Edible Flowers – a Trend to Delight All Your Senses

My Garden Life
March 6, 2019
Table of Contents

One of the biggest trends in the culinary world right now is fresh flowers. Edible flowers can be used to put a colorful, fragrant, tasty and unexpected twist on traditional recipes. They can be added as an ingredient in a recipe or used as a decorative garnish. They’re also a great addition to the herbal teas and infusions that are currently so popular. Flavors range from mild and sweet to peppery and tart. Here are some common edible flowers you’ll want to try:

Viola

Viola flowers decorating a cake.

Delicate sweet flavor. Use individual flowers to garnish cakes, desserts, salads, drinks or on crackers and bread with cheese spreads.

Calendula

Calendula flowers with petals sprinkled over cheese and crackers.

Tangy, honey flavor. Separate the petals and use them in salad, rice, or mashed potatoes. Calendula is considered a saffron-substitute.

Borage

Beautiful blue blossoms with a fresh, cucumber-like flavor. A versatile flower that blends well in beverages such as lemonade, infusions or cocktails. Delicious and colorful with cheese spreads and salads. Use as a garnish to make any dish look special.

Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop plant in tea

Sweet, licorice-like flavor. Separate the tiny flowers and sprinkle them on summer soup or over creamy cheese spread on bread or crackers. Use entire flower head to make a flavorful tea.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium flowers on a lettuce salad

Spicy, peppery flavor. The whole flowers look beautiful tossed with borage flowers over a leafy salad. Makes a colorful garnish for any dish or as a sandwich topping.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus tea

Mildly tart, sweet flavor. Separate the petals and use in salad, tea, or cocktails. Perfect for adding bright color to a dish or beverage.

Chive Blossoms

Chives in cheese sperad

Light, onion flavor. Use the entire flower or separate into small florets. Delicious in salads, garnishing soup, or served with cheese spread on bread or crackers.

Pansy

Pansy flowers in a lettuce salad are a colorful choice among edible flowers.

Light, grassy flavor. Beautiful as a garnish! Flavor blends well with leafy or fruit salads and cheese spreads.

Lavender

Lavender flowers in lemonade

Sweet with a light floral scent. Use in desserts or beverages such as lemonade, teas, infusions or cocktails. Submerge a flower in a glass of champagne to make any occasion extra-special.

Tips for Harvesting Edible Flowers

  • Do not apply pesticides to plants with flowers you intend to eat.
  • Always wash flowers thoroughly before eating them, and then air dry on a towel.
  • Do not harvest flowers along roadsides where they are exposed to chemicals from vehicle exhaust and asphalt.
  • Use fresh flowers immediately after harvesting or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container lined with damp paper towel for up to 1 week.
  • Most edible flowers can be dried for later use in potpourris, teas, or cooking. You can use the same techniques as those used for drying herbs.

Have you tried edible flowers yet? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below.

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