Water Lily and Lotus

Water Lily and Lotus

This month we explore a small sliver of the beauty and bounty of nature that can be found in the water.  We have recently been revitalizing our water garden habitats and we have some amazing results.  The aquatic plants commonly known as Water Lily (family Nymphaeaceae) and Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) have been cultivated. You might be asking, “What’s the difference between the two” or “How can I tell which is which?”  It is actually very simple.  Lotus have emergent leaves; that is, they stick up out of the water.  Water Lily leaves float on the surface with the aid of air filled stems and veins.

Lotus are significant across many religions and cultures, and symbolize purity and rebirth.  As the spectacular flowers rise from the muddy water, they emerge spotless and clean, opening with the rising sun.  Their leaves hydrophobic, which means that they shed water almost as if by magic.  As this happens, the water takes any dirt with it so the leaves and flowers always appear clean and fresh.  Imagine in the ancient world, where everything was covered with dirt, and you come across this beautiful, perfectly clean plant poking out of a muddy stream.  It is easy to understand how they became sacred.

Water lilies were especially sacred to the ancient Egyptians.  Different cultivars open in the morning and close at night, or vice versa.  Some varieties also have flowers that effectively change sex—opening one day in the female phase, then opening the next time as male.

Both Water Lilies and Lotus are rhizomatous, meaning the root is a rhizome like Ginger and Bamboo.  Lotus is more popular as a food source, and is cultivated extensively in Asia.  Described as dense, crunchy and starchy in texture with a faintly nutty and sweet flavor, it is frequently sliced and stir fried.

Please visit the Fruit and Spice Park so you can truly appreciate the beauty of these most amazing creations.  We have an incredible variety of wonders that will excite your senses and reconnect you with the nature’s beauty!

 

Try this recipe from wokandskillet.com

Stir Fried Lotus Root in Garlic Sauce features sliced crunchy lotus root tossed in a tangy garlic sauce. Healthy, nutritious, and incredibly delicious. Ready in only about 15 minutes!

Stir Fried Lotus Root in Garlic Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Servings 4 people

Calories 89 kcal

Ingredients

2 cups thinly sliced lotus root

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

2 teaspoons brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 – 3 garlic cloves minced

Instructions

Prepare the sauce by combining soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, dark soy sauce and brown sugar.

In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch with water. Stir well to remove any clumps.

Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add lotus root slices and stir-fry until slightly brown; about 2 minutes.

Add garlic to the wok and stir-fry until aromatic; about 20 seconds.

Stir in the sauce, toss to coat the lotus root slices.

Drizzle in the cornstarch mixture. It should thicken immediately. Give it a quick stir, then turn off the heat.

Transfer the dish to a serving plate, then garnish with scallions and red chili.

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