Increasingly we see a trend to use colourful flowers to brighten and make food very attractive. While not a new idea, flowers have been eaten since antiquity.
Even a simple dish inspires creativity, turning a cook into an artist and transforming any meal into a celebration. Not only uplifting and pretty, many edible flowers are high in nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Growing your own edible flowers is a wonderful way to get children interested in gardening and excited about food, and it only takes a few bright edible petals to turn any food into an imaginary fairy feast.
- Correctly identify the flower before eating.
- Pick in clean locations.
- Pick flowers early or late in the day when their moisture content is highest and the flavour is best. Pick newly opened flowers, not old mature or blemished flowers.
Best eaten fresh on the day but they will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days.
Common in gardens as a ground cover, border plant, between paving stones or in pots. It attracts beneficial
insects, hoverflies, bees and butterflies. The white, purple or pink flowers are mildly hot and savoury tasting and stunning as a garnish.
Borage flowers are bright blue and star shaped. The flowers with a sweet honey- like flavour are used mostly as a garnish on desserts, or frozen like jewels in ice cubes for garnishing drinks.
Yellow or orange flowers have a mild, tangy taste, slightly peppery and the centre is stronger. They add colour and taste to a salad, and dried or fresh enrich the colour of rice or butter.
Fennel flowers brighten salads, baked dishes and the yellow pollen can be harvested and used in baking.
Beautiful bright blue frilly flowers look great in a salad with a clove-like flavour.
Dandelion petals look pretty sprinkled through a salad adding a sweet flavour.
All scented geraniums have edible leaves and flowers. There are many varieties e.g. lemon, nutmeg, orange, rose, peppermint and chocolate.
The flowers are white or pink and have a hot aromatic flavour.
A range of colours from orange, yellow and red add a magical touch to salads and a peppery flavour to the palate.
– Julia Sich