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Flower Power - Edible Flowers Recipes





Edible flowers have been used in cooking for centuries, including the cultures of ancient Rome, China, the Middle East, and India. They can be eaten fresh on salads, frozen in ice cubes, minced for herb butters, or made into jams and teas. You can even make cookies with them which was a common practice of the Victorians in the 1800s. Edible flowers not only allow you to add color and beauty to dishes, but they also contain vitamins A and C.


Generally, the petals and whole flowers can be eaten, but remove the white base of each petal, stem, and interior part as these taste bitter. Also, avoid flowers picked from roadsides or obtained from florists or nurseries as these have often been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. It's best to look for organic or grow your own flowers to consume, especially since most are easy low-maintenance plants and look beautiful in your garden anyway!


Squash Blossoms


In some types of cuisine, such as Provencal, squash blossoms are delicacies because their harvest time is brief. The flowers can be fried, stuffed and baked, or added to pasta dishes and soups. Harvest the blossoms and use them on the same day. Of course, note that pulling off the blossom means the plant will not produce fruit!


Chamomile


The pretty little flowers of chamomile, also called English daisy, can be steeped to make a tea. It's not fussy and grows in most soils. Note: Avoid if you’re allergic to ragweed as this plant also may affect you.


Homemade Bitters Recipe

Ingredients:

50 % bitter-flavored ingredients: citrus peels such as lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, roots such as liquorice root, dandelion root, turmeric root, ginger root, angelica root, artichoke leaf, barberry root, black walnut leaf, burdock root, calamus root, cinchona bark, devil’s club root, gentian root, horehound, licorice root, mugwort, Oregon grape root, orris root, quassia bark, sarsaparilla, wild cherry bark, and wormwood.

50 % aromatic ingredients: spices: allspice, aniseed (anise), caraway, cardamom, celery seed, chillies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, fennel, ground ginger, juniper berries, nutmeg, peppercorns, star anise, vanilla pods Herbs and flowers: chamomile, hibiscus, hops, lavender, lemongrass, mint, rose, rosemary, sage, thyme

100 or 90 proof alcohol (50 percent/43 percent alcohol depending on alcohol used). I normally use vodka.

Directions:

1. Chop your chosen ingredients, or coarsely grind or crack them, to expose more surface area for infusion. Put them into a large, sterilized glass jar.

2. Let steep in alcohol for up to 6 weeks in a dark room. Filter.

3. Enjoy as aperitif or digestive.


Calendula


The flowers from these bright orange or golden annuals add a bitter zest to salads.


Pansy and Viola


These beautiful little flowers have a slightly fresh, grassy flavor. Use the petals or whole flowers to adorn cupcakes or add to salads and cocktails.




Thyme


The thyme flowers have a milder flavor than the leaves and can be used in soups or salads. This perennial herb grows abundantly in Provence and spreads rapidly as an attractive ground cover.



Chocolate and Thyme Cake

Ingredients:

200 grams dark chocolate

150 grams butter or ghee

4 eggs

80 grams coconut sugar

pinch of salt

80 grams einkorn flour

handful of thyme flowers

Directions:

1. Melt the chocolate with the butter or ghee in a double boiler.

2. Whisk 4 eggs with the coconut sugar and a pinch of salt.

3. Add 80 the flour.

4. Add a handful of thyme flowers. Bake at 180 C for 30 min.


Rose


This classic garden beauty has a range of flavors from sweet to spicy. The darker the petal, the more intense the flavor is. Petals can be added to ice cubes or sprinkled on cakes and over ice cream.


Mint


Many different flavors of mint exist ranging from peppermint to chocolate. The flowers and leaves can be added to teas, jellies, and sauces for lamb dishes. Mint is hardy, so it can be invasive. Instead of planting it in the ground, keep it in a pot to control the spread of this hardy herb.


Marigold


Marigold is perfect for use in teas, salads, or as a substitute for tarragon. Remove the bitter white part at the end of petals before consuming. It’s one of the easiest annuals to grow and I always have a dozen of them in my garden.


Lavender


Lavender's flowers have a lovely, intensely sweet flavor. Use them baked in scones, added to teas, candied for cakes, or to dress up salads. Lavender is a perennial and a huge Provencal tourist attraction.


Lavender cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 cup arrowroot flour

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tsp of lavender flowers

1 tsp of lemon zest

200 grams of organic butter

4 tbsp. honey

Directions: 

  1. Mix the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, sea salt, zest and lavender in a bowl.

  2. In another bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and honey.

  3. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to well incorporate all ingredients. When adding lavender essential oils (two drops), mix it with a bit of butter or honey.

  4. The dough will be sticky, so use more arrowroot powder to create a log which you can wrap in a plastic foil.

  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 300 F/ 150 C.

  7. Cut the log into cookies and put on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown.

  9. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to cool before moving from sheet.



Borage


This herb has edible leaves and beautiful blue flowers. Finely chop the leaves and add to salads for a light cucumber taste. They grow easily from seed and will reseed themselves for years in your garden.


Cilantro


You already know that the leaves of this hardy annual are edible. But the flowers also add a light citrus flavor to salads and Mexican cuisine. Plus, if you let some of the flowers go to seed, you can harvest the seeds, which are also known as the spice coriander.


Violet


Violet flowers have a delicate sweet flavor and are great in teas. You can also candy the blossoms to decorate baked goods. Both the leaves and the flowers can be tossed on salads.


Nasturtium


This beautiful annual comes in an array of colors, including hot pinks, bright oranges, and golds. They’re the most versatile of the edible flowers. The pretty circular leaves, flowers, and seeds (which can be used a substitute for capers!) all add a peppery kick to salads. They’re incredibly easy to grow from seed! The leaves and flowers contain high amounts of mustard oils, which give them a pungent, peppery flavor and are released when the plant is crushed or chewed. (These are the same oils found in mustard seeds, horseradish root, and wasabi.) Mustard oils have active antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, making nasturtiums a natural remedy for everything from skin infections to sinus colds. The leaves are also rich in vitamin C and iron, and anthocyanins in the red and orange flowers make them highly antioxidant.


Nasturtium pesto


4 cups packed nasturtium leaves

2 cups packed nasturtium flowers

1 1/2 cups olive oil

5 cloves garlic

1 to 1 1/2 cups walnuts

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese4 cups packed nasturtium leaves

2 cups packed nasturtium flowers

1 1/2 cups olive oil

5 cloves garlic

1 to 1 1/2 cups walnuts

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)


White/Red Clovers


White and red clover flowers are so common in backyards, you're sure to have seen them growing at your feet. These blossoms are edible and medicinal, with a sweet aroma and taste.


Elderflower


Homemade Elderflower Cordial (refined sugar free)

To make 1 large bottle of cordial, you will need around 20 flower heads. Pick a shrub further from main roads and place the blossoms in a basket, cloth bag, or paper bag. Do not use a plastic bag.

Ingredients:

15-20 elder flower heads

peel and juice from 1 organic lemon

0,5 cup (1 dl) of coconut palm sugar

1,5 liter of water

Directions:

1. Put the elder flowers in a large bowl.

2. Peel and juice the lemon. Pour both peel and juice over the elderflowers.

3. In a pot, bring water and coconut palm sugar to boil until the sugar dissolves. Pour the water over the elderflowers and allow to cool.

4. Cover and let infuse overnight.

5. The next day, filter the liquid. Make sure there are no bits of flowers left in the infusion. If desired, add two drops of lemon essential oil. Fill into clean sterilized bottle. Dilute with water, sparkling water or unflavoured kombucha before drinking.


Elderflower Popsicles

Ingredients:

1 L of filtered water

125 ml elderflower cordial

Edible flowers, summer fruit, herbs

Directions:

1. Prepare edible flowers, cut fruit, prepare herbs such as mint, lemon balm, basil.

2. Fill the ingredients into popsicle molds.

3. Top with elderflower cordial and water.

4. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

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