Flowers are loved by one and all. They serve various purposes. You can decorate them, gift them and also eat them. Yes, it is true that flowers are not just meant for sniffing or marvelling at. A lot of pretty looking flowers can be totally eaten. Now before you just venture out to your garden to pick some blooms to include in your dinner, take a look at the list of these most commonly found edible flowers that are just delicious.
Hibiscus flower can be used as flavourings in various foods in various ways. Around the world this flower is eaten post cooking, sometimes raw, as a spice or even as a food dye. At some places the tenderest leaves of this flower are also put in raw salads to be eaten while at the other places the stalks of Hibiscus are added to soups for a nice flavour. Given to the mild citrus taste of its petals, this flower can also be used in anything like fruity cakes, rum drinks etc. However, the best way of consuming Hibiscus is to make an infused tea with it.
Lilacs not just smell amazing but these flowers also have an overwhelming taste. Best used as a garnish, you can try mixing them with a frozen yogurt for a lip smacking treat or you can simply prepare a lilac cold-water infusion. Scattering a few lilacs on fresh green salads can be a delicious idea too. A flower or two of this bloom,when added to a summer punch, may taste quite refreshing too.
You can eat both the leaves and flowers of Violets. While the flavour of the leaves may be mild to bland, the flowers taste sweet. You can eat them post adding them to your salads, boil & mix them with porridge, crystallize them in candies, make jellies from them, add them to vinegar for colour and fragrance or ferment them to produce sweet wine. Violets have great medicinal uses too. These flowers are quite detoxifying and can help your liver to clear waste products from your blood.
These intensely fragrant flowers have been traditionally used for scenting tea. You can also use these sweet flowers in, obviously, sweet dishes. However, only the species Jasminum sambac of this flower can be eaten as rest all other Jasmine species are poisonous so be careful while picking these flowers!
This flower with a sweet floral flavour, with a faintly citrus hint, can be a great addition to both sweet and savoury dishes. Put them in a glass of champagne, over a chocolate cake or as a garnish for ice creams and these flowers will lend a mysterious scent and a lingering taste to all of these.
All the varieties of roses are edible. Just remove the bitter white base and the strongly perfumed petals can render a perfect flavour to anything from desserts to drinks. You can eat rose petals raw in salads, in creamy sauces or after cooking in soups.
Day lilies have a sweet taste and can easily be eaten raw. The flavour of these flowers may resemble a cucumber or a mild melon. The buds of these flowers are a great source of Vitamin C and carotene. You can boil and eat the tubers of the roots of Day Lily just like mini potatoes.
Carnations have a peppery, spicy flavour like a clove. You can toss its petals in freshly chopped salad or create a pickle with them. Carnations can also be candied, added to desserts such as fruit cakes, steeped into wine to add a spicy flair or simply eaten plain.
As the name suggests, these flowers have a sweet, honey-like flavour. While the long flower tubes of Honeysuckle are totally edible, just be careful enough to not eat the berries or any other part of the plant as it is all extremely poisonous. This flower can be a delicious addition to salads as well as desserts.
With a mild squashy flavour, Squash blossoms are delicious edible flowers. Just remove the stamens of these flowers and you can cook them or eat them raw. Also, you can batter-fry them with savoury items like goat cheese or herbs, bake them or cook them in soups, burritos etc.
Isn’t it interesting to know how flowers can add colour to a raw salad or texture to a cooked meal! However, you must make sure that your edible flowers are grown organically minus any pesticides or chemicals. Also, do not forget to remove anthers, stems and pistils of the flowers before consuming them as they may be bitter. When in doubt about any edible flower, just taste it but only after making sure that it is not poisonous.