We’ve collected 15 creative ways that you can add edible flowers to your menu and reap the benefits of fresh edible blooms.
Edible blooms are becoming ever more popular as people look for ways to use every inch of their growing space. You might be surprised to find that the flowers you plant to attract pollinators to your garden are also terrific for adding to your own diet.
But first, some rules to follow when collecting flowers to eat.
- While a great many flowers are edible, not all are, so make a positive identification before you bite — be sure you know which flowers you can eat!
- Grow your edible flowers in your own organic garden where you know they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, and where they are sheltered from vehicle exhaust.
- Many flowers have a bitter calyx. Separate the petals and pinch off the bitter white base of each one, using only the fragrant petals for food.
- Avoid using the pistil and stamen, the sexual parts of the flower. In many flowers, the pollen can cause allergies. Some exceptions are pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, scarlet runner beans, clover, and chive blossoms.
Some of the flowers mentioned in this article include:
Read my article over at Attainable Sustainable for a detailed list of flowers that you can safely eat.
Savory Ideas for Edible Flowers
Edible flowers tend to have a sweet flavor but also pair well in savory dishes. For an unusual treat, try one of these ideas.
Flower and Herb Butter from MyRecipes
Butter becomes a canvas for whatever herbs and edible flowers are in your garden. Flower and herb butter is a delight to look at.
“I’ve never put this on a table without it prompting a lot of conversation and happy faces,” says Josh McFadden.
Wildflower & Arugula Salad from Harvest and Honey
This salad is highly up for interpretation and tweaking, so take a look and then see what flowers you have available in your garden this week.
Add Edible Flowers to Crepes from Say Yes
If you like to make crepes for your family on the weekends, adding edible flowers will be a nice surprise. They don’t change the flavor of the recipe at all but instead add a bit of intrigue to an otherwise boring food item.
Tea Sandwiches and Edible Flowers go together from Cooking with Wild Flowers
Edible Flowers in Drinks
Wildflower Herbal Tea from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
Dried edible flowers are perfect for using in this wildflower herbal infusion
Use colorful flowers in homemade lollipops from Garden Therapy
Crafting beautiful blooms into these edible flower lollipops is easier than you think. And your friends or party guests will be a sucker for them!
Flower Ice Cubes from Garden Therapy
Violets have a sweet, almost pea-like flavor and because of their size work especially well in ice cubes. Imagine the joy these will bring to your next get together!
Floral Cocktail Ideas from Sugar and Charm
This beautiful summer drink is made with strawberries, muddled edible flowers, lemonade and some elderflower cordial. The floral notes are strong but not overbearing, the lemonade adds a little sweetness and the strawberries make it pink! Next, I’ll try this in my Elderflower Mead Recipe.
Add Edible Blooms to Cookies and Baked Goods
Orange Cookies with Edible Flowers from the Decorated Cookie
These delicately-flavored orange vanilla cookies use orange extract for a flavor boost and pansies to liven them up.
Calendula Thyme Shortbread Cookies from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
These cookies are sophisticated and beautiful, yet simple to make. If you want to make different shapes, instead of forming the round log you can alternatively refrigerate the dough as a ball, and then roll out on a floured board and use cookie cutters.
How to Decorate Cakes with Edible Blooms from Cup Cake Project
Using edible flowers is an extremely easy way to decorate cakes at home as well. You can hide frosting flaws with beautiful blooms and add loads of color to your creations without ever having to use food coloring!
Edible Flowers in Desserts
Organic Coconut Flour Bark from Indigo Herbs
This recipe not only uses colorful flowers but uses dehydrated strawberries turned into powder. Berries dehydrate beautifully. Don’t be afraid to substitute powdered greens for a different flavor variation.
Crystalized Flowers for Baking Garnish from Lovely Greens
Primroses are another great edible flower. You can use them fresh but to preserve them for longer, you can crystallize primroses in sugar. Tanya at Edible Greens has the best tips.
Edible Blooms in Gelatin from TasteMade
This short video from TasteMade shows you how to set edible flowers inside of hollowed out egg shells and then add unflavored gelatin. Try flavor variations with grape or apple juice in place of the water.
Dandelion Jelly from Homestead Lady
Tessa’s book, the Do It Yourself Homestead, has a section on foraging in its “Green the Homestead” Chapter. She’s used foraged forsythia and dandelion to highlight this colorful jelly. Make it ahead and use it in your edible flower tea party!
Edible flowers are a treat for the eyes and healthy for your body. I bet you’ll look at your garden in a whole new way, now that you know how to incorporate edible flowers into your diet