Edible Flowers: Which Are Safe, How to Use?

Foto: © fotoknips / Fotolia.com

Flowers, vegetables, herbs, and woody plants: edible flowers can be found in every category.

Whether specific flowers or plants are edible is not immediately obvious. In order to be sure, you should educate yourself carefully beforehand in order to be certain which plant you have in front of you before you harvest and work with it. In case of doubt: let it lie.

Edible flowers can be enjoyed from the following plants: arugula, bachelor’s button, borage, buckwheat, burnet, calendula, chives, daisy, dandelion, elderberry, garlic chives, jasmine, lavender, nasturtium, rose, thyme, violet, wild garlic, wild violas, yarrow, and zucchini.

Essbare Blüten, Zucchini Blüte

What Can I Do with Edible Flowers?

Edible flowers have many applications in the kitchen — fresh, dried, raw, fried, turned into syrups or jellies, or preserved in vinegar or alcohol. Herbs and vegetable flowers add a fine note to heavier foods; florals are especially excellent in sweet dishes and drinks.

Freshly-picked blossoms from arugula, bachelor’s button, borage, daisy, and nasturtium can, for example, be used to spice up a green salad. Chopped flowers turn herby dips or butters into colorful delights that can be spread on bread or baguettes or served alongside baked or boiled potatoes, steamed vegetables, and grilled meats. Elderberry flowers can be dipped in dough, fried, and served as a main dish. The same goes for zucchini: fill the blossoms with cream cheese (or your preferred vegan alternative) and enjoy with salad.

Essbare Blüten: Löwenzahn Schnaps

Edible Flowers in Desserts

Edible flowers can be used in a variety of ways: if you prefer something sweet, decorate cakes and desserts with candied rose petals or violets. Adding dried flowers from bachelor’s button, calendula, lavender, and rose can turn homemade candies and chocolates into real show stealers. The also make an excellent addition to herbed salts and cookies.

But don’t just reserve them for your plate – edible flowers are a gorgeous accent for your glass or mug. Dried roses and jasmine flowers are an elegant addition to green teas; herbal mixes get a pop of color from bachelor’s button and calendula.

Fresh blossoms frozen in summertime cocktails add a unique touch. Fresh dandelion blossoms can be turned into liqueur or dessert wine. Fresh violets can be used to flavor vinegar or sugar or turned into flavored simple syrup. Elderberry flowers are another great addition to a simple syrup – if you don’t want to make jelly or simply fry and eat them!

by Melanie Oehlenbach

This article was translated from German into English: Essbare Blüten: mehr als ein Augenschmaus

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