Edible Flowers

April 30th, 2012 No Comments

 

It almost seems too good to be true that you can eat these little works of art.

People spend countless hours carving tiny garnishes and crafting flowers from frosting as they try to recreate perfection, when certain times of year give us the opportunity to walk outside and pluck perfection from a stem.

 

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While it is still early in the season….if you have the luxury of a garden or window boxes, consider adding edible flowers to your plan.  Or better yet if you already have them planted you may be surprised to know that you could toss them into your salad and brighten a meal.

Johnny-jump-ups, Pansies, Runner Beans and Bachelor Buttons are some of my favorites.  I am fortunate to live near someone who grows them for restaurants so I have access to large quantities when I cater.  But for home or party use, you only need what you can grow in a flower pot.

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Plucking the petals from Bachelor Buttons give you tiny colorful confetti, as you can see on the hors d’ oeuvres on the left.  The ones in the middle are Pansies.   I will take more pictures this summer and post them as a reminder to use those little buddies that you planted!

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They add a delicate and fun element to a water glass.

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A few words of caution:

  • There could be allergy issues with some flowers, so be aware of plant families and how pollen affects you.
  • Never use flowers that have been treated with fungicides or pesticides.  Grow them yourself or use ones that were raised to be eaten…please oh please do not eat commercial ornamental flowers!
  • Some plants are poisonous, so be sure you correctly identify flowers before eating them.
  • Though the petals of many flowers may be edible, the other parts of the plants might not be.  Investigate.

 

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All of the spectacular photos of flowers are from nature photographer David Cavagnaro.  Thank you, David!

 

As we approach Mother’s Day and you’re pondering cooking her a dinner, consider adding a few wild violets to her salad or in her water glass.  Give her a tidbit of perfection next to her slice of coconut cream pie.  Our lives may be complicated, but flowers are simply perfect.

 

My Favorite Edible Flowers: 

Anise Hyssop

Bachelor Buttons

Borage

Calendula (petals only)

Carnation

Hollyhock

Impatiens

Johnny-jump-up

Lilac

Nasturtium

Pansy

Runner Bean

Snapdragon

Tulips (petals only, not bulb)

Violet

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Some of these are bulbs, most are annuals or self-seeding annuals.  Seed Savers Exchange is a great place to purchase seeds with planting instructions.

For a longer list of edible flowers, go here.

See how to crystallize edible flowers here.

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Have fun!.

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