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Book Review of "Eat Your Roses" (and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers) by Denise Schreiber

Updated on February 16, 2013

Who Knew Roses, Pansies And Lavender Were Edible?

Roses are so pretty, I bet they would be pretty in any food they are used in as well!
Roses are so pretty, I bet they would be pretty in any food they are used in as well! | Source
Pansies are a very common flower here in Las Vegas, you see them in all the housing developments as pretty landscape accents!
Pansies are a very common flower here in Las Vegas, you see them in all the housing developments as pretty landscape accents! | Source
I guess I never would have thought to use lavender as a cooking ingredient! This is a very insightful book with some great ideas in it!
I guess I never would have thought to use lavender as a cooking ingredient! This is a very insightful book with some great ideas in it! | Source

I Guess I Didn't Realize Chefs Really Use Flowers To Cook With!

Normally, I look out into our flower garden, what little one we have been able to grow here in the desert climate of Las Vegas, and I simply enjoy the way the flowers look and smell. I never really thought that it might be possible to actually bring certain flowers inside the house and use them as cooking ingredients! Whenever I do bring flowers inside, I always put them in a vase and enjoy looking at them and I love the way they smell. Who knew you could actually EAT them!

I was fascinated to read a book recently about edible flowers, called "Eat Your Roses:... Pansies, Lavender, and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers". Written by Denise Schreiber, who has been both a professed flower lover and a cook for many years. I found it to be a fascinating read. The nice thing is, the recipes and dishes made with the flowers look so great I might have to try a few of them!

The book opens by explaining all types of different flowers and what flowers and plants are NOT edible, along with those that can actually be dangerous or even poisonous if they're eaten. This is very helpful, and I was glad to see that she did include these cautions. Also included are full color photographs, which are helpful so you know which plants you never should eat, or let anyone else eat.

With that out of the way, she then goes on to describe in detail the plants that are OK to eat, along with color pictures. One especially nice feature of this book is that it is in a spiral notebook form, allowing the reader to flip pages. This is really useful if you're using the book as a cookbook!

The book is really a mixture, something like a cross between an outstanding informational botanical guide to flowers and a cookbook. The plants are given their common name, that's how they are arranged in the book. She also goes into how each flower smells and tastes and the various ways it can be used as a cooking ingredient.

Many of the flowers can be grown in the garden. That's not to say that they are always easy to grow, especially if you have somewhat of a brown thumb like I have. I'm thinking my husband could probably grow most of them, he is the one with the green thumb in our house! But, for people who are able to grow flowers, most of them can be grown in a common garden.

For people who do not have the time or space to grow their own flowers, a handy resources page is included letting you know where you can find the flowers you would need for these recipes. With so many tips and directions that are provided in detail, I don't think one could really go wrong with this book!

I personally think this book would make a fantastic gift for those who love to garden and for anyone who loves to cook. Especially for "Foodie" types who love to use surprising and interesting ingredients in their cooking. I really think this book would make a wonderfully entertaining and thoughtful Mother's Day gift for a Mom or Grandma who loves to garden and/or cook. The entertainment value alone is great, even if one doesn't actually try the recipes.

From Dandelion Wine To Rose Petal Ice Cream...

You would want to use yellow dandelions for dandelion wine, the fresher the better!
You would want to use yellow dandelions for dandelion wine, the fresher the better! | Source
If dandelions look like this... you've waited too long.. pass on them! :)
If dandelions look like this... you've waited too long.. pass on them! :) | Source
Rose petals used in ice cream? Denise Schreiber says YES in the book Eat Your Roses.
Rose petals used in ice cream? Denise Schreiber says YES in the book Eat Your Roses. | Source
These would probably make some colorful rose petal ice cream! You just have to be sure that all flowers used are edible and safe to use for cooking.
These would probably make some colorful rose petal ice cream! You just have to be sure that all flowers used are edible and safe to use for cooking. | Source

Going Beyond Things Like Dandelion Wine ...

I guess before reading this book, the only edible thing I thought a person could even make with flowers is dandelion wine. Now I've never personally made dandelion wine, although that might have been a good thing to do with all those dandelion's our boys gave to me as gifts when they were growing up, thinking that they were "flowers for Mom"... awwww. It really was a very sweet thought at the time. They were pretty young when they did that.

I have seen recipes for dandelion wine, though. Since they use things like lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice and ginger in the process of making the wine, I'm guessing that dandelion wine, when it is finished, would taste pretty citrus-y (if that's even a word ~ I didn't get a spellchecker red line when I typed it, so it must be a word!).

Denise Schreiber provides all the instruction you'll need in this fascinating book for gathering up the flowers and for cleaning and preparing them for use. Cleaning the flowers is important, I would think, just to be sure you didn't accidentally bring any bugs into the house when you brought the flowers indoors!

Denise really does seem to be knowledgeable in the writing of this book, and presents the information in a clear and helpful way. It's also presented in a way that is sure to make cooking with flowers a fun challenge for anyone who would like to try that! I found the book to be fascinating and beautifully illustrated.

The second part of the book is devoted to sharing recipes for using flowers in cooking. How about rose petal ice cream? YUM! The Oriental Broccoli Salad recipe also sounded interesting and good. Being a person who loves cream cheese in just about any recipe it appears in, I was fascinated by the edible flower cream cheese spread. I wonder how that would be on a bagel? Food for thought! (Pun intended).

I remember thinking when I read this book that it would also make a fantastic hostess gift, Christmas or Birthday gift, or a Mother's Day Gift for all the gardeners and cooks in your life! It would also be a neat thing to show to kids and have them help in the kitchen when you're whipping up one of these interesting flower recipes. I think kids especially would get a kick out of these interesting and yummy looking recipes!

So, if you have ever cooked with flowers or are thinking of cooking with them, Eat Your Roses:... Pansies, Lavender, and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers is a valuable guide for choosing and using flowers to cook with and to eat. Denise Schreiber has done a wonderful job in presenting an interesting and very useful book.

If you do cook with flowers, leave a comment below and let us know how your recipes turned out!

Comments

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    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Eddy! So glad you enjoyed this, thank you for reading and commenting. :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      5 years ago from Wales

      A great review and thanks for sharing.

      Eddy.

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Joe! I had been told the same thing about some purple flowers that grew in our area. I think they were clover - they had a sweet taste, too. Thanks again!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Loved this hub, Kathy--a combination book review and info presentation of an interesting topic. Made me think about my youth when I learned from a friend that a certain red hibiscus flower, when sucked from the bottom, released a sweet and delicious nectar. Thanks for sharing! Blessings and aloha from SE Washington!

      Joe

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thank you so much, Faith! So glad you liked this, and thanks so much for the votes and shares, I really appreciate it! :)

      I had heard about Oleanders, too, and they are all OVER the place in Nevada! They grow really well here. We are always careful to keep those away from our cats! God Bless you, too! :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      I did know certain flowers were edible, and some are deadly if swallowed, i.e., the oleander. I did know one can make rose water and it is very good for you to drink. Great book review here and very interesting.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      You are so welcome, Joanne! So glad you enjoyed this! Hope you like the book, too! Thanks so much for commenting! :)

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 

      5 years ago

      Okay, this is really interesting and now I have to get that book. I know you can make wine out of rose petals and also a mixed drink from magnolia petals. I adore flowers, I work around them daily and would love a copy of this book. I'll check it out online and thanks so much for the information.

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