Springtime means that there are flowers everywhere – but did you know that you can eat them? Flowers have been consumed as foods since the beginning of time. Not all flowers are edible though, so you need to know what you are looking for.
Flowers can be enjoyed in salads, as garnishes to foods and even used in cooking. Here are some of the best edible flowers.
Nasturtians are one of the most widely available edible flowers. They grow as weeds on the side of the road and are very easy to cultivate in your own backyard or balcony. Use then in salads and green smoothies!
Violets come in lots of different colours, all of which have edible leaves and flowers. The delicate violet flowers are lovely in salads and look fabulous as a garnish or decoration on meals and desserts. They have a sweet perfumed flavour.
Many people are surprised to find that all roses are edible, but they have in fact been used widely in many cultures in food preparation. In India, rosewater is commonly used in sweets, having a flavour that is like strawberries and green apples. You can use roses in desserts, fruit punches, salads and as edible decorations. Roses must be grown without the use of chemicals, never eat roses from a florist, they are very high in toxic chemicals.
Carnations are a very common garden flower, coming in many different colours. Like roses, you need to only consume flowers that you know have been grown organically. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in salads or desserts, cut the petals away from the bitter white base of the flower. Carnation petals are one of the secret ingredients used to make the french liquer Chartreuse.