THE LOTUS FLOWER. MORE TO IT THAN MEETS THE EYE
The lotus flower, Nelumbo nucifera.
The relationships that are sometimes developed between man and plant can be very fascinating. This definitely holds true for the lotus flower. The lotus flower and human connection goes back well beyond 1000 years, and crosses numerous cultural and geographical boundaries even from ancient times. The lotus is even revered in a spiritual way by several cultures. Still today, lotus is a widely known and popular water garden plant that can be found in about any water garden center, just about anywhere on the planet. The lotus flower has achieved truly an iconic status with its familiar large flower head that is easily identified by even the beginner water garden enthusiasts and chefs.
Chefs? Why is the loveyourPOND blog, keyword POND, talking about chefs? Well, it is because a big part of the reason that the lotus flower has stood the test of time for more than a millennia now, and is propagated and sold worldwide, is because it happens to be edible! Like most plants that have kept up with the pace of humanity the lotus not only is beautiful, it is useful too, and its added benefit of being edible and providing nourishment to our bodies is what has kept this beautiful flower so near and dear to us.
The lotus roots, seeds, leaves, and stems are all edible. The lotus seeds can be dried and popped like we do to corn, or even eaten raw. Young leaves and stems can be mixed into salads. The versatile root can be used in soups, or as a tasty snack chip! Wait a moment though; before you run out to your pond, grab a lotus, and start chewing on it; at least let me give you a recipe!
LOTUS ROOT CHIPS
The juice of (1) Meyers Lemon
½ cup water
3 tsp. Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt
Crushed Red Pepper (of course!)
How to Prepare:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Slice root across (not lengthwise) into 1/8” thick pieces
- Mix lemon juice and water
- Soak sliced roots in lemon juice mixture for 5-8 minutes
- Quick dry the root slices and spread out onto cookie sheet
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Add salt and red pepper to taste
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, but be sure to flip the slices half way through
- Serve them up!!
If you have not had lotus chips before you are in for a treat. Just don’t tell anyone that they are eating from your pond until after they have enjoyed this tasty snack. What you can tell them is that you have just prepared a fun healthy and easy recipe that is high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. You have also just helped to keep that ancient relationship between man and lotus flower alive. So now that you have been properly prepared, now that you know what you are doing, now that you have worked up an appetite, NOW you can run out and start eating from your pond!
All copyrights to this material is solely owned by Mike Gannon.
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