Flowers You Can Eat

The Joyful World of Edible Flowers

Find Out Which Flowers You Can Eat and How to Use Them

floral cake

Some incredible cooks have combined their love of flowers you can eat, with baking skills to create some fabulous and beautifully unique cakes. These are truly edible artworks!

edible flowers for garnish

The burst of colour produced by using flowers you can eat in your garnishing, gives a joy that makes your dish exciting. We all know that we eat with our eyes first!

edible flowers for drinks and cocktails

Edible flower garnishes can make a mediocre and boring drink look really special and appealing. Make a drink irresistible by using flowers you can eat for garnishing!

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Look Inside The Joyful World of Flowers You Can Eat

Annie Albers and sunflowers in the world of joyful edible flowers

I’m really excited to bring to you the Joyful World of Edible Flowers. I have spent many years growing flowers and now I’ve now found a real joy in seeing them on our plates as well.

You will often hear a gasp of joy when people see an edible flower making their plate look more than just food and this, I find fascinating.

I am currently researching about the positive emotional effects that flowers have on people’s mental health and general wellbeing. It has been an eye opener to understand more about the effects that flowers have on us.

So, my aim is to inspire you to see flowers as more than a pretty thing for the vase. I want to encourage you to think of intertwining the beautiful world of flowers with the fabulous culinary world of food!

And you can’t deny it – there is something joyful and delightful about flowers you can eat!

When you see a flower on your plate it brings a delight and joy that other garnishes don’t.
tasty edible flowers
Annie Albers
Flowers You Can Eat

What Flowers are Edible?

The list of flowers you can eat is really quite extensive. I will guess that many of you already grow some and didn’t realise that they are edible.

I will add in a caveat about the edibility of flowers though. It’s important to only use flowers that you know have been grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals. For this reason, it’s a great solution if you can grow them yourself

I must give you a quick word of warning, don’t  use flowers sold at supermarkets or general florists  as most will have been grown using chemicals and pesticides that you don’t want in your body.

Also, be careful picking flowers from roadsides that are exposed to vehicle fumes as they could be contaminated with toxic substances.

Where Can I Buy Edible Flowers

If you can’t grow the edible flowers yourself, there are an increasing number of organic edible flower farmers that grow blooms specifically for the plate and many take online orders.

More and more speciality retail outlets are also stocking flowers you can eat.

Also go to your local farmers markets, or local produce suppliers, you may find some edible flowers there.

Other places to look would be Facebook or Instagram – these are good places where local farmers and growers will often advertise.

Growing Flowers You Can Eat

It’s really important not to eat flowers that haven’t been grown organically. This is for the obvious reason of not wanting to add unwanted chemicals to our diet!

So, the easiest thing to do is to grow your own edible flowers!

If you have a garden, you can have such fun growing flowers you can eat!

Growing Flowers You Can Eat in Pots or Containers

If you don’t have a garden, then grow some edible flowers in your courtyard or on the balcony.

Verbena, pentas, pansies, scented geraniums, marigolds, and violets are a few of the many varieties that will very happily grow in a pot or container.

It’s also very satisfying popping out and picking a few blooms to decorate whatever you’re making.

I pick a small posy of flowers and sit them in my fridge during the summer to keep them fresh.

This reminds me to use them every time I open the fridge!

Best Ways to Harvest and Store Your Edible Flowers

Picking and storing your edible flowers is easy. You just need to be very gentle with them as some will bruise easily.

Pick only the best blooms and avoid those that are going over or too damaged to look good.

Smaller flowers are quite delicate so you will need to handle them carefully.

The flowers will keep in the fridge for a week or so if you follow a few guidelines set out below. Some more robust flowers may last longer before they will start to deteriorate but the best scenario is to use them straight away if possible.

Which Flowers Are Poisonous?

As you would know, not all flowers are edible and poisonous flowers are usually beautiful, but some are toxic.

I’m often asked “Is Alstroemeria edible?”. The answer is No, it isn’t ! It is one of my favorite vase flowers but is not one that is edible. Its on the list below!

Another question I’m often asked is “Is Pentas is edible”. Now this one is a yes!

It is really important that you do your own research into any flower before choosing to eat it or supplying it to other people. Some can be very toxic and so you will need to be aware of which flowers are safe to eat.

In practice, it usually takes a reasonable amount of ingestion to create severe sickness but it’s still not safe to have toxic flowers on your plate and are best avoided.

Give Your Food the Wow Factor by Garnishing with Edible Flowers

Even if you’re not the greatest and most creative cook, you can still make your food look as though it’s just come out of a fancy restaurant!

Your dish can look exquisite by simply placing a flower or adding some petals.

The options are endless. Here are some ideas on how you can use edible flowers for garnish

Create a Special Drinks Experience with Edible Flowers

Add a bit of decadence to your drinks by using flowers you can eat! 

Cocktails and mocktails are renowned for being on the decadent side – and people love a bit of extra pizazz with the garnish.

There are many flowers that will compliment the flavor of spirits in a cocktail, as well as making a simple refreshing soft drink look appetizing and interesting.

I just love making floral ice cubes with little flowers suspended in the middle of the ice cube. These are easy to do and so very effective in both cocktails, mocktails or any refreshing drink.

Most small flowers look exquisite in ice and will create an enchanting touch to your drink, as the ice melts.

Make Enchanting Cakes Decorated with Edible Flowers

This has to be top of my list of favorite things to do with edible flowers!

I love baking and I love decorating cakes with edible flowers even more!

So many cake makers these days are using edible flowers to produce stunning visual effects on their cakes.

I received one of these cakes for my birthday and I was delighted!

It was decorated with vibrant pink cosmos and a variety of other flowers you can eat, such as miniature roses, dianthus and daisies. It was SO beautiful!

There are other options of using flowers for cakes, which will keep a bit longer than fresh flowers, like easy to make crystallized flowers.

What do Edible Flowers Taste like

Here is a guide on what do edible flowers taste like.

Edible flowers have a wide range of flavors, varying from spicy, sweet, tangy, pungent and bitter. So before using make sure you do a taste test!

Many flowers you can eat have a bland or subtle flavor and so can be used in most dishes. Others have a distinct aromatic flavor and so would only enhance certain savory dishes.

Nasturtiums have a complex favor which is spicy with a sweetness that comes from the nectar that the bees all love. These flowers tend to be used more for savory dishes and salads but I have seen them successfully used as garnish for cake platters.

Those lovely little pink chive flowers have a distinct oniony flavour and so also go well in savoury dishes where the flavour will give a subtle enhancement.

Flowers such as violas, violets or pentas do not have a strong taste and so can be used to decorate any dish.

edible nasturtium, spicy flower flavour

Benefits of Eating Flowers

benefits of echinacea

Apart from their visual appeal, many edible flowers have additional nutritious properties. Flowers such as roses, violets and calendulas are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate and potassium.

Many flowers you can eat also have medicinal properties and are often used in natural remedies. Echinacea is well known for boosting immunity and Hibiscus also has high levels of flavonoids and nutrients. Flavonoids have powerful antioxidant properties which are used in helping with symptoms of inflammation, reducing blood pressure and improving heart health.

Although the nutritious value varies widely, it’s good to know that the flowers you are consuming do have a positive effect on your body (not only on your eyes!).

Edible flowers are a versatile and nutritious addition to your plate, which will add a burst of colour and in some cases flavour to your dish.

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