Ever wonder about what flowers are edible? You are not alone. Many people are unaware of the vast number of flowers that are not only edible, but actually good for you. Just be sure to never eat a flower you haven’t identified and be cautious if you have hay fever, allergies or asthma. Stay clear of flowers that may have been exposed to pesticides.
Aim to harvest flowers at their peak, early in the morning. Short-stemmed varieties should either be refrigerated or used within a few hours, while long-stemmed flowers can be kept in a vase of water. You will also discover that some varieties can be dried and stored for future use.
List of 12 Edible Flowers You Should Grow
Believe it or not, roses contain more vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable. Rugosa roses or other older varieties typically offer the most flavor. They are often used to make jam, syrup and tea, or used as a garnish.
Not only are these pinkish-purple flowers stunning in your garden, they offer a mild onion flavor you may have enjoyed on a loaded baked potato a time or two. Chives are also ideal to add to cream cheese and dips, casseroles, sautéed vegetables and salads.
These are one of the most effortless flowering bushes to grow. The distinct, fresh fragrance compliments their beauty. They can be used to garnish a plate or a drink or blend them in your vanilla protein shake.
4. Squash Blossoms
Do you have squash growing in your garden? If so, don’t dismiss those vibrant yellow blossoms that the plants offer. These are the perfect flowers to stuff as an eye-catching appetizer. Alternatively, you can dip them in egg and flour and fry them like a fritter.
These elegant blossoms may seem like they would be hard to grow but they’re not. Since they grow in nearly any type of soil as long as it drains well, anyone can enjoy them. Similar to squash blossoms, they can be fried or stuffed with soft cheeses. Daylilies are also an essential ingredient if you want to make hot and sour soup. If you’re having guests over, float them in the punch bowl or dress martinis with them.
Some call them weeds, others refer to them as invasive, but you will come to love them for their health benefits. Dandelions are extremely rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. They may be used for urinary disorders, acne and skin care, weight loss, jaundice, anemia, high blood pressure and more.
The exotic-looking flowers from this plant taste refreshing, like a cucumber. They can be candied for decorative pieces on baked goods, used as a garnish or tossed in salads. Borage does have a diuretic effect and should not be consumed in large quantities.
These bright-yellow flowers can be added to salads and or the leaves can be steamed or added to stews. This is one of the rare edible flowers that contain vitamin K as well as organosulfur phytonutrients, which are shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and certain cancers.
These flowers taste a lot like saffron but without the high price tag. They are tangy, peppery, spicy and offer a golden hue to the dish that they are cooked in.
There are records of hibiscus as an edible flower that date all the way back to Roman times. Hibiscus tea is readily available at many grocery stores in the herbal tea area. It has a tangy flavor that is extremely high in antioxidants! Learn more about which hibiscus is edible.
These long-lived, late summer buds are often pickled. Some people enjoy using them in place of capers as they are sweet, peppery and mildly pungent.
The blossoms for mint plants are ideal for tea but they can also be used in salads or as a garnish. Other members of this family include bee balm and lemon balm.
If you do all of your shopping in the store or at your local farmer’s market, you are missing out. When you grow your own plants, you are able to make use of all edible parts.
Want to learn more about flowers that are safe to eat?
See these helpful websites:
Wild and Cultivated Flowers You Can Eat – University of Vermont
Edible Flowers – Iowa State University
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