As December, 2021, comes to a close, most of us are looking toward the new year ahead. Those among us who tend to stay a step ahead of the game may have already started comprising a list of goals for 2022. If we’ve learned anything from the mess of the past two years, it’s that there’s a health crisis in America. No, I’m talking about COVID-19 but something much, much worse. The number one cause of death among adults in the United States is heart disease.
Poor diet, lack of exercise and bad habits such as smoking and alcohol abuse are the leading causes of heart disease. Right now, we’re looking back on our lives in the recent past and considering ways to improve health as we move into a new year. (At least, we should be.) You’ll be glad to know that making healthier food choices may be easier than you think, especially if you grow some edible flowers at home.
You can find lots of ideas on Instagram for edible flowers
Holly Capelle has six kids, five chickens, 1 dog and a handy husband, according to her Instagram profile. She’s also a guru when it comes to growing and using edible flowers in your daily life. Some of her posts literally make my mouth drop, like this one about edible flower butter that she made. Not only is it a healthy food choice, it’s absolutely beautiful!
As I’ve learned from following Holly’s Insta, which, by the way, is @bigfamilyliving, there are many edible flowers in the world. The following list includes several that are easy to grow at home:
Zinnias happen to be one of my favorite flowers. I grow them every year because they add such beauty to my garden. Until I stumbled across Holly’s Instagram, I never knew that they were edible flowers! I may have nearly shed a few tears upon the realization that I’ve been letting good food go to waste for years! Not anymore, though! I’m excited for spring because I will definitely be incorporating zinnias into our diet! If you’re interested in learning about edible flowers, you’ll want to take some time to scroll through Holly’s posts!
Edible flowers I use throughout their growing seasons
While I didn’t realize that Zinnias are counted among edible flowers that are good for your health, I have been using other types of flowers in our spring time and summer diet for years. One of these delicious and healthy food sources you might refer to as a “weed” instead of a flower: the dandelion. If you’ve been following my posts here on the Hot Mess Press for a while, you may have “heard” me say that people should be eating their dandelions instead of mowing them down, as I stated in this post from our archives. This past year, I added a new way to use our dandelions. I dried a bunch in my dehydrator and use them as “loose tea leaves.” The health benefits of dandelion tea are amazing!
Other edible flowers I’ve been using for years include violets, roses (Yes, they are edible!) and sunflowers. I recently learned a new way to eat sunflowers that I’m anxious to try. It requires harvesting them when they are in their budding stage (before they’ve opened). From there, you can cook and eat them as you would, artichoke hearts! Here’s a quick video that explains the process!
Adjust the way you think about food
Perhaps you’re new to making lifestyle and dietary changes for health reasons. If so, then you might be one of many Americans who are addicted to processed foods and sugar. Studies show that sugar can actually be more addictive than cocaine! If you were to make only one change in your 2022 diet plan, I’d recommend cutting out processed sugar as much as possible. When you first start adapting to a healthier diet, some things might seem strange. For instance, the idea of edible flowers might make you cringe a little. Wait, what? You want me to pick flowers from my yard and eat them?!?
The fact is that God provided so many wonderful, healthy, natural food sources for us on earth. Sadly, most of us go through life completely unaware, walking past things in our yards and gardens that are keys to good health! The more you learn about things such as edible flowers, the easier it will be for you to find ways to incorporate them into your diet. Let’s look at the list I posted earlier that includes several types of flowers that are easy to grow at home. This time, I’ve included additional information that shows some of the healthful properties of each kind:
- Marigolds contain natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are known to improve the health of the skin. Only the flowers and leaves on this plant are edible.
NOTE: (Do your research for each flower you choose to make sure you’re using the edible parts! Sometimes, the entire plant is edible, sometimes not.)
- Snapdragons are also good for the skin. In fact, many people use them to make a poultice to apply to skin tumors or ulcers.
- Nasturtiums are a great source of vitamin C! They’re high in antioxidants (cancer-fighting agents). You can use them with a variety of herbs to treat bronchitis, as well as urinary tract infections.
- Zinnias reportedly have antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and antimalarial properties. (I cannot wait to harvest my Zinnias next summer!)
Growing edible flowers at home is an easy way to take a step in the right direction to improve your diet and health in the new year to come! Flowers aren’t just for cake decorations anymore. In fact, you’re much better off skipping the cake altogether and putting them in a salad, instead!