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Yummy and pretty treats
Discover edible flowers

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You can use flowers to decorate not only your home but also your meals.  Some blossoms are not only nice to look at but good to eat, too.  Here's a quick guide to some edible flowers and how you can include them in different dishes.

Banana blossom (puso ng saging)
Aside from kare-kare, paksiw na baboy, kilawin, and of course ginataang puso ng saging, you can make burger patties with banana blossoms. Finely chop the core; mix it with eggs, flour, garlic, onions, salt, and Worcestershire sauce; and then mold the mixture into patties.  Serve some banana-blossom burgers to picky eaters, and they won't know that they're actually eating something healthy! 

Corkwood tree (katuray)
If you're Ilocano, you must already be familiar with katuray, which is an ingredient of dinengdeng (a dish similar to pinakbet).  Here's another way to enjoy it: Toss katuray blooms into Pinoy-style salad along with other leafy veggies and tomato slices.  Dress it with some dayap juice and patis or bagoong, a sour-and-salty combo.

Mulberry / Broussonetia luzonica (alukon)
Another edible flower that's popular among Ilocanos, the alukon or himbabao is also a dinengdeng ingredient.  Add this snakelike blossom – which becomes “gooey” like okra when cooked – to vegetable stews like pinakbet, just to make it a little different from usual.

Squash (kalabasa) blossom
It's usually the fruit (squash) that gets turned into a soup, so let's try something different: squash-blossom soup.  Just add squash blossoms to chicken-soup stock after boiling this, and then pour the soup into a blender to puree it.  Top the soup with grated cheese, and serve this colorful soup as an appetizer for a splash of bright color at the dinner table.

Horseradish tree (malunggay)
We've already heard a lot about the wonders of malunggay leaves.  Now, let's focus on the pale flowers, which taste sweet and smell fragrant.  Sprinkle these onto salads, or enjoy them as tea – an affordable alternative to European teabags.  Malunggay flowers are also rich in minerals like calcium and potassium.

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