Edible Flowers - Are you using them?
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
Not all flowers are safe to eat, but those that are can give your dishes/ drinks a wonderful burst of colour, creative flair and flavour, not to mention their health benefits. Just like microgreens, edible flowers are becoming more popular and firm favourites with top chefs. Many edible flowers are nutritious and contain potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can support better health. There are so many possibilities to their use, they can be served raw, cooked as an ingredient in sauces/dips etc, fried as a snack (tempura), or sprinkled on desserts /cakes.
Here is a short list are some of my favourites varieties. . .
Marigolds are sometimes referred to as the 'poor man's saffron.' The flowers and leaves are said to taste either mildly citrusy to subtly spicy. Whatever you think of their flavour, the flowers are extremely beautiful and vibrant for decorating any dish or dessert. There are several edible marigold varieties, including pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis), French marigolds (Tagetes patula), African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), Mexican mint marigolds (Tagetes Lucida), and lemon marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia). Due to their antioxidant properties, uses for marigolds include homemade skin treatments to soothe sunburn, dry skin and blisters, and soothing teas to help with digestion.
Nasturtiums are culinary favourites because of their flavour, with their beautiful colours and delicate, elegant flowers. Both the leaves and flowers of nasturtiums are edible and may be enjoyed cooked or raw. They have a peppery, slightly spicy taste, although the blossoms themselves are milder than the leaves. The leaves are beautiful in desi