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11 Edible Flowers That You Can Grow at Home

11 Edible Flowers That You Can Grow at Home

It’s not just fancy chefs that can use flowers to add a little color to a meal; you too can grow your own edible flowers at home. In fact, while you may find edible flowers on sale at farmers market every now and then, there’s nothing like walking into your garden and picking them fresh.

Just like with eating anything wild, when it comes to eating flowers, make sure you know what you’re consuming. The easiest way to do that is to plant the flowers yourself.

From nasturtiums to violets, here are 11 edible flowers that will make a nice complement to any garden, along with a few ideas of how to use them.

1. Nasturtiums

Maybe the most well-known of the edible flowers, nasturtiums have a slightly spicy flavor, similar to watercress. You can use them to add a peppery tang to dishes or even in pesto, which puts both the leaves and flowers to use.

2. Calendula

Also called marigold, these bright yellow blossoms vary in flavor, from spicy to tangy. The sharp taste pairs well with pasta or rice dishes. Try it sprinkled over a risotto, or even in cornbread.

3. Chive blossoms

With chives, you can use both the green stalk and the blossom in your cooking, making it a versatile edible plant. The purple color of the blossoms is a nice addition to summer salads.

4. Borage

Borage is a beautiful, blue, star-shaped flower that actually tastes a bit like cucumber. Use it as a garnish in cocktails, or better yet, frozen in ice cubes that you can throw into any drink.

5. Lilacs

While the lilac season is short, it’s also delicious. The purple color of lilacs makes for a beautiful seasonal jelly, or you can use the petals to make your own ice cream.

6. Violets

Another player in the purple color category, violets are most commonly known in the food world when they are candied. This makes for a pretty addition to baked goods, but you can also use them to make syrup or jam.

7. Roses

If you love roses in your garden, then you’ll probably also love rose petal recipes. It’s a commonly used flower, and the petals can be pickled, made into jam or turned into a custard.

8. Squash blossoms

If you have squash plants already growing in your garden, then don’t miss out on the blossoms. Stuff them with ricotta, fry them up or throw them into a quesadilla.

9. Basil blossoms

If you haven’t been good about nipping the basil buds, you may get blossoms, but not to worry, you can eat them. The colors will vary depending on the type of basil plant. The taste is similar to the plant, but a bit milder. Use them to make a basil flower vinegar.

10. Fennel blossoms

Fennel flowers have a slight licorice flavor just like the plant, and the bright yellow color makes for a beautiful addition to dishes where you want an extra herbal flavor. You can also use fennel blossoms to make soup or even liqueur.

11. Lavender

A garden that smells of lavender is a wonderful place to be. Lavender is a sweet addition to baked goods, or paired with honey and goat cheese. You can even use it when roasting potatoes.

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Photo Credits: Caroline, nomadic lass, John Lustig, willow cottage garden, OliBac, Richard BH, Rachel Kramer, ChrismatosKatina Rogers, Artep, Jim Landerkin, Walter Smith

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111 comments

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1:14PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Very Interesting

4:16AM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

I make a dip from my Chives that is delicious!! Right now, I have Chives, Squash and Basil blossoms. all color of Roses and tons of Marigolds. I didn't know I could do so much with them. I just thought they were pretty to look at (LOL)!!

7:27AM PDT on May 18, 2014

Thanks, beautiful pictures, all look too pretty to eat, I like to see them in the garden growing...

5:58AM PDT on May 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing

5:50AM PDT on May 18, 2014

An old friend from my child used to grow her own food in a little garden. She was originally from Italy and baked the most wonderful zucchini flowers.

1:20PM PDT on May 17, 2014

thank you.

11:29AM PDT on May 17, 2014

noted

8:02AM PDT on May 17, 2014

Thanks for sharing !! :)

5:34AM PDT on May 17, 2014

I knew about most of them, in fact a few of them are in the tea's I drink for my digestive system. Thanks for the others though :)

5:17AM PDT on May 17, 2014

Years ago a professional chef friend of mine made a delicious dinner from appetizers to dessert using only flowers and home-grown vegetable. It was a truly unique and delicious dining event. I can hardly remember what I had to eat for dinner last week, but this one I'll remember for a long, long while.

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