They not only add sparkle to salads but can be used to decorate drinks and desserts.
However, not every plant or flower is edible, so education is key! Make use of the internet for plant identification and information. Harvest your edible flowers from pesticide free flower beds. Wash the flowers carefully in cold water and remove the stamens and pistils. Store in a paper towel lined covered container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Most of us are familiar with the common edible flower varieties such as nastursiums, pansies and roses. Surprisingly, there are many more flowers you can eat! Here are just a few.
Radishes- Let a few radishes go to flower and you will be rewarded with a peppery addition to your favorite salads.
Hibiscus sabdariffa – Hibiscus petals have a tart cranberry flavor. The part of the hibiscus plant that supports the flower is called the calyx. Air dry the calyces and use for hibiscus herbal tea. Pre-dried hibiscus rose hip tea can be purchased in bulk in Canada.
Perennial Monarda or BeeBalm has a minty flavor with hints of citrus and oregano. The petals can be used as a cake decoration, in fancy drinks and salads.
Clover flowers not only have a pleasing scent but the petals have a sweet licorice flavor as well. Separate the petals from the flower head before use. Wash carefully before use as insects love clover too!
Cornflowers have beautiful blue flower petals. Use the sweet clove tasting petals in salads and the whole flower as a garnish or in drinks.
The edible garden pea also has edible tendrils and flowers. Do not eat the scented ornamental sweet pea as they are poisonous
The prolific climbing Scarlett Runner Bean produces intense red flowers that are delicious! Use in salads and as a garnish for soups.
Dianthus caryophyllus – Separate the flower petals from the bitter white base. They have a delicate clove flavor that adds interest to salads and desserts.
Sunflowers are a common edible flower known for their tasty seeds. Did you know that you can eat the steamed flower buds that have been fried in butter? They taste very much like artichokes. Sunflower petals can be used in soups and salads.
These are just a few of the amazing variety of flowers you can eat. Freeze them in ice cubes, add them to your favorite beverage and enjoy!
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