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Central Park’s Edible Urban Garden is Ripe for the Picking

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Living in an urban environment one can frequently go for long periods of time without getting intimate with nature. Maybe even a lifetime. It is rare to see urbanites digging in the ground or planting a garden. And when envisioning a Mecca of wild edible plants, most likely a concrete jungle does not come to mind.

Think again.

As it turns out, Manhattan’s Central Park is home to more than 100 species of wild edible plants. Edible and free!

It takes an expert in what is called foraging, searching for food sources, to point out which species are edible and which are not. I met a foraging expert this Earth Day, his name is Wildman Steve Brill. He has been offering foraging tours of Central Park for nearly 30 years.

I joined Wildman for one of his four hour Central Park tours where around 30 participants plucked plants right from the ground and popped them in their mouths, and sampled flower buds off of a low hanging branch to savor their flavor profile. Spring is the season of greens, and small budding flowers. In four hours we all consumed plenty of wild greens and small budding flowers.
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Treat Yourself to Edible Flowers on Valentine’s Day

Flowers have always been a popular Valentine’s Day gift but did you know that sometimes you can eat them, too? Edible flowers are at the forefront of designer cocktail trends and some even play a role in delicious desserts.

Edible flowers transform an ordinary glass of bubbly into an enchanting cocktail and can make the simplest piece of low-fat cheesecake look like something from a four-star restaurant.

Wild Hibiscus: With a slightly acidic taste, hibiscus flowers make a big impact. Just drop this edible hibiscus flower into a glass of your favorite sparkling wine and watch the bubbles “bloom” the flower before your eyes. Ease into culinary flowers with Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, an all-natural product preserved in a syrup of cane sugar and spring water with a flavor reminiscent of raspberry and rhubarb. It’s crimson color is ideal for Valentine’s Day.


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