The Prettiest Flowers That You Can Eat

When you think of a beautiful blossom, a delicious snack might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Just like honey bees, people can eat flowers for health benefits or taste. Consider growing a garden and adding these flowers for a beautiful and delicious combination of blooms. Making a bouquet of them could also be a whimsical dining table decoration and you can plan ahead to incorporate some of the flavors of the bouquet in your meal. Don't overlook the health benefits of eating flowers.

Why Eat Flowers?

These flower varieties make delicious teas or salad toppings and many have medicinal properties. When choosing flowers to eat, it’s healthiest to pick those grown free of pesticides. Read on to discover what flowers you can eat!

Roses

Roses are a star player in any bouquet, and they're also a great flower to eat. Rich in vitamin C, edible rose petals are used in folk remedies to boost immunity. Colloquially, they're also good to make the person who eats them as beautiful as a rose. Roses taste sweet and tart, and they have a vibrant flavor that's one of a kind. Rosewater is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes, so you might want to add it to your meal plans.

Violets and Pansies

Many varieties of violets and pansies look like smiling faces and you'll feel happy adding them to your dishes. Use them as a garnish for salads, fruit punch, sandwiches, and more. Either cultivated flowers or wild violets are edible. Violets have medicinal properties of promoting relaxation. The foliage, meaning the petals, is edible, but the leaves are not. Edible pansies have a mild green taste, but some may taste slightly minty or like sweet bubblegum. The bright colors sprinkled on a cake or salad greens are truly outstanding.

Lavender

Lavender is a popular edible flower in European countries. The scent of lavender is calming, and many people drink lavender tea to help with a good night’s sleep. Lavender tastes how it smells: an earthy and light flavor with a hint of sweetness. It's similar to rosemary, mint, and citrus. The lavender plant is a member of the Lamiaceae family, or mint family, and cultivation has created a distinct flower. Specific cultivars are "kitchen herbs," such as Lavandula angustifolia. You can eat fresh lavender and dried lavender; however, fresh bud forms are softer and dried buds create a more potent taste.

Hibiscus

Tropical and colorful, hibiscus is a world-renowned blossom for its edible and medicinal properties. The National Garden Bureau named 2021 the Year of the Hardy Hibiscus, so it's a great time to try eating it! If it doesn’t grow where you live, it's easy to find dried hibiscus leaves or tea that you can use. Cooks use the flowers, leaves, bark, and roots in everything from soups to desserts, so there are many ways to enjoy the hibiscus flower. The color gives you an idea of what it tastes like. It has a cranberry tartness, and there is a variety called cranberry hibiscus because of this prominent flavor.

Ylang-Ylang

Ylang-ylang translates to "flower of flowers" and is native to Thailand. This exotic flower tastes exquisite, and in Thailand, locals use it to create a dessert with coconut and rice. The petals look beautiful as a salad garnish as well, but you can also use them as tea. Ylang-ylang tastes sweet and honey-like, and you can create ice cream from it for an interesting alternative to traditional vanilla flavors.

Carnations

The petals of the carnation flower are edible. Their flavor is sweet and peppery and the smaller varieties taste similar to clove or nutmeg. These dianthus flowers are one of the ingredients in a French liquor called Chartreuse, which Carthusian monks made in the 1600s. Steep carnation petals in wine, pickle them, candy them, and use them as a syrup base, among other options. Creating a syrup from flowers is great for ice cream, desserts, or drinks. The petals are also useful as a salad garnish.

Sunflowers

While you have probably enjoyed eating sunflower seeds as a snack, the flowers are also good to eat. The petals are best raw. Sunflowers can range from dwarf varieties, less than 2 feet, to species that are more than 10 feet tall. 2021 is also the Year of the Sunflower, so be adventurous and eat sunflower petals. Their taste is sweet, slightly bitter, and can taste a little nutty. You can also cook and eat the sunflower heads, and the bulbs taste similar to artichokes.

Chamomile

Chamomile flowers are ideal as a crunchy topping for salads or desserts if they are dry, and the bloom has plenty of uses. Chamomile is a very popular tea. The flowers taste like apples or honey. Medicinally, they're useful for treating anxiety, helping with arthritis and inflammation, and healing wounds. Many of the culinary uses for chamomile include reducing it and using the essence in a liquid, but the raw petals are edible as well.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckles are named because of their sweet taste. Many children love these flowers and you may have eaten them as a kid. Avoid eating the berries, but the flowers are safe to consume. Eat them raw or cook them in any variety of ways. Some ideas include adding them to cupcakes, creating jelly from them, or making a syrup out of them.

Lilac

Lilac flowers are edible blossoms that can be slightly bitter, but are a great contrast to any salad. They can also taste slightly lemony and definitely taste like you're eating flowers. To sweeten them up, create an infusion and add sugar or honey. Many people add them to baked goods, so there are a plethora of options, such as lilac custard, cakes, and ice cream. Lilac syrup or even the flowers can go in drinks. Shelf-stable lilac honey and jelly may also be a great choice.

Country Greenery provides sustainable, farm-fresh flowers year round. Our pick-and-pack method means they are at their freshest when you receive them.


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