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10 Ornamental Flowers You Can Cook With or Eat in Salads


Beautiful to look at, flowers are a welcome addition to almost any setting, including the kitchen or restaurant. Avant-garde cuisine often features edible flowers, but you don’t need to have a Michelin star to participate, you just need to know which species are edible.

Some flowers that we commonly plant are poisonous or have poisonous components, while others can act as small multivitamins.

There are hundreds of species and varieties of flowers that can be added to salads, drinks, desserts, or other dishes, some of which you may already have in your garden. In addition, its flavor is as varied as its colors and shapes, and no matter what flavor you are looking for, there is probably a flower that possesses it.

Alliums (chives, leeks and garlic)

Chive, Hanne Hoogendam

For many gardeners, these species are already there and planted for their stems and roots, but the flowers in this family have a mild flavor that complements other parts of the plant well.

Pickled chives flowers make a great addition to spicy cocktails like a Bloody Mary or a Martini.

Calendula, Calendula

Marigolds, Silvia Corradin

Beautiful in beds, pots, shoulders, or as a companion plant in a vegetable garden, marigolds (but not African marigolds) also have a citrus and lemon flavor and are therefore perfect additions to desserts like cheesecake or fruit tarts. .

In addition, its yellow leaves contain a natural dye that is known as “poor man’s saffron” and can be used to make yellow dishes, or even to dye natural fibers.

The flowers of marigolds, a species known as calendula, not only add a spicy touch to a dish, but are also good for wound healing.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle, Annie Spratt

Due to their name, honeysuckle has a sweet nectary flavor. When we were kids growing up in Virginia, we’d pick the flowers, nibble on the base, and suck up the nectar like a straw.

You can also cook with them and their sweet taste complements sweet dishes, or it can be used to refresh / soften spicy or rich dishes. They can also be used to make jam.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtium, Nareeta Martin

The flowers of the watercress family can be eaten and taste very similar to watercress.

Spicy flowers are a colorful way to flavor bland salads, or can be used as a substitute for pepper if someone is sensitive to peppercorns.

“Weeds” (mint, chamomile, dandelion)

Dandelion Field by Vadim Indeikin, CC license

These prolific lawn dwellers are highly versatile plants and can be eaten in many different ways. The flowers of all three can be eaten, and since they can often be found in the same meadow, they instantly add color, flavor, diversity, and style to any salad.

Mint and chamomile leaves are sold around the world in teas, while dandelion leaves, although often quite bitter, are much healthier even than spinach.

Tulips

Tulip, Krystina Rogers

The curved petals of tulip flowers, like a farmer blogger wrote, they are perfect to freeze and use as temporary ice cream or yogurt balls.

Their sweet lettuce flavor makes them excellent in spring salads as well.

Perfumery (Lavender, Roses)

Rose, GNN

While these flowers are often used to create scented soaps or perfumes, they can also be eaten or cooked in a broth to flavor different dishes.

MORE: 8 out of 10 young people think gardening is great, and half would rather visit a garden center than a nightclub

Rose water is common in Middle Eastern cuisine, while lavender is sometimes used as a flavoring agent for ice cream; just be careful with lavender flowers as their flavor is really intense and can make your food taste like laundry detergent if you overdo it.

Thoughts

Pansy, Mostafa Meraji

As the quintessential ornamental plant for career centers and office blocks, most of us have seen pansies in every color imaginable.

RELATED: 8 cheap gardening tricks for plants: using wine and plastic bottles, orange peels and coffee grounds

This color can be added to a salad without a problem, and its mild lettuce flavor will not interfere with key ingredients.

Hostas

Christin Noelle

Hostas not only possess beautiful waxy leaves, but most parts of this popular ornamental plant are edible, including its clusters of light blue and white flowers.

They are great, says Rural Sprout blogger, in a stir fry, and actually the entire hostas plant has the potential to be a productive food product.

Borage

Kurt Liebhauser

The fuzzy leaves of this plant settle under blue edible flowers, such as cucumbers. As such, the refreshment factor is high and can be added to salads or desserts.

A good idea is to freeze them inside ice cubes to add to drinks later.

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