It’s surprising how many flowers you can eat!. Flowers have been used in cooking and as decorations for thousands of years adding colour, flavour, texture and of course therapeutic benefits. Today they can be found in a variety of restaurants around the world but you can also try some edible flower recipes at home.
A wide range of edible annuals and perennials can be grown in your garden. The bonus of growing your own is knowing that they are clean, pest and disease free. It’s a great way to engage children in gardening too (and provide important forage for pollinators)
Most people know you can eat lavender, elderflower and hibiscus but nasturtiums, primroses and chrysanthemums also make fab accompaniments to dishes (health and safety warning here – please make sure you’ve identified the correct flower and, if in doubt, don’t eat it!) Warwickshire-based charity Garden Organic has a great list of edible flowers which also includes some that bees love to forage on.
As well as tasting nice, many flowers you can eat have additional health benefits and have been used for thousands of years to enhance health and treat illness. The following may provide an additional boost to your dish:
- Hibiscus is traditionally used for a positive impact on cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Nasturtiums are full of vitamin C and contain many useful minerals
- Borage is used in herbal medicine to treat sore throats and coughs
- Stinging nettles (whilst not exactly a flower) are one of the most nutritious plants available to us containing Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. they can make a great soup (especially in the spring) There’s a BBC Good Food recipe here
- Calendula is often used as a more affordable substitute for Saffron but is also an excellent flower for treating cuts or sore skin when infused in oil (an oil such as olive or sunflower is fine)
- Roses can help induce relaxation and lower anxiety and are especially good in helping those suffering from grief
There are many edible flower recipes online but we particularly like the look of these delicious ones on Brit+Co.
Hope you have fun with this – and if you come across any recipes that you particularly like then please do let us know – we’d love to keep blogging on this fascinating subject 🙂
…and if you’d like to see what The Bees help us to make from the nectar they gather from flowers like these – check out our shop!