Spring is my FAVOURITE time of the year as it means its time to get those seeds started and one of my biggest and most unique passions about my vegan foods and recipes is my use of edible FLOWERS in my smoothies, juices and raw dishes!
I think that food needs to be as visual and colourful as possible and when you love to eat raw and natural foods like I do, I also get great pleasure out of the appearance I can create for my guests and family.
There will be some Spring Flowers almost ready to ‘pluck’ to use in your salads and as garnish on your gently steamed vegan dishes however it will also be time to plant the seeds for your summer edible flowers and March is the best season to get those seeds in your trays and gentle coax them into germination.
My favourite edible flowers are as follows:
I love to use fresh edible flowers with semi raw dishes and this light lunch time snack is a favourite of mine I created for my friend Cody from Hawaii last year using Nasturtiums. It was very simple and involved a gluten free wrap containing the following:
Sliced lengthways Spring Onions
Cucumbers sliced lengthways
Baby leaf lettuce
Nasturtiums for topping
I also love to use the edible rose petals in my smoothies and I find that they are very complimentary to anything containing strawberries or coconut cream, so I used them with my For the Love of Lenny Smoothie here:
About 5 strawberries
Full fat coconut milk
Edible Rose petals
Passion fruit seeds
Mmmmmm this is probably one of the tastiest smoothies I have ever made. The inspiration lies in an amazing guy I know called Lenny whose smoothies are the best I have ever tasted. My creation is a slant on one he gave me which was unbelievable.
It isn’t the most ‘slimming’ due to the coconut cream, but perfect to make you feel better, as it’s so uplifting and visually beautiful. The combination of apple juice and strawberries are sublime and the creamy coconut reminds you of Summer time.
You will need:
1) Juice 3 apples
2) Chop up the strawberries
3) Blend the strawberries & nectar in the apple juice but for only 1-2 secs to not liquidise them but to aggravate them in the apple juice
4) Squeeze some lime juice into the results and pop a slice in with the mix.
5) Take your full fat coconut milk and add a fraction of water until it is thick like double cream. You don’t want it watery or solid.
6) Careful pour the coconut cream so it floats on top of the juice.
7) Sprinkle rose petals and add a slice of lime or fruit for decoration
Finally, here is a wonderful vegan ‘warm’ recipe which is a strong favourite of mine with amazing shitake mushrooms garnished with micro marigolds:
Springtime Vegan Shitake Mushroom Broth with Edible Flowers
Makes 4 small or 2 average servings
10-12 shitake mushrooms (diced)
¼ cup finely diced red onion
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
½ tsp salt
1 tsp finely ground white pepper
½ cup fresh corn
1 tsp agave or coconut nectar
1 TB chopped fresh ginger
½ cup of finely chopped kale – stems and leaves
1 TB soy sauce
2 cups water
5 small dried Moral mushrooms – optional
1 cup vegetable broth
1 TB finely minced fresh chives
Fresh edible flowers for garnish (I have used micro marigolds)
1) Heat a soup pot on high with the olive oil
2) Sauté the onions and shitake mushrooms until they are soft and caramelised, being careful not to burn them
3) Season with the salt and pepper
4) Add the corn, kale, garlic, agave or nectar and ginger and sauté for 1 minute
5) Add soy sauce, broth & water and bring to the boil
6) Immediately reduce to a low heat and simmer for 30 mins covered until the kale is soft and the flavours have all mixed together beautifully
7) Add dried morels during the last 15 minutes of cooking
8) Add more liquid if needed
9) Serve and garnish with chives and the edible flowers
Love Anneka x