Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Canna I eat it? YeS!

So, the recent storm/hurricane like conditions that passed through here recently surprisingly did not screw up my vegetable garden.

The tomatoes are doing fine, malabar spinach is loving the water, the bean trellis broke a little, but I just propped it up a bit. Dittany of Crete (herb, member of Oregano family) got waterlogged and isn't looking great (aka all the leaves fell off) but I have a cutting when it broke earlier, so hopefully that will survive.

The real damage happened in the flower garden areas, with the tallest of my Bells of Ireland (interestingly spicy smelling I found out) flopped over a broke, Calla lilies sagged sadly and my cannas, those got majorly icked over and were so heavy and sort tall they decided to fall over in the soft waterlogged hill patch I have them in, so I decided to take all my sad flowers and make the very rare bouquet in my house:
No huge loss as I have a ridiculous number of cannas and I was thinking of giving half of them away anyways, but I have been thinking about their edibility and my research shows, DELICIOUS:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canna_(plant)
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/V3-507.html

Glass/cellophane noodles are Asian noodles that can be made with various types of starches, primarily mung beans, but cannas are rising in popularity as their starch has been found to be apparantly quite excellent in noodle making. You can find glass noodles in Asian stores, in restaurants usually in spring rolls, or basic noodle dishes...mmmm....


(Thanks to http://maona.net for pic)
Though the idea of making glass noodles may be somewhat time consuming, I understand that you can eat the tubers like potatoes anyways... we'll see, if people don't want cannas, what better way to use them than to FEED!??

4 comments:

A Home Made said...

Since you're my resident expert on all plants edible...

I'm looking at buying a hibiscus sometime in the near future. Especially after seeing yours in bloom. I remember you saying that your perennial ones were edible and that your annual one wasn't.

Just wondering before I buy one and try to eat it if all the perennial ones are edible and all the annuals are inedible (exceptions to the rules?) or if you know of a good location that says which varieties are edible because I can't seem to find one

-Anna

persephone said...

For the most part, the general consensus is that nearly all hibiscus are edible. I said that the annual one wasn't because I haven't had any positive research stating it, but it is possible that it wouldn't kill me if I ate it :) There are actually a lot of hibiscus that are considered to be edible, not only flower-wise, but leave wise with high protein content interestingly enough, and considered a "famine food." Abelmoschus manihot being one case (http://www.hibiscus.org/species/amanihot.php) ( and another helpful link with many hibiscus varieties, http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/faminefoods/ff_families/MALVACEAE.html)

The hibiscus that we seek to make the tasty zinger teas we enjoy is actually Hibiscus sabdariffa (http://www.hibiscus.org/recipes.php) which is grown primarily in the Bahamas/Jamaica where it is also called False Roselle. The tea is made too with the calyxes rather than the flowers is my understanding to get the full flavor, but my Red River hibiscus has beautiful red flowers that produce a reddish tint on my fingers when I pluck them, so I am going to give them a try anyways.

Also, the typical tropical annual hibiscus you see in the garden nurseries are edible too (http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Hibiscus+rosa-sinensis) though I would be somewhat cautious about all the supposed medicinal effects. Though an annual, you can take it inside to be a spiffy houseplant :)

persephone said...

As it turns out, I am a gardener with Little Brain (oh old school Winnie the Pooh!) Doing FURTHER research, it turns out that my annual Haight Ashby hibiscus is really member of the Hibiscus acetosella, A FALSE ROSELLE hibiscus, where we get the tea from! *dance dance dance* FOR THE WIN! (I figured this out by looking at the sabdariffa hibiscus again for a second and thought, "Wait, that looks familiar..." *research, research, research* WIN!

A Home Made said...

Hehe. Thanks for the info and awesome to hear the news about the annual. Too bad my visit weren't a few weeks later or I might have gotten to taste the Hibiscus Martinis and Hibiscus teas.

Happy drinking!