Let's start out with the obvious, please do not assume that all flowers are edible because that is most certainly not the case! Just as you wouldn’t go out and mow the lawn with your mouth, please don’t pop a flower into it without researching whether or not a flower is actually safe to eat (some are actually poisonous!)
Here, we won’t exhaust the list of all edible flowers because that would be, well, boring and that is what Google is for. Let us just talk a little bit about some of our favorites as well as some quick tips about edible flowers.
First, edible flowers vary in taste from mild to assertive, and floral to bitter. Many have claimed there are several health benefits to consuming edible flowers such as the antioxidants within hibiscus petals, the digestive and stress reducing benefits of chamomile and lavender, and the Vitamins A and E within rose petals. If you have or suspect you have allergies, please speak to a health professional before ingesting edible flowers. Although we only use a small amount, it is possible that ingesting edible flowers may result in allergic reactions, particularly in those who have asthma, pollen allergies, hay fever and other types of allergies.
Also, please always ensure your are ingesting only organic edible flowers petals that have not been sprayed or treated with any chemicals, dyes, or pesticides. There is some pretty nasty stuff sprayed on flowers for any number of reasons. Just as you would with anything else, do your research and know where your food is coming from.
Here are some of our favorites, and please just stick to consuming petals unless otherwise noted:
Marigold - Their yellow, orange and sometimes red color are like pure sunshine. The color of marigold petals hold up particularly well in baking while the color of other edible flowers sometimes fade. In many cases, marigolds can be pungent and we are more inclined to add them to savory dishes.
Rose - Probably the most widely familiar from this list. If you use nothing else, use rose petals. They are easy to grow, very available, and range in taste, color and scent. Using rose petals in anything baked is a no brainer. We made rose and pistachio shortbreads and they were amazing! But, imagine the pop of color they would add to homemade spring rolls!
Lavender - Lavender is one of our personal favorites because it is herbal, earthy and makes you feel like you are resting on a cloud. Incorporating lavender can be as easy as adding a sprig to water in the summertime or your glass of champagne for a special treat.
Pansies - Pansies come in so many colors and are so easy to grow which is why they are certainly one of our favorites. Pansies are also one of the few cases in which it is ok to consume the sepal - green part that protects the bud. They have a very mild taste which makes them great for adding to anything! You can add them to salads or even use candied pansies to top a cake.
Johnny Jump Ups - Johnny Jump Ups are the smaller, wilder cousin of pansies. They have a long growing season and are super easy. Like pansies, you may also ingest the sepal. They are charming in a cocktail or when used to adorn cheese or tab of butter.
Nasturtium - Nasturtium flowers have a mild spicy flavor similar to radish. We love to stuff these babies with an herbed goat or cream cheese mixture for a fresh summer appetizer.
Bachelor Buttons - These are also one of our most beloved of the edible flower bunch. We prefer the blue color, but bachelor buttons come in blues, white, pinks, and purples. The blues also really hold their color when baked and POP in our crackers. They have a mild, fresh flavor and because they have several, smaller petals they make great sprinkles to garnish anything!
Chive Blossom - Chive blossom has little purple flowers that taste just like chive so be sure to use them in savory dishes where chive would do well. We like to cut feta cheese into cubes, pour over some quality extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle over chive blossom on top.
We could go on and on about all the ways we’ve found to incorporate these and other edible flowers. Instead, we will post frequent and simple tips for using them in ways we hope will make your day a little more bright. Maybe our tips will inspire some fresh, new ideas from you - we’d love to hear from ya!