Edible flowers are a fun and easy way to add the wow factor to your culinary creations. It’s not a good idea to go around eating flowers willy nilly because some of them are toxic and can cause all sorts of problems when ingested. There are however, some edible flowers that taste good and look beautiful on your plate. You can grow them right in your own yard so you know they’re free of pesticides. These flowers are safe to eat and are sure to get people talking about your cooking skills.
When I was growing up, clover grew rampant in our front yard. To my parents it was just another irritation, but once I found out that it’s one of the most common edible flowers, I got excited. After a trip to the library, we had a recipe for clover tea. Not only could we clear the clover from the yard, but the tea was actually pretty good. Clover is best cooked because raw buds can give you an upset stomach.
Another common weed you can eat? You betcha! Chefs say the best way to eat dandelions is to sauté them in butter, but you can also use them to make wine. You can also steam the flowers. Experts say that the young flowers taste the best, so don’t wait until they get too big before you pick them. You can also eat the leaves of a dandelion in your salad.
I always think of fall when I think of chrysanthemums, but they make a pretty addition to salad. You’ll want to cut the petals away from the white center of the flower and then blanch them before eating. They add some fun color to a salad and have a flavor that is sort of peppery and sort of like cauliflower.
The experts at Colorado State University recommend using hollyhocks as a garnish for your foods, but you can also eat them. They have a slightly bitter flavor that pairs well with a variety of other foods. You can add them to dips or veggie trays for a fun pop of color and an interesting new snack.
5. Oxeye Daisy
Daisies are one of my favorite flowers, but I didn’t always know they could be eaten. Their flavor is pretty mild and they are a great choice if you’ve never forayed in the world of eating flowers. Add oxeye daisies to your favorite tossed salad for a new and interesting flavor that won’t take over.
6. Squash Blossoms
If you grow zucchini, acorn squash or some other type of squash in your garden, chances are you’ve seen those yellow flowers on them. Those are squash blossoms and they taste really good. You can lightly batter and fry them for a crispy appetizer that tastes great with ranch dressing. You can also stuff squash blossoms with cheese and vegetables or toss them into soup or stew.
Daylilies are so pretty, but if you can part with a few of the ones in your yard, you can try something new and delicious. They have a flavor that’s similar to asparagus or zucchini. You can sauté them with other vegetables for a side dish or add them to a salad. Eat them in moderation, however, because they do have laxative properties.
When eating flowers, make sure you wash the flowers and remove the stamens before serving them. Would you ever eat a flower? I’m up for trying lots of things so I guess I’d give them a try if they were there. Which one will you try first?