Edible Flowers – A Pretty Way to Jazz Up Your Cookery

 

Flowers have long been used as dining table decorations, but did you know that many of them are also suitable for eating? In this week’s blog, we look at the topic of edible flowers, and introduce you to some ideas of how to use them in the kitchen.

 

 yellow rose

 

Which Flowers Are Edible?

There are a wide variety of flowers that are safe for us to eat and it can be great fun to experiment, discovering the variety of flavours and textures that can be offered. Rose and violet are probably the best known – you’ve probably seen crystallised petals (coated in sugar for a sparkly look) on cakes and sweets. However, you might be surprised to find out that carnations, nasturtiums and chive flowers are edible too. Carnation petals have a clove-like taste and aroma, while vibrant nasturtium blooms have a surprisingly peppery kick and chive flowers have a subtle flavour reminiscent of onions. Other tasty florals include lavender, pansy, mustard-flower and borage.

 

 camomile tea

 

How To Use Flowers in Your Recipes

Flowers can be used in a wide variety of ways to bring colour, texture and unusual flavours to your dishes. To start, you could try sprinkling petals or small flowers over a salad, freezing them in ice-cubes or using them as an attractive garnish for cocktails and desserts. Other interesting and simple uses for edible flowers include infusing them in hot water to make an herbal tea, blending into a vinagarette or using them to make a syrup.  As your confidence for working with flowers grows, you can get more creative – stuffed courgette blossoms are a delectable seasonal treat and a seriously impressive dinner party starter, and dandelion petals are wonderful mixed with batter and fried to make fritters.

 

Top Tips

  • Only use flowers which you can positively identify as an edible variety. There are many excellent guide-books available to help you learn more.
  • Avoid picking road-side flowers which may have been contaminated by car exhaust fumes.
  • Buy edible flowers from organic suppliers or florists who don’t use pesticides or chemicals. Another alternative is to grow your own – many seed merchants now offer a specialist selection of seeds for edible blooms.
  • Pick the flowers in the coolest part of the day, when in full bloom. This ensures you get the best quality and taste.
  • Be cautious of consuming flowers if you suffer from asthma, hay-fever or other allergies.

 

 

Has this blog inspired you to try experimenting with flowers in your recipes? Or perhaps you’ve successfully used flowers to garnish or add flavour to your recipes in the past – why not share with us

 

 

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