearly everything, from the root to the flowers to the leaves and seeds. Even the bark of trees are used in Chinese medicine. At least our ancestors had tested these, and we know about the benefits of eating lilies, chrysanthemum, roses, lavender, and many other flowers.
@peavey (16487)
• United States
5 Nov 11
I'm sure I could think of more if I just set my mind to it. It's not that I don't know what I'm eating or drinking, it's just that I make note of exactly what form it was. Roots, flowers, seeds, leaves... we use all of them at different times.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Peavey, yes, that is true. Actually most of us take in processed food, and we do not really pay attention to the ingredients. I think when we think of eating a cake, we can think of the butter, cream, flour, cherries, and forget about the sweetened and preserved rose. When we eat a sweet, we might miss out the flowers that give the taste to the sweets. if we eat everything in the raw stage or prepared everything on our own, we will not miss out on all the ingredients in small quantities.
@jaiho2009 (39021)
• Philippines
2 Nov 11
Tea is one of the good example of flowers in our diet. I do eat flowers like, banana flowers and other vegetables which bears flowers. Banana bud or banana flowers is the most common flower that people eat here in our country. Also pumpkin flowers are audible and a lot more.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Jaiho, that is very interesting. I do not think I have a chance to eat banana flowers, even though I see the banana flowers everywhere. That is really a good idea. I wonder how do you eat the flowers? Do you preserve it and sweeten it and eat it? I just asked my mother about it. She says that the Malay used it to cook curry.
@meidiana (108)
• Indonesia
3 Nov 11
Me too. I drink Chrysantemum tea to reduce the heat in my body. I buy the instant chrysantemum tea. My cousins usually drink the pure chrysantemum tea. What is Eight Treasures tea.? What is it function? For the culture in my country, Javanese people used to drink tea. But not for health. They drink tea with lots of sugar, hot or cold. And now, some factory produce some drinks contains some herbs, for liver, for woman's health, also for slimming.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Meidiana, the Eight Treasures tea brings the best of fruits, flowers and leaves together in a single pot. You can buy the ingredients separately and create your own Eight Treasure tea. The must have is the Chinese green tea leaves. Rock sugar is another must have for this tea. Other than that, you can add different dried flowers, such as rose, lily, jasmine, chrysanthemum (the white one is better in this tea) and others. For dried fruits, you can add raisins (the big ones for cooking, not the small ones for eating), dried longans, wolf berries and others. You can mix and match and create different taste. Just make sure that you have rock sugar and tea leaves.
@meidiana (108)
• Indonesia
8 Nov 11
Yes, she does have a good taste. She and her sister-in-law run a high class restaurant. Her father is the owner/founder of AQUA branded drink water. I do really really love that tea. But they do not sell it anymore. And I even do not know the branded...
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
9 Nov 11
Hi Meidiana, I think such tea is too high end even for the people in your country. Actually English and Chinese are well known as tea people. However, their tastes are very different. I am sure you can find such tea if you search in websites catering to people in the UK. They have very good taste in tea, and know how to appreciate tea. I like the Morning Breakfast tea more than the other kinds of English tea. The taste is very different, even though nearly all English tea are red tea.
3 Nov 11
We also drink tea in our country but it's not extremely popular. Other uses of flower include banana flowers as viand, some flowers as salads.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Rosmary, I think drinking or eating flowers will get very popular in the future. Now people are very health conscious, and the internet is full of information telling us about the medicinal properties of flowers. I think the popularity of essential oil is telling us that there is a huge demand for different usage of flowers. If flowers can look nice, and edible as well, that will serve as an incentive to plant more flowers.
@meidiana (108)
• Indonesia
7 Nov 11
Hi Sccheng1 and Rosmary101, How are you? Well Rosmary, is it good to use banana flowers to make tea? Have you drink it? What is the taste? In my country, people use banana"s heart/flower (before it blooms) to cook (saute) and eat with steamed rice. Some other use the rock-banana (this kind of banana has big seeds like a rock inside) to make a hot spicy salad. Very popular but not too many people sell this salad nowadays. This salad includes in traditional food.
12 Nov 11
We also use banana heart sauteed. We don't use banana as tea but we use other plants and most of the time for medicinal purposes.
@maharlikah (1045)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
I heard so much about tea,a friend indeed offer me ates with jasmine scent, I like that so much abut I never tried like that anymore. Tea at home is unflavored. But sometimes I put drops of honey of lemon to make it yummier.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Maharlikah, yes, I like to have dried jasmine in Chinese tea too. Actually the jasmine flowers do not change the taste of the drink but it does make it smells so much nicer. Maybe you can try other flower infusion. Chamomile tea is good for making you relax, and sleep soundly. Rose hip is very nice. If you like Lipton tea, you would like the herbal infusion too.
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
Nice, where I can I find that Chamomile scented tea? I think I like it. :-)Tea is not that common here in our country, I have a box in my cabinet but it has no scent at all.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
7 Nov 11
Hi Maharlikah, I think you can search for it in the shopping mall. If you can find Lipton tea, you can also find the herbal infusion. I think it is more common than you think. Just that you are not used to drinking tea, and you mingle with people who do not drink tea or flower tea, that is why you are not aware of it. Once you start to drink flower tea, you will find many stores selling it. It seems everywhere is selling it all of a sudden.
@lkbooi (16101)
• Malaysia
3 Nov 11
Yeah scheng1, our some of our daily diets consist of edible flowers which we are used to eat time either in cooking or making beverage. Chrysanthemum tea is quite common in our living. We get the dried flowers from shops that the flowers mostly are imported from China and prepare our own homemade chrysanthemum tea. Cans and paper boxes of such fragrant flower teas are available in the local market here as well. It's the best iced beverage to quench our thirst during scorchers We also have sirup and tea prepared from our national flower, hibiscus. I think broccoli is another delicious flower of vegetable plant as our diet Happy posting
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Ikbooi, actually I have a hibiscus plant, but never used the Hibiscus flowers for anything. Maybe I should take the flowers and make tea with it. It will at least serve some purpose other than looking nice. After all, my dear hibiscus plant has consumed so many fertilizers in the past ten years. It is pay back time! Have you tried rose tea? Maybe you will like it more than chrysanthemum. Just add a bit of rock sugar, and add hot water to the dried rose. There is no need to boil for a few minutes.
@meidiana (108)
• Indonesia
7 Nov 11
Hi Scheng1 and Ikbooi, How are you guys? In my country, also lots of people drink tea as a habit. Commonly, they drink tea with sugar. For other tea, specially beverages from any flowers and leaves, commonly used by Chinese people here. Not too many Indonesian people knows about that. For example, Chrysantemum tea to reduce the heat of our body. Not all Chinese people knows about that either. Several years ago, when I worked in a restaurant, I ever drink Strawberry Tea. My previous boss bought the tea from UK. But I do not know where. It was really an excellent Strawberry Tea. The tea leaves and strawberry, already dried together. And I just poured the hot water. I never try to drink any tea with fresh flower before. Is it healthy and nice?
• United States
7 Nov 11
Other than tea I don't think there is much else that is in a state close to a flower. I know people have been eating zucchini flowers in fancy restaurants but I have never tried it nor am I sure how to prepare it.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
7 Nov 11
Hi 3SnuggleBunnies, I think flowers are present in many things we eat, but not in the original form. For example, nearly all food have natural food coloring. Most of these food coloring comes from flowers. That means we are eating flowers unknowingly. I know that sweets have flowers as the ingredients in it too. Herbal infusion definitely contain flowers, such as chamomile tea for better sleep, and rose hips for skin.
• Philippines
4 Nov 11
Yes, I drink chamomile tea before bedtime. it has excellent calming effects and I'd get good and restful sleep. The flower of squash is considered a vegetable here in the Philippines. It is rich in vitamins and minerals just like any other vegetable, and it tastes good. I also read that rose petals are being cooked in other countries. Too bad, I can't taste it because roses are expensive here.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Heaven_sent, you can buy rose hips tea too. I think Lipton has a good series of herbal infusion. Rose hip is in one of the herbal infusion. if not, you can buy the dried rose hips, and make a delightful drink with honey or rock sugar. You may be surprised that rose can be quite bitter if you brew too much of it. Adding rock sugar will enhance the taste.
• Philippines
3 Nov 11
That's nice to know. Actually, I haven't tried having any kind of flower in any of the food I've eaten. Although this is not the first time I've heard of having flower on your tea. As for me, I'm not much of a tea person. Here in our country, I don't know if such practices exist, something where people would add some flower on their tea. As far as I know, tea here in our country is served in the most ordinary way.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Penrockerchic, I thought banana flower is edible, and used in many dishes in your country! I wonder if you have ever helped in cooking! Sometimes when flowers are added in the soup, we might not know about it. The flowers will definitely look very different after cooking. I heard my mother says that some Malay used the banana flowers in curry. If that is so, the flower definitely looks much different.
@thatgirl13 (7307)
• South Korea
3 Nov 11
I drink rose tea sometimes. Not coz it's a part of my diet but just because I like it. It tastes real good too and make me feel good hehe.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Thatgirl, I like rose tea too. I like the aftertaste of rose tea as well. I think the first brew is too strong, and the second brew is the best. No third brew for me, because the rose would lose the color by the second brew. I love rose tea with a bit of rock sugar to sweeten it. The first brew without sugar is usually quite bitter. As for feeling good, I think that is naturally. I feel very relax and happy after drinking a cup of rose tea.
@jricky1 (6809)
• China
3 Nov 11
It's interesting to drink flowers,but honestly there isn't such a culture.But it's great to have so many tastes.I think i would like to have a try.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Jricky, I think you should go to the countryside or even to the supermarket! There are so many dried flowers on sale for you to make into tea. Chrysanthemum tea is one of the best example. On top of that, we have rose tea, lavender tea, jasmine in many tea leaves. I wonder why you say we do not have such a culture! Eating and drinking flowers is a Chinese culture. The famous Eight Treasures Tea (ba bao cha) is such a good example. Perhaps you can try it when you are free.
@wengroel (39)
• Canada
3 Nov 11
yess i eat flower like a gumamela flower is that flower from here in the philippines is it a native flower this flower i know this flower have a antioxydant i drink a tea like a green tea to use for my diet i know this tea came from chinese country to correct your bowel movement in your body twice or trice
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
6 Nov 11
Hi Wengroel, interesting flower! I have never heard of this Gumamela flower. I wonder how you eat it? I do not think many people like it raw. Some flowers taste nicer when it is preserved in honey. Some flowers such as rose, jasmine and chrysanthemum, are nicer when dried, and make into a drink. Maybe you can try rose tea too. It is very good for skin, and has many vitamins. The tea can be quite bitter if you make it too thick. Adding a bit of honey will make it much nicer.
@WakeUpKitty (8707)
• Netherlands
2 Nov 11
No we don't drink flower I also don't think it's in our culture although it might be like that once in the middle ages since many cultures had herb drinks etc. We do have tea made of flowers and herbs or both or kind of mixtures but most people don't drink that. Same with green tea. I think the black tea (all kinds of from everywhere all over the world) are normal over here. Next to it we drink rooibos (redbush) tea as well. But this kind of tea, just like herb teas etc are mostly only tealover drinking (or the health fanatics as we call them) We drink just the tea, milk in it is not normal (we only give it that way to babies) some add some sugar. Although flowers and herbs are healthy I am allergic to many of them too so I try to stay away of these kinds. We don't add flowers to the dishes. We see flowers as something to decorate your house with and give as a present that way as well. But not to eat. Personally I don't like flowers in my house, they should grow outside and bloom there not be cut of and put in a vase. So a bunch of flowers is not something to make me happy with.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
5 Nov 11
Hi Wakeupkitty, I think those manufacturers of sweets in your country use more flowers than the common people! There are many sweets with flowers ingredient in it. Just too bad that the food culture does not make full use of flowers. Once in China, I had a most interesting meal in the countryside. That area is very similar to the climate of Switzerland. It has pine trees. Those people cook the pine leaves, pine tree flowers, and eat the seeds too! We did not know about it, until we ask what was name of the flowers! They pointed to the pine trees along the road!
@owlwings (39106)
• Cambridge, England
2 Nov 11
Apart from the herbal teas, I do occasionally use flowers like nasturtiums and marigold petals in a salad, more for decoration than anything else. If you have a large number of marrow, courgette or squash flowers, these are quite delicious as a canapé or a starter when dipped in batter and deep fried. I have no doubt that the same can be done with other edible flowers. Violets and rose petals, especially, can be 'crystalised' by dipping in egg white and then in sugar before drying. These are often used as cake decorations and violets, especially, have a very delicate scent and flavour (which some cannot detect at all). One flower which many people eat without even realising that it is a flower (though it is really not quite yet a flower because it is still in bud) is cauliflower. It is also the immature flower heads of sprouting broccoli which are eaten. Globe artichokes are also, technically flower buds, though the edible parts are the bases of the sepals and the matrix which is the baseplate on which the florets grow. Cloves are the are the aromatic dried flower buds of the tree Syzygium aromaticum.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
3 Nov 11
Hi Owlwings, wow, that is very informative! I know about some flowers because we make tea with these, but I have never thought of crystallizing flowers at all. I think I am really very ignorant when it comes to this matter. Most of us in urban area hardly have the space nor the time to prepare food in this manner. We are more used to buying the vegetables and flowers from the supermarket for immediate use.
@hvedra (1623)
2 Nov 11
In the summer flowers get added to salads, especially things like nasturtiums. In the winter there are not many flowers around but I do have some in herbal remedies - like elderflower. I think the reason we don't eat so many flowers is that they aren't that nutritious compared to the leaves, seeds and roots that we usually have. They do add some nice colour and flavour when we do have them.
@scheng1 (24806)
• Singapore
3 Nov 11
Hi Hvedra, actually there are many herbal infusions which used flowers. We probably do not have the habit of drinking flower infusions, that is why having flowers in the diet is not common. I think flowers are nutritious, but we seldom eat these, because we want the fruits instead. If we eat all the flowers, then there wont be any fruit or seeds.