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Are Violas Edible: Can You Make Recipes Out Of Them?

Do you know, Pansies and Violas are often mistaken for blooms with large heart-shaped and overlapping petals? 

Generally, Violas produce small five-petaled flowers of vibrant hues ranging from yellow to orange, maroon, and purple, which are edible. These flowers hold medicinal properties used for garnishing salads and dishes or preparing recipes, but not all are edible.

So, continue the article to know the Violas you must avoid and those you can use as a medicinal and flavoring ingredient.

Are All Violas Edible?

With more than 500 species under the genus Viola, the authenticity of each might be turbulent, but researchers have concluded that not all species are the same.

Only a few of the chosen species of Violas are edible, including some famous ones like Cornuta, Hybrida, Tricolor, Sororia (wild violets), and Odorata.

Flowers and leaves of Violas are often used for culinary and medicinal purposes, the major being the Sweet Violet (Viola odorata).

While the famous African Violet, commonly found in American houses, and Dogtooth Violet are not true Violas and are credited to be poisonous to humans and pets.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Violas?

Getting a taste of the Violas species might make you appreciate nature’s work, but its medicinal benefits are even more praiseworthy.

The small five petals flower, with four arranged symmetrically and the fifth on a spur, holds anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and antipyretic benefits.
The yellow five petaled flower of Viola.
The flower structure of Violas often makes the gardeners confused with Pansies.

Traditionally, the Viola ordata is productive in treating respiratory ailments like cough, bronchitis, and colds, by preparing a syrup using the plant parts.

Even modern science has accepted that the syrup from it is essential in treating insomnia and migraines.

Along with flowers, the heart-shaped leaves are also a rich source of Vitamin A and C which are said to have anti-cancer properties and help reduce stress.

While the roots possess abundant minerals and, when used with vinegar, can help to treat cracks on the feet.

How To Eat Violas?

The edible Violas are famous for their sweet fragrance, giving off a vegetal flavor similar to lettuce and a minty wintergreen taste when used in salads, cocktails, desserts, and cakes.

Often people use the young leaves raw or cook them as a mild-flavor leafy vegetable. Some even crystallize them to use as an ingredient in various recipes.

So preparing the dish depends solely on your taste. However, some famous confectionery ideas using edible Violas are as follows.

1. Viola Candy Bark

  • Take a large baking sheet and line it with heavy foil.
  • Combine 2 ounces of chocolate, 1/3 cup vanilla-flavored chopped candy coating, and one tablespoon of shortening in a microwave-friendly bowl.
  • Keep the bowl inside the microwave without covering it with 100% power for 1.5 to 2 minutes until the chocolate melts.
  • But keep stirring the mix every 30 seconds by adding two drops of edible Lavender oil.
  • After the chocolate melts completely, pour it into the baking sheet and sprinkle half a cup of Violas.
  • Let the combination chill for half an hour or until firm.
  • Enjoy the candy for at least a week by storing it in an airtight container in a refrigerator.

2. Viola Salad

  • Rinse off the Viola flowers and salad greens thoroughly.
  • Place the cleaned salad greens, sliced Cucumbers, and Cherry Tomatoes in a large bowl, and mix them with thinly sliced red onions.
  • Add the Viola flowers and crumbled feta cheese to the bowl.
  • Now, drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette and bend it well. Alternatively, you can use cider or red wine vinegar with half a tablespoon of sugar.
  • After the last step, your salad is ready to serve.
Salad prepared from cucumbers, onions, carrots, and violas.
Use the flowers of Viola to garnish the salads to add a flavorful taste.

3. Infused Water

  • Clean the Viola flowers thoroughly by ensuring no dirt. 
  • Take a jug full of water and add the flowers inside it.
  • Stir the water and flower mix gently so that they submerge completely.
  • Let the mix blend entirely for about an hour or two by placing it in a refrigerator.
  • Afterward, take the Viola mixed water out and enjoy the drink by adding ice cubes if you want a chilling feel.

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

The French are big fans of Violas flowers, which they use by coating egg white and crystallized sugar or adding hot syrup over the fresh flower till it dries.

Even the scent of Violas is attractive and addictive that industries use flowers to prepare perfumes. So why not keep them as a natural air freshener?

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