When most people think of flowers, eating them isn‘t usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, many of these beautiful plants can be eaten and can add color and texture to a raw salad or even a cooked meal. Some are sweet and yummy by themselves while others need a little extra love to make them enjoyable. So make sure to check before just chomping on the first flower you recognize! Unfortunately, no flower is really safe unless it was grown organically without the use of pesticides or chemicals. In lieu of this, always make sure to use organically grown species. Also, make sure to thoroughly wash your flowers before eating.
It’s also important to remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Sometimes these parts of the flower are not as tasty as the rest. You may want to separate the flower petals from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum.
The flowers, along with the heart-shaped leaves of the wild violet, are edible. Both can be used to add color and complexity to salads. The flower is often used to make jellies and teas and can also be candied and used as a decorative garnish.
These circular buds have played an essential role in the Native American diet for a long time., Rose Hips contain vitamin C and store well when dried properly. For a refreshing twist try making rosebud ice cubes.
This common weed does not get the credit it deserves. The greens of the plant are packed with antioxidants and minerals containing a high level of potassium. Although the plant can be a bit bitter, for those who don’t mind (think arugula), it can be a wonderful addition to any salad. To satisfy the sweeter taste buds, check out this awesome recipe for Dandelion syrup.
For more on eating dandelions, click here.
This flower has a sweet taste and can be eaten raw. The tubers of the roots can be boiled and eaten like mini potatoes. Just remove the stalks and hairs and, of course, the dirt. The flower buds are a good source of vitamin C and carotene. But be careful — lilies are deadly to cats.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The orange, yellow blossom found at the top of the squash can be cooked or eaten raw. Be careful, though — the flower perishes fast; if you want to use them try to pick them right before you cook. Like quesadillas? Like flowers in your quesadillas? Try this quirky recipe.
This flower has been coined the “Poor Man’s Saffron.” Its flavor ranges from tangy to spicy with a bit of a peppery aftertaste. It’s a great complement to rice dishes, soups and pasta. The flower can also be used as a great herbal remedy.
The flowers can be eaten, but the best way to use hibiscus is to make an infused tea. Just take ten or so flowers and soak them in hot water. Add lime for flavor and enjoy. Drinking it cold is just as delicious as hot, so for a nice summer day, put it on ice!
The base of the flower holds a sweet tasting nectar that can be eaten, and the entire flower makes a great addition to any spring or summer salad.
You guessed it –the beautiful smelling lilac tastes how it smells, but is delicate and not overwhelming. Lilac is best used as a garnish. For something different try mixing it in vanilla frozen yogurt for an interesting treat.
As sweet as they are beautiful, Carnations can be steeped in wine or eaten plain. If you’re the baking type think about creating a beautiful design on top of a cake using these flowers or some of the others mentioned above.
by Lauren Howland, Planet Green