Spruce up your salads or meals with edible flowers, not only will it add interesting flavors but it will also add a beautiful range of color. Here’s a list of common everyday flowers to add to your meal.
NOTE: Avoid any plants that have been sprayed with pesticides. (Always check for correct plant identification before consuming since there can be look-a-like flowers that can be poisonous. Avoid picking flowers from roadsides, or purchasing from floral shops if its not organic.)
Almond Blossoms (Prunus dulcis ) Use as a garnish or eat raw.
Anchusa (A.azurea) Common name: Common Bugloss – Use as a garnish. Stems may also be boiled or fried.
Angelica – (A. archangelica) Common name: Wild celery, Root of The Holy Ghost – Use tender young leaves in a salad, in tea or make candied stems. Has a strong celery taste. Pairs well with ginger or mint.
NOTE: Use caution and Identification before handling or eating. Looks similar to Hemlock which is poisonous in it’s entirety.
Apple Blossom (Malus spp) – Use in a salad or as a garnish. Especially good in fruit salad. Floral taste.
Arugala – (Rocket) (Eruca vesicaria) Use blossoms and leaves. Good in salads, and sandwiches. Blossoms are peppery.
Banana Blossom – (Musa paradisiaca). Use in stews, soups and salads. Tastes similar to artichokes.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Use as a garnish, salad, tea, vinegar and cooking. Also has health benefits. Has a peppery taste.
Bean Blossoms (Scarlet Runner Beans) (Phaseolus coccineus) Use in salads or a a garnish. Mild bean taste.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) – Use as a flavor enhancer. Blossoms have a spicy quality similar to oregano.
Begonia – Blossoms can be eaten either raw or cooked, use in a salad. Wax begonia leaves are edible. They look beautiful in salads. Depending on the flower the taste can range between sweet and lemony flavors.
— Tuberous Begonias (Begonia x tuberhybrida) – Leaves, flowers and stems. Tastes lemony. (Note: Flowers and stems should NOT be consumed by those who have gout, kidney stones, or rheumatism.)
— Wax Begonias (Begonia cucullata) – Citrus flavor – Use leaves raw or cooked.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) – Citrus taste. Use the zest. Use in salads for a fresh taste.
Borage (Borago officinalis) – Uses as a garnish. Use in Salads. Use in drinks. Light cucumber taste.
Broccoli (Brassica spp.) The entire flowering head is eaten as a vegetable. Use raw in salads, in stir fries, steamed, or eat raw with dip. Has a slight bitter broccoli taste.
Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba) – Use blossoms in salads or a tea. Tastes similar to cucumbers.
Calamint (Calamintha nepeta)– Use blossoms in a salad. A taste of mint and oregano.
Calendula (C. officinalis) Tastes peppery, bitter and spicy. Use petals as a garnish, in salads, jams, herb butter, soups, stews or as a tea.
Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) Tastes peppery and spicy like cloves. Use flower petals in salads or cake decoration. Cut petals from white base before using, removes bitterness. (Note: Purchase pesticide free, organic carnations, or grow your own)
Carnation (Pink) (Dianthus caryophyllus) Use petals in salads. Use young, fresh blossoms. (Note: Do not use if pregnant or nursing.)
Chamomile (English) – (Anthemis nobilis) Apple flavor.
Chamomile (German) – (Matricaria recutita) Use in tea, garnishes, and salads.
Chamomile (Roman) (Chamaemelum nobile) Use in tea. Has bitter flavor.
Caution: Don’t use if you have ragweed allergy.
Chevril – (Anthriscus cerefolium) Use raw in salads. Use flowering as seasoning. Light citrus taste.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) Use raw leaves in salads, or cooked in soup. Cooked, tastes similar to spinach.
Chicory (Cichoium intybus) – Eat young leaves and flower in salad. Roasted root can be a coffee substitute. Best to harvest in Spring or Fall.
Chives (Garlic, Wild Onions ) (Allium schoenoprasum) – Use in potato salad, macaroni salad or green salads. Strong onion taste. Blossoms can be eaten in soup, salads, pastas, or garnish. Has a garlic taste.
Choy sum (Chinese Flowering Cabbage) (Brassica rapa var. parachinensis or Brassica chinensis var. parachinensis ) – Common in Chinese cuisine. The white or green stems, and flowers are used. Use in stir fry or soups. Has a mustard taste.
Chrysanthemum – ( Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum) are used for tea. After blanching, use flower petals in stir fries or salads. (Note: People who have allergies to ragweed should note Chrysanthemums are from the same family.)
Clover (Red) (Trifolium pratense) Looks lovely in salads but has a weedy hay taste.
Coriander – (Coriandrum sativum-L.)(Cilantro) Use raw or cooked. Use in soup or salads. Mild coriander taste. (Caution: Don’t use if you have asthma or bronchitis)
Corn Flower (Centaurea cyanus – L.) Use young shoots as a vegetable and flowers (raw or cooked) in a salad.
Corn Salad – (Valerianella locusta – (L.)Laterr.) Use young leaves in salad. Flowers and stems are also edible. Leaves have a mild flavor.
Cowslip – (Primula veris – L.) Young leaves in soup. Flowers as a garnish or in salad. Caution: Do not use if you have high blood pressure.
Dahlia (Dahlia pinnata – Cav.) Flowers in salad. Cooked root as a vegetable. Has a bitter flavor.
Daisy (English) – (Bellis perennis) Leaves (raw or cooked). Flowers in salad or soup. Mild taste.
Daisy (Ox-eye) – (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) Leaves (raw or cooked) Mild taste.
Dandelion – (Taraxacum officinale) – Young tender leaves (raw or cooked) Use in salads. Has a slight bitter taste.
Day Lilly – (Hemerocallis fulva) Cooked young leaves and shoots. Flowers (raw or cooked). Tastes sweet.
Dill – (Anethum graveolens) Leaves. (raw or cooked) In salad or tea. Strong dill flavor.
Fennel – (Foeniculum vulgare – Mill.) Young leaves (raw or cooked) Garnish, salad or tea. Mild licorice taste.
Fuchsia –(Fuchsia magellanica – Lam.) Berries. The berries vary in taste from lemony, peppery, or even a sweet taste depending on how ripe they are. Use berries to make a jam, in pies, both berries and flowers can be used as a garnish in salads. Harvest berries when they are soft.
Gladiolus – (Gladiolus spp.) Flowers (raw or cooked) Use in salads. Mild taste.
Hawthorn – (Crataegus monogyna – Jacq.) Cooked fruit. Use to make jam. Young shoots (raw) use in salad. Nutty flavor. Tea (dried leaves). Seeds (roasted) can be used as coffee substitute.
Hibiscus – Citrus flavor tea.
Hollyhock – (Alcea rosea) Blossoms in a salad. (Avoid berries, they are poisonous) Slightly bitter.
Honeysuckle – (Lonicera Japonica) Good as a tea. Flowers have a sweet honey taste. Can be used in a salad.
Hyssop (Anise) – (Agstache foeniculum) Licorice flavor.
Impatiens – (Impatiens walleriana) Add the colorful petals in salads, or desserts. Has a sweet taste.
Lemon – (Citrus limon) Blossoms. Light bitter lemon taste. Garnish.
Lemon Balm – (Melissa officinalis) Sweet, lemony flavor. Use as a herbal tea with spearmint. Use in fish dishes or pesto.
Lemon Verbena – (Aloysia citriodora) Use as a herbal tea, jams, in fish or chicken dishes. Lemon taste.
Lilac – (Syringa vulgaris) – Use in salads, syrup, honey, lilac jelly, ice cream, lilac sugar or garnishing desserts. Fragrant, slightly bitter.
Lovage – (Levisticum officinale) Leaves & stems. Mild celery taste. Use in salad, tea, chicken dishes and soups.
Marigold (Calendula) (Calendula officinalis) Peppery taste. Use as a garnish. Good substitute for saffron.
Marigold (Signet) -(Tagetes tenuifolia) Has a citrus flavor. Use as a garnish.
Marjoram – (Origanum majorana) Spicy taste.
Magnolia – (Magnolia grandiflora) Use chopped petals in salads. Pickled flowers. Taste sweet.
Mint – (Mentha spp.) Light fresh mint taste.
Mustard – (Brassica spp.) Hot mustard taste.
Nasturtium – (Tropaeolum majus) Add to salads. Peppery taste.
Orange Blossoms – (Citrus sinensis) Sweet citrus taste.
Oregano – (Origanum spp.) Spicy oregano taste.
Pansy – (Viola x wittrockiana, Viola tricolor) Add in salads for a beautiful color, or for cake decoration. Mild minty taste.
Peas – (Pisum sativum) (also known as Garden Peas or Green Peas, English Peas) – Add to salads. Tastes similar to raw peas.
Radish – (Raphanus sativus) – Blossoms has a peppery radish taste. Leaves can be used in salad.
Rose – (Rosa spp.) Jams and Jellies. Fruit dishes. Fragrant lightly sweet rose taste.
Rose of Sharon – (Hibiscus syriacus) Mild nutty flavor.
Rosemary – (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Light rosemary taste.
Saffron – (Carthamus tinctorius) Bitter flavor.
Sage – (Salvia officinalis) – Fragrant sage taste.
Sage (Pineapple) – (Salvia elegans) – Hints of both pineapple and sage flavor.
Savory (Summer) – (Satureja hortensis) – Peppery taste.
Savory (Winter) – (Satureja montana) – Peppery taste.
Squash – (Cucurbita spp.) Blossoms. Light squash taste.
Sunflower (genus Helianthus) – Raw petals have a nutty taste. Use in salads.
Sweet Woodruff – (Galium odoratum) Sweet vanilla taste. Use for ice cream or in jellies, herbal teas.
Thyme – (Thymus spp.) – Blossoms & Leaves. Light thyme flavor.
Violet – (Viola odorata) – Has a sweet taste. Flowers and leaves can be used in salads. Garnish.
Yucca – (Y. filamentosa) (also known as the Lamps of God.) Use flower petals in stir fry. Also works nicely in omelets. Tastes similar to artichokes.
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