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Enjoying a Great Salad Including Edible Flowers

Starr Brainard, an intern with Rethink Red Deer, recently came to visit us and stay for supper. The salad is all from our yard, freshly picked. The flower is a hollyhock, edible. Mostly tasteless but certainly adds health and aesthecs to this culinary beauty. The meal plate below contained mostly our home grown food...our own cheese spread and a salad Including 2 types of lettuce, borage & lemon balm leaves and Hollyhock flowers. The pasta which is gluten free and beans are from the store. Some of you may be wondering about edible flowers. Here in Alberta, we have at least 100 native edible flowers. I have a list of them and am hoping to incorporate many of them into our food forest.

The following is an unedited writeup taken from the Healing from Home Remedies website on the value of edible hollyhocks.

Did you know that hollyhocks are edible? Yep, the flowers, leaves, seeds and roots are completely safe to eat! Hollyhocks are a genus of about 60 species of flowering plants in the mallow family Malvaceae. They have many of the same medicinal qualities as wild marsh mallow and can be substituted as such.

You can: 1. Make a cold infusion by soaking the root, flowers and/or young leaves in cold water for about 8 hours to treat a sore throat, mouth problems, coughing and even for soothing the stomach and digestive tract. 2. Heat can destroy many medicinal properties of edible flowers so if your using edible flower petals for a tea it's best not to use hot water. 3. Or simply eat the young leaves and flowers raw or added to a salad. 4. The leaves can be used as a poultice to soothe inflamation. Be sure to crush them or steam them slightly first so they can release their juices. 5. The roots can also be eaten or used as medicine though hollyhock roots are more woody than marsh mallow. Use heat to draw out the properties in most roots! 6. As with marsh mallow, hollyhocks have an emollient effect so you can use an infusion in your bath water for soft skin or as a rinse in your hair to moisturize and condition.

It's wonderful to know such a common and beautiful garden flower has so many uses!

Starr Brainard and a great salad:

Star Brainard and a Great Salad

The salad close up:

Beautiful Eats!

The full meal includes gluten free pasta, beans and bread from a store. Our own cheese spread and salad featuring 2 types of lettuce, hollyhock flowers and the herbs borage and lettuce.

Gluten Free Pasta, Our Own Cheese Spread and a Salad Including 2 Types of Lettuce, Borage & Lemon Balm Leaves and Hollyhock Flowers

In the next blog, I plan to focus on another uncommon edible from that salad. . . borage.

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