Edible flowers are not just a modern food trend. People have been using flowers in foods for millennia. Not only do they look pretty, but they are also tasty and nutritional too.
Edible Flowers Add Nutritional Value:
There has not been an extensive amount of studies done to date on edible flowers. But the research there is shows edible flowers provide vitamins A, C, B2, B3 and minerals calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium.
Not All Flowers Are Edible
Some flower varieties are poisonous to humans. Some flowers that could be edible are sprayed with pesticides making them toxic.
Always be sure your flowers are from a reputable source and labeled “edible” or “culinary” or “for human consumption.”
If you choose to grow your own, research to make sure they are safe to eat and never spray anything on them or use herbicides around them.
I have several lavender and rosemary plants, as well as a few roses and plenty of yarrow in my yard. Not to mention the dandelions that like to pop up uninvited. All are attractive, edible, and easy to grow with minimal care where I live.
What Flowers Can Be Eaten?
Some edible flowers that can be eaten:
Hibiscus (often labeled as Jamaica in the Mexican food aisle)
Honeysuckle (depending on species the berries may be poisonous)
Roses, both the petals and hips (the round ball below the flower)
What Do Edible Flowers Taste Like?
It depends on the flower.
Intense smelling flowers like lavender and roses taste like they smell. Squash blossoms taste faintly like the squash.
Calendula has a peppery or bitter taste. Hibiscus is tart.
Though most people mainly use just the rosemary leaves in cooking, the flowers are edible as well, offering a faint taste of rosemary.
How to Serve Flowers
- Use fresh flowers in salads, cheese spreads, compound kinds of butter, or salad dressings.
- Freeze them in ice cubes to dress up cold beverages.
- Brew dried flowers into tea and serve hot or cold.
- Decorate cakes and cupcakes. Add to baked goods.
- Flavor homemade jams and jellies.
- Make a simple syrup. Add equal parts sugar (or sugar-free alternative) and water to a saucepan with some flowers. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve the sugar, then strain. Use to flavor teas, lemonades, and other drinks.
Edible Flower Recipes
- Berry Hibiscus Iced Tea
- White Peach and Honeysuckle Martini
- Lavender Grape Jelly
- Orange Lavender Marmalade
- Honey Dandelion Shortbread Cookies
- Honey Lavender Scones
- Lemon Calendula Scones
- Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta
- Tomato and Rose Petal Harissa
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