A baker’s dozen of edible flowers

Flowers have been utilized in restaurants for thousands of years in salads, garnishes, tea or even used as a main ingredient. It’s easy to add some creativity to your cooking with these common plants. It is always best to grow your own ingredients in order to limit any chemical (pesticide, etc.) use and be mindful of allergies, testing prior or introducing them in small amounts.

1. Allium All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavourful!

2. Calendula / marigold A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy. Their golden colour will liven up any dish.

3. Carnations / Dianthus Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.

4. Chrysanthemum A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colours and a range of flavours from peppery to pungent. Only use the petals.

5. Cilantro Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavour of the herb. Use them fresh, uncooked only.

6. Fennel Yellow fennel flowers (pollen) have a subtle licorice flavour much like the herb itself.

7. Hibiscus Traditionally used in tea, the vibrant cranberry flavour is tart and can be used sparingly.

8. Lavender Sweet, spicy, with a pronounced aroma, these flowers are a great addition to any dish.

9. Lilac blooms are pungent, with a citrusy twist.

10. Monarda (Bee balm) The red flowers have a minty flavour.

11. Rose petals have a strong perfumed flavour perfect for floating in drinks, garnishing desserts, or adding variety to jams. All roses are edible, with flavour more pronounced in darker varieties. Be sure to remove the white, bitter base.

12. Sunflower petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.

13. Violets are sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts or drinks.

Happy Gardening!

 

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on FacebookTwitter,YouTubeInstagram and Pinterest for other tips and hints.

 

 Guest post by Darren - Bylands Key Account Sales

I am originally from Edmonton but relocated to Kelowna in 2011. Most recently is was working for Danone where I was the Business Development Manager and was responsible for promotional plans, in store displays and business reviews. I studied at the University of Alberta whilst working at Greenland Garden Centre.  This sparked my interest in the horticultural industry.