9 Best Edible Flowers and their Benefits

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edible flowers

Do you know that taking edible flowers via food and drinks is beneficial for your overall health?

Yes! Floral centerpieces look stunning and timeless, but flowers can also sometimes show up on your dinner plate as well.

Edible flowers can be used in different styles of cuisine and you can also find them on menus all over the world.

However, it is important to note that not all flowers are safe to eat, but those that offer a unique burst of flavor and color to your dishes.

These can include salads, sauces, beverages, and entrees.

Some of them are even healthful for your body.

One of the interesting things to note is that for many centuries people have used edible flowers and buds in foods, drinks, and medicine.

Let’s discuss the 9 best edible flowers you can add to your diet.

Edible Flowers

There are a number of ways to use medicinal edible flowers, either fresh or dried, whole or as a condiment, infused in a dessert or drink, raw, cooked, or even pickled.

Flowers are best when you eat them fresh after pickling them. Thus, you can choose to grow them in your backyard or in your herb garden.

Therefore, rule no.1 of edible flowers is knowing how to identify them.

It is important to pick the edible flowers on a dry, sunny day when they have fully blossomed and are not yet starting to wilt.

Rinse the flowers quickly under cold water or swirl them in a large bowl of cold water to remove dirt and tiny insects.

Afterward, gently shake off the water, but not so vigorously that you remove the pollen, which often adds a lot of flavor to your food or drinks.

chamomile tea

However, if you want to dry your flowers, place them on paper towels or clean tea towels in a single layer.

Let them dry in a well-ventilated place, turning them once or twice a day.

Depending on the thickness and moisture content of the flowers, this can take a few days.

On the other hand, you can also dry your flowers in a dehydrator.

Make sure to follow the instructions of the gadget and they will dry out, however, make sure not to overlap them.

Let’s discuss the options of edible flowers as follows:

1# Hibiscus

These plants produce large, ornate blossoms that often grow in tropical and subtropical climates around the world.

Hundreds of hibiscus species exist, however, the most popular one is Roselle or Hibiscus sabdariffa.

Moreover, these flowers can grow as large as 6 inches in diameter and are also found in a wide array of colors, including red, white, yellow, and various shades of pink.

Though sometimes, they are grown as ornamental flowers, it is also known for their culinary and medicinal applications.

hibiscus

You can eat the flower straight from the plant, however, you often see it in tea, relishes, jams, or salads.

Furthermore, you can also find many cultures drink hibiscus tea for its medicinal properties.

Some studies indicate that hibiscus can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, However, more research is required to understand the role of hibiscus to support your health.

While you drink the tea, you might feel it has a sour flavor and you can either serve it hot. However, it is very refreshing over ice on a hot summer day.

2# Dandelion

Dandelions are known as stubborn garden weeds, however, they are highly nutritious edible flowers.

Moreover, they have small blossoms, roughly 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter with many tiny bright-yellow petals.

They are full of compounds that have powerful antioxidant properties, according to studies.

Surprisingly, the flowers are not the only part of the dandelions that you can eat.

edible flowers 2

In fact, you can enjoy every part of this plant, including its roots, stems, and leaves.

There are thousands of options for eating these edible flowers, and you can either eat them raw, alone, or toss them on a sandwich topping.

Moreover, you can also bread or fry them, or use them to make jelly and wine.

You can also use the roots to make tea, while you can consume them raw. Furthermore, you can cook in stews, casseroles, or any other dist that calls for hearty greens.

3# Lavender

Lavender is a woody, floral herb originally growing in northern Africa and the Mediterranean,

These violet flowers are small, however, are plentiful. Moreover, it is one of the best-known flowers for its distinctive fragrance for its calming effects.

Its combination and aroma make it a particularly desirable addition to a variety of foods, including baked items, infused syrups, liqueurs, herbal tea, dry spice rubs, and herb mixtures.

edible flowers 4

The flavor of lavender pairs well with both sweet and savory foods like citrus, berries, rosemary, sage, thyme, and chocolate.

However, while cooking this edible flower, it is best to start with a small amount and slowly increase until you achieve the desired flavor as it can often become overpowering.

4# Honeysuckle

There are almost 200 species of honeysuckle, however, the most common ones are Japanese and woodbine varieties.

The fragrant blossoms usually light yellow or white, hold nectar that you can eat straight from the flower itself.

Moreover, honeysuckle has been crucial to traditional Chinese medicine practices for centuries,

You can ingest the flowers and their extracts or apply them to your skin directly to treat a number of inflammatory conditions.

honeysuckle

However, its efficacy as a medicinal therapy for humans remains scientifically unproven.

On the other hand, you can use this flower to make tea or a fragrant, flavourful syrup.

Moreover, you can use the syrup to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, yogurt, and sorbet or as a sugar replacement in quick bread recipes.

Keep in mind that there are berries of some varieties that may be toxic if you ingest them in large quantities.

5# Nasturtium

One of the culinary favorites is Nasturtium because of its bright, colorful blossoms that are both unique and savory.

Moreover, both its leaves and flowers are edible and you can enjoy them either raw or cooked.

They taste like pepper, slightly spicy in flavor, though the blossoms themselves are milder than leaves.

The funnel-shaped flowers are often bright orange, red, or yellow and make a beautiful garnish for cakes, pastries, and salads.

nasturtium

Furthermore, the leaves are round and resemble small lily pads, and are tender enough so that you can use them as salad greens or blend them in pesto.

It is important to note that this edible flower is not only an eye-catching ingredient.

But also very nutritious containing a number of minerals and health-promoting compounds with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects, according to studies.

6# Borage

Borage or starflower is a herb that has delicate, star-shaped flowers. The blossoms are often blue, however, they may be white or pink.

In herbal medicine, these edible flowers can helo to treat minor ailments like a sore throat or cough.

However, more human research is required to study its effectiveness as a medical therapy.

borage

On the other hand, you can use it in your kitchen as both their flowers and leaves are edible.

You may find the taste of their flowers are slightly sweet that is like that of cucumber and honey.

You can also eat the flowers fresh in a salad or garnish them for desserts and cocktails.

Maybe cook them and add them soups, sauces, or stuffed pasta fillings.

7#Purslane

This edible flower is a succulent that produces tiny, yelow flowers and thick, fleshy leaves. Both of these are edibles and you can either cook them or eat them raw.

In the past, purslane was considered no more than a garden weed, however, this plant is rich in nutrients.

purslane

It is filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, however, its biggest claim to nutritional fame is its omega-3 fat content.

Surprisingly, purslane provides more omega 3s than any other vegetable of its kind, according to studies.

You can serve them raw in salads and sandwiches or maybe saute or steam them with other vegetables as a side dish or add them to your favorite soups.

8# Squash Blossom

If you have grown summer squash in your garden, then you are probably aware of their delicate flowers.

However, you may not know that these are also edible as the squash itself.

Though some of the blossoms are from all types of squash, the most popular form is zucchini.

edible flowers 1

Zucchini flowers are bright yellow with a long, rounded bell shape.

You can eat them raw or garnish them or chop them and add them to salads.

If you are feeling indulgent, another delicious option is to stuff them with herbed cheese or fry and bake them until the delicate petals become crispy.

9# Pansy

You might love the look of pansies in your garden, however, they are equally pleasant to eat.

These have small blossoms, measuring about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and exist in a lot of colors, however, hues of purple, blue, and yellow are most common.

They have 5 overlapping petals with a dark area in the center that resembles an ink stain.

Usually, these flowers have a mild, fresh, and lightly floral flavor, though there are some flavor variations depending on the type.

edible flowers 3

As they have so many colors, you can add them as a decorative addition to your desserts, like pastries, cakes, or cookies.

However, for an extra flavor, you can candy the petals before adding them to your dish.

Apart from being a unique addition to your meals, they are a rich source of several potent plant compounds that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Final Thoughts

Although you are accustomed to seeing flowers as decorations, you can add many of them to your diet for a pop of color and texture. Additionally, many edible flowers are nutritious and contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can support your health.

You can either serve them raw, cook them with vegetables fry them as a snack or sprinkle them on your desserts. Regardless of your culinary skills, they are easy to use and edible in your next meals.

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