By Erin Trauth
Since we’ve been talking a lot about love and courting on iEatGrass these days, let it be known, my devoted admirers*: I’d take a bouquet of sunflowers over roses any day. I’m not so much a flower gal myself, but sunflowers are a pretty perfect choice as far as flowers go – bright and cheery, yet simple, understated, and not yet overdone the way other flowers (read: roses) have been.
We all know sunflowers can brighten any room, but what makes this fiery bloom even more fabulous is that, when you’re done admiring it, you can eat it, too. When I think of eating sunflowers, what comes to mind most often is the seeds, which are a popular snack in their roasted form or ground into sunflower butter for spreads and dressings. Sunflower oil is also often extracted for cooking and marinating. What many don’t know, however, is this sunny flower’s petals can be eaten raw (after washing), and its bud can be steamed like an artichoke for a flavorful snack or side dish. The leaf stalks can be boiled and used as garnish to a salad or in vegetable mixes and stir-fries. For tea drinkers, sunflower leaves can be simmered for use to sooth pulmonary problems or as a diuretic. Now, can roses say all that? Score another for the sunflowers.
How do you use your sunflowers? If you end up trying this flower in a meal or drink, let us know how it turns out!
*Note: By devoted admirers, I basically mean imaginary people. Sigh.