Flowers are often used as decoration or admired in beautiful gardens. However, there are some flowers that you can actually eat. Before eating any flower it is very important to identify the flower and make sure it is safe to eat. Failing to make sure the flower is safe to eat before you ingest it could result in illness. Since flowers contain pollen it is best to remove the stamen and the pistils of the flower before eating because pollen can alter the taste of the flower. Here are ten flowers that you can eat.
1. Zucchini Blossoms are prevalent during late Spring and early Summer and are commonly eaten in Italy. This plant can be stuffed and fried or just deep-fried in oil for a tasty flower treat.
2. White violets are often candied and coated in sugar to be placed on a cake or other dessert as decoration. While white violets are sweet and taste good, yellow violets should be avoid because they have a tendency to give people who consume them an upset stomach.
3. Roses can be enjoyed several ways. Similar to violets, miniature roses are easily candied and added to desserts as edible decorations. Roses are also often added to teas and infusions to add sweetness; the darker the rose the sweeter it tastes.
4. Nasturtiums are often used in place of capers, which are more expensive. The stems and petals can be added to any salad giving the salad a peppery taste.
5. Scented geraniums are available in many flavors. Some, but not all, of the flavors available include rose, lemon and nutmeg. These scented geraniums are best enjoyed on ice cream treats and desserts. Unlike some edible flowers, scented geranium leaves taste good and are often added to soups, stews and flavored sauces.
6. Dandelions are probably the most popular edible flower available. A dandelion treat probably won’t require more than a walk in a grassy area during certain times of year. These edible flowers can be eaten raw or steamed, but don’t eat the stems. For best results, choose a dandelion with a young bud and no white head.
7. Garland Chrysanthemum, also known as the edible Chrysanthemum, is widely used in Asian cuisine. Its petals give tasters a unique tangy taste that is often used in teas. The petals can also be steamed, stir-fryed or boiled for consumption.
8. Carnations are technically edible, but the flower is a bit tricky to prepare. Before eating a carnation, make sure to remove the white base and separate the petals from the calyx. If a carnation is not prepared correctly, it gives tasters a nasty, bitter surprise instead of a pleasant clove taste. However, if the carnation is prepared correctly it is easily added to jams, salads and butters.
9. Calendula, more commonly known as Pot Marigold, is best enjoyed when the petals have been dried. Once the petals are dry, Pot Marigold adds a burst of orange to eggs or herbal teas and can be used in place of saffron for many dishes.
10. Borage is a delicious edible flower that tastes like cucumbers. The fresh taste is perfect for salads, soups or teas and due to the beauty of the Borage flower it adds a pleasant sense of style to any dish it graces.
These ten edible flowers can be enjoyed by anyone who would like to give it a try. However, make sure you prepare the flower properly before you eat it, so you have the best tasting experience possible.
Amy Scott is an avid gardener and dog lover. She spends most summers grooming her garden to perfection and is a stay-at-home mom writing for several sites including Degree Jungle an education resource for students.