One of my absolute favorite things about food blogging is how wonderful of a creative outlet it has become. My work as a registered dietitian can sometimes be very clinical– especially at my job at the hospital (I work with congestive heart failure patients). Although I love being able to teach people how to live healthier with heart failure, one of my passions is cooking and being creative in the kitchen.
I actually grew up around arts and crafts– my grandma taught me how to oil paint and crochet, and I was always drawing or painting or designing things. I still paint every so often (maybe I’ll write a post about that!) but my current creative outlet is food photography!
I received complimentary samples of edible flowers for participation in Marx Foods Edible Flowers Food Photography Challenge. I am eligible to win prizes associated with this contest.
That’s why when my friends over at Marx Foods invited me to participate in their Edible Flowers Food Photography Challenge, I got really excited! I also participated in their Merino Lamb photography challenge a couple months ago and although I didn’t win (there were so many beautiful recipes) it was a blast!
Edible flowers can bring a little wow factor to almost any dish, be it a gorgeous dessert, a cocktail, a salad, or a plate of scrambled eggs (really). For this challenge, Marx Foods challenged nine bloggers to demonstrate the versatility of these beautiful ingredients by featuring them in a plated dish, such as something you might serve at a spring event.
I received a box each of:
- Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums have a peppery flavor which lends well to just about any savory dish.
- Pansies – Pansies have a mild semi-sweet wintergreen flavor that pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. They float flat in liquids, too, which can make them extra fun to experiment with.
- Micro Flower Blend – a blend of tiny flowers that varies with what’s freshest at the farm. This blend typically includes flowers like Micro Marigolds, Sun Daisies, Dianthus, White Mums, Bachelor Buttons, Micro Orchids and/or Starflowers. Some of the flowers in the micro blend can be bitter, but the blend can be used in many ways.
They’re all so beautiful. I’m hoping they all stay fresh in my fridge until this weekend, when I’m throwing my friend a bridal shower. I would love to remake this dish and serve it with the micro flower blend– how pretty would that be at a bridal shower?
For my entry, I decided to use the nasturtiums in this raw zucchini-green apple salad with a fresh citrus vinaigrette. They have a slight peppery flavor which contrasts nicely with the sweet strawberries, creamy goat cheese, salty walnuts, and citrus dressing.
The flowers were mild and slightly sweet and peppery– not overbearingly perfume-y like I thought they would be. I’ve never cooked with edible flowers– we used to eat honeysuckles on the playground back in elementary school, and that’s about where my edible-flower-eating experience ends. I definitely geeked out about the opportunity to taste test and photograph these pretties!
Also, my new inspiralizer came in just in time to use for this recipe. Another food blogger geek-out moment. I’ve been following Ali over at Inspiralized for almost two years now and was SO excited when she announced she was designing her own spiralizer. I definitely was one of the first to pre-order. I love the inspiralizer already– especially the counter clamps. My Paderno spiralizer would always slip around on the counter and I almost had to go get stitches once from trying to clean it. The inspiralizer is definitely easier to clean.
Anyway! I know edible flowers aren’t on the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to everyday cooking, but please remember them for special events. I can’t wait to use the rest of my flowers for the bridal shower this weekend. They’d also be great for weddings, baby showers, graduation parties, anniversary parties, the possibilities are endless.
Cross your fingers for me– voting begins next week on Instagram. I’ll let you guys know when to vote!
[Tweet “Ever used edible flowers in your cooking? Check out this Zucchini & Green Apple Noodle Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette & Edible Flowers!”]
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 green apple
- 6 large strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- handful of edible flowers
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Using a spiralizer, slice the zucchini and apple into noodles. Place in a large bowl along with the strawberries.
- Pour the dressing over the mixture, toss to combine.
- Garnish with walnuts, goat cheese, and flowers.
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!