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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...


I’ll cook you some flowers to show you I love you!

Ok, my back is “back” (yipee!) and the blues have passed, so it’s time for a much more cheery post. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and flowers are a lovely way to romance your sweetie. But, beautiful buds aren’t just for decoration.

Cooking and garnishing with edible flowers is a fantastic way to add color, flavor, nutrition, and beauty to a Valentine meal. Cooking with flowers goes all the way back to Roman times and was especially popular during the Victorian era. But, if you’re up for adding petals to your plate, there are 3 very important things you should know:

1) Keep it simple. Garnish a cake, pudding, or parfait with a small amount of a single type of edible flower or toss petals into a garden salad. Overdoing it can overpower other flavors and give you an upset tummy.

2) Only use flowers marked edible. Not all flowers are edible and some can make you really sick! Also, flowers meant for consumption are grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

3) Introduce just one type of edible flower into your diet at a time. That way you can pinpoint any allergic reactions.

Many flowers are rich in vitamins A and C and can taste delicious. Edible varieties include begonias, English daisies, sunflowers, lavender, roses, English chamomile, chrysanthemums, gladiolus, lilac, tulips, and violets. Look for them in the produce section, or ask your produce manager to order some.

Photo courtesy of Geek Philosopher – tulips are my very favorite flower – I love how beautifully simple they are.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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