Call me stubborn, but I refuse to believe that my sudden craving for rose this month is entirely attributable to old St. Valentine, lurking just around the corner. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Valentine and a box of chocolates as much as anyone. But I’d also like to believe there is something more instinctual and primal to this desire for heady floral flavors, something seasonal and ancient.

Indeed, despite the fact that winter still reigns supreme over the landscape, it does feel that with the change of the calendar over to February, something very subtle shifts. The days feel brighter as the persistent cloud cover thins and dissipates, and the evening twilight lingers on just ever so slightly longer. Laying at the halfway mark between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, February 1st, or Imbolc, is still celebrated throughout much of the British Isles as the beginning of spring. I’d like to think that this is what my craving for rose is really about — an awakening.

Sweet and softly perfumed, adding a touch of rose petal or rosewater to your cooking lends an exotic note that lifts whatever it touches. The natural bedfellow of sweet, creamy desserts and cakes, rose can have a savory side, too, making a frequent appearance in Persian cooking, added to rice pilafs, or simmered with hunks of lamb or joints of chicken. Paired with warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or star-anise, rose adds just the right amount of lightness, elevating the heavier flavors of deep winter with its floral suggestion of spring.

Whether you want to celebrate the first inklings of springtime awakening, or just be a little more romantic in honor of Valentine’s day, here is a little rose inspired chia pudding to help you celebrate.

Strawberry Rose Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt for a dairy free option)
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 6 tbs chia seeds
  • Toppings: fresh raspberries and strawberries, roughly chopped pistachios, rose petals and honey

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients except for the chia seeds into a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl. Add the chia seeds and whisk until well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl and place the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid and the pudding to thicken.
  4. When ready to serve, garnish with the fresh berries, chopped pistachios, rose petals and a drizzle of honey.

This pudding will keep in the fridge for about four days and serves two.

Writer Danielle Charles Davies has a BSc in Herbal Science from Bastyr University and in addition completed two years of clinical training at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. She has a Masters Degree in Writing and has written for the the American Herbalists Guild and has also served as a food columnist. Her musings, and recipes, can be found at her blog, Teacup Chronicles.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.