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7 Flowers You Can Eat

by Jack Grover
image of a flower
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Edible flowers are an excellent way to add a touch of elegance and natural goodness to your dishes. These delightful blooms not only bring sophistication to your meals but also offer a burst of unique flavors.

In this article, we explore seven flowers that are not only beautiful but can also be consumed. Our list includes the likes of nasturtiums, begonias, pansies, and sunflowers, among others. Adding these flowers to your dining table can make for an excellent conversation starter.

Join us as we dive into the world of edible flowers — delicious additions that will impress your guests and elevate your culinary creations!

Nasturtiums

orange colored flower

Nasturtiums are an easy way to add vibrancy and flavor to your dishes. With their red, orange, and yellow colors, these edible flowers can brighten up any plate. They also have a slightly spicy taste reminiscent of watercress, making them an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, cheese boards, and more.

Not only are nasturtiums visually appealing, but they’re also easy to grow. All they need is full sun and well-drained soil. You can start them indoors before transplanting or sow them directly into the ground. Regular watering during the growing season will ensure they flourish.

Using nasturtiums in your cooking is a great way to elevate dishes. They pair particularly well with creamy ingredients like goat cheese or avocado.

Begonias

pink colored flower

Begonias are edible flowers with an unmistakable citrusy flavor. They can be used to add a refreshing twist to salads or as a garnish to make a dish look even more appetizing.

Here are some ways to enjoy this flower in the kitchen:

  • Salads: Add begonia petals to salads for a bright and tangy flavor. The vibrant colors of the petals will instantly make the salad pop.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle begonia petals on soups, pasta, or roasted vegetables to add color and flavor.
  • Butter: Softened butter blended with chopped begonia flowers makes for a fragrant butter that can be spread on bread or used to enhance the taste of cooked dishes.
  • Ice cubes: Freeze begonia petals in ice cube trays with water or fruit juice to add a unique touch to drinks like iced tea or lemonade.

When using begonias, make sure to pick them on a dry, sunny day when they’re fully bloomed and that they were organically grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides.

Additionally, rinse the flowers under cold water before using them to remove any dirt or insects.

Pansies

blue colored flower

Pansies are an elegant and cheerful addition to all kinds of dishes and drinks. Their delicate petals come in vibrant shades of purple and yellow, and they have a mild flavor that’s refreshing and pleasant.

Besides, pansies are full of vitamin C, making them a nutritious choice for your culinary creations.

When selecting pansies for your recipes, choose fully bloomed flowers that are free from blemishes or discoloration. To ensure they’re clean, rinse them under cold water. Be careful not to disturb the petals or remove the pollen.

Pansies can be used fresh or dried, depending on your preference. To dry them, simply place the flowers on paper towels or clean tea towels in a single layer and allow them to dry in a warm, well-ventilated area. Once fully dried, store them in an airtight container for future use.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating these plants into your dishes and drinks. Sprinkle the petals over salads for added color and texture, infuse them into syrups or vinegar for a floral twist, or even freeze them into ice cubes for an elegant touch to beverages. Their mild flavor goes well with both sweet and savory dishes alike.

Chamomile

white colored flower with a yellow round shape in middle

Chamomile is an exquisite edible flower that adds a subtle hint of apple-like flavor to any culinary creation. This delicate bloom is known for its calming properties, making it a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

When using chamomile in cooking, choose the right variety. German chamomile is sweeter and preferred for culinary purposes. To extract their flavors, you can infuse the flowers in hot water, milk, or savory sauces.

The gentle aroma of chamomile pairs well with ingredients like honey, lemon zest, and vanilla.

In addition to its flavor profile, chamomile offers potential health benefits. It’s traditionally used as a natural remedy for gastrointestinal issues and sleep disorders due to its calming properties. Incorporating chamomile into your dishes can be a great way to reap the benefits of this flower.

There are many ways to incorporate chamomile into your dishes. Try making chamomile-infused ice cream or sorbet for a refreshing treat on warm summer days.

For an exciting twist, you could also experiment with adding dried chamomile flowers to baked goods such as cookies or breads.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus is an edible flower that can bring a burst of flavor and color to any dish. It’s not only a nutritional powerhouse but also incredibly versatile.

The petals of hibiscus flowers have a delightful combination of sweetness and tartness, like cranberries or citrus fruits. This factor makes them an excellent addition to drinks, desserts, marinades, and jellies.

Regarding the nutritional benefits of hibiscus, it’s packed with vitamins A and C. It means adding hibiscus to your diet can help keep your skin and immune system healthy.

Hibiscus flowers can be enjoyed in multiple forms. You can make hot or cold drinks like teas and cocktails with them. Alternatively, you can grind the dried petals into a powder and use it as a natural food coloring or add it to recipes for its unique taste.

Think of hibiscus next time you’re looking for something special to add to your recipes. Its taste and appearance are sure to impress both you and your guests.

Lavender

Lavender

Lavender is a delightful herb that adds a unique, floral, and sweet flavor to your cooking. Its distinct aroma and taste make it a popular choice for infusing dishes, drinks, and desserts.

The flowers are small and purple, with long, slender stems. They can be used fresh or dried, depending on your desired flavor.

To highlight the culinary uses of lavender, here are a few popular recipes that incorporate this fragrant herb:

  • Lavender-infused honey is a tasty addition to morning toast or tea.
  • Lavender lemonade is a refreshing blend of lemons and lavender.
  • Lavender shortbread cookies are buttery treats with a subtle lavender flavor.
  • Grilled lavender chicken is a savory dish with a fragrant twist.
  • Lavender crème brûlée is a creamy custard dessert enhanced by the delicate aroma of lavender.

When using lavender in cooking, make sure you use culinary-grade lavender that hasn’t been treated with pesticides or chemicals. To harvest the flowers, snip off the stems just before they bloom.

With its unique flavor profile and versatility in both sweet and savory dishes, lavender adds a delightful essence to any culinary creation. It’s sure to impress your guests and elevate your cooking.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a versatile culinary ingredient that can add sophistication to any dish. These hardy plants are easy to grow and require minimal effort to harvest.

Here are three reasons why you should use sunflowers in your cooking:

  1. Versatility: Sunflowers are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Their petals can be used as a colorful garnish for salads or desserts, adding a vibrant touch to any meal. Alternatively, you can infuse them in oils or vinegar to create flavorful dressings and marinades. You can even steam or sauté their unopened flower buds and enjoy them as a delicious side dish.
  2. Nutritional Benefits: Sunflower petals are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision and boosts immunity. At the same time, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps protect your cells from damage.
  3. Easy to Cultivate: Sunflowers are easy to grow and require minimal care. They thrive in sunny locations with well-drained soil and need regular watering during dry periods. With proper care, these resilient flowers will reward you with beautiful blooms that can be harvested when they reach maturity.

The Bottom Line

You’ve learned about seven different flowers that aren’t just visually appealing but also edible. These flowers, including nasturtiums, begonias, pansies, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, and sunflowers, can be a delightful addition to various dishes and drinks.

By growing your own organic flowers from seeds and properly identifying them on a dry, sunny day when they’re fully bloomed, you can ensure their safety for consumption. Remember to rinse them under cold water without removing the pollen, and consider drying them in a warm, well-ventilated place for future use.

Enjoy the sophistication and natural goodness these edible flowers bring to your culinary experiences!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all parts of the nasturtium plant edible?

Yes, all parts of the nasturtium plant are edible. The flowers, leaves, and seeds can be eaten. Nasturtium flowers have a slightly spicy flavor and are often used in salads or as a garnish.

Can I eat all varieties of begonias?

Yes, you can. Tuberous begonias are superior for eating, while wax begonias are also edible. However, ensure the flowers are organically grown and free from herbicides or pesticides.

Can pansies be used in savory dishes?

Yes, they can. They have a mild flavor and are high in vitamin C. Pansies can be added to salads, soups, and other savory recipes to add a touch of color and flavor.

What are some other culinary uses for chamomile flowers?

Chamomile flowers have various culinary uses. They can be infused in teas, cocktails, and desserts, adding a floral, earthy, and apple-like flavor to your dishes. Their versatility makes them a great addition to your culinary repertoire.

How can I incorporate lavender flowers into my cooking?

You can use them to infuse marinades, desserts, drinks, and jellies. Their floral, herbaceous, and sweet flavor adds a unique touch to your dishes.

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