Have you ever eaten flowers from your garden? Fruits, herbs and vegetables aren‘t the only things you can eat from your garden. From the earliest times, the blossoms of plants were used for sustenance, at first by trial and error and by watching what birds and animals ate. As time went on, traditions were established: it became known which flowers were edible and this information was passed on within families. A new research states that common edible flowers are rich in phenolic and have excellent antioxidant capacity. They can be added to your food to prevent chronic disease.
Roses, violets, daisies and nasturtiums are not only delightful to look at - they are edible. Their petals and blossoms give salads and desserts, smoothies, syrups and teas a unique and special flavor. Edible flowers are rich in essential oils, which can help build up electrical energy in the body and also provide nutrients and healing properties.
The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking — think of squash blossoms in Italian food and rose petals in Indian food. Candied or even deep – fried, pickled or pickled fresh before sprinkling on salads or soups. Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor and a little whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbaceous, while others are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising.
Eating Flowers Safely
- Eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants.
- Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
- Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
- Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.
- If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.
So eat and enjoy!
The red flowers have a minty flavor and makes an incredible addition to a kitchen garden that’s out to please the bees and butterflies too. Use this edible flower to make teas and bread.
Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber! The smaller, younger leaves are best in fresh salads since they are not quite as bristly as the older leaves. Freezing borage flowers in ice cubes is a fun addition to summer drinks. Borage may affect lactation in pregnant and nursing women, so it’s best if it’s not used by a breastfeeding mother. In large amounts, borage may have a diuretic effect. Some herbalists warn that borage can be toxic to the liver.
Calendula is also called "poor man's saffron." Our ancestors used the petals to give soups, gravies and butter a yellowish hue. The bright yellow or orange flower is also well known for its medicinal use. Calendula produces wonderful flowers that have an uncommon flavor that‘s both citrusy and herbal. Hardy and forgiving, they are incredibly easy to cultivate, smell wonderful and have a unique flavor. Calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy and spicy. Their vibrant golden color adds dash to any dish.
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma. Carnations have long been brewed in tea as they can help to relieve stress and nervousness.
Small and daisy like, the flowers have a sweet, mild flavor, taste a bit like apples. Commonly used for calming teas and soothing sachets, and also its flowers can be used to make breads and puddings. The tiny flower buds and petals can be eaten in salads and sandwiches. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and wound healing properties.
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals. This is an extremely potent herbal tea. Chrysanthemum tea is a natural coolant and helps in lowering the temperature of the body when suffering from fever or even heat stroke. Chrysanthemum tea has high amounts of B carotene which are present in the yellow part and the fruit. The B carotene is converted in Vitamin A in the liver.
Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is often used as garnish in salads. Known to contain anthocyanins and antioxidants, they are also believed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish. Extracts from hollyhock root are sweet enough to be used in marshmallow candies and treats. Every part of the hollyhock plant is edible, and the flower petals or buds can be eaten raw in salads. The leaves can also be added to salads, and are edible cooked as well, and have a slightly bitter or even bland flavor.
These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes and add to salads. It is said to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-viral properties.
Sweet, spicy, beautiful and perfumed, the dainty purple flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes. It looks absolutely amazing in the garden and is incredibly easy to grow.
what a wonderfully way to add a touch of the exotic. Day lilies are loved by gardeners, because they easily grow and thrive. They come in a truly amazing range of colors and cultivars. You can find these dried edible flowers at Asian markets, or you can easy to grow your own. A quick snip in your garden and you will have a breathtaking garnish for salads and fancy bakery.
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. Flowers you can eat straight from the vine. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content. Actually, the entire winding, trailing part of the plant that is above ground is edible. The buds can be pickled and used like capers. Add an exotic twist to any dish by sprinkling a few of these lovely blossoms around.
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste. This bright colored big flower is beneficial for your heart, kidney, blood pressure among others as it is high on potassium and other minerals.
these may be the daintiest flowers you can eat. Their rose hips (bulging seed pod that grows on rose stalks) are edible too. Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties. Rose petals enhance many a dish, particularly cakes and desserts, they are fantastic sprinkled on salads and eaten with fruits. In Middle Eastern cuisine, the petals are distilled into rose water for concentrated flavor.
Squash and pumpkin
Towering over the other often hum-drum flowers of the vegetable garden, squash produces bold, big flowers that you can eat. Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke. Pick the flowers when they are in the bud stage. The buds taste similar to artichokes. Pull off the bitter green around the bottom of the bud. You may steam sunflower buds or boil them in water for a few moments and serve with butter. Peel young sunflower stalks and cut into bite-sized snacks or toss into salads. Sunflower stalks -- which taste similar to celery -- provide a crunchy texture to salads. Choose immature sunflowers that have pliable, tender stalks that turn their large flowers to face the sun. Avoid older plants with woody stalks.
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks. Candied violets, a beautiful extra on cakes and desserts, spring to mind immediately when it comes to edible buds. The petals are delicate to the taste, and can also lend their aroma to salads and soups.