Flowers You Can Eat
There are a number of flower oils and vinegars made from flowers. Some of the flowers which are used in food products are:
* Artichoke: A perennial thistle, it originated from Southern Europe. Its leaves, buds, and flowers can be eaten. It’s also used for making herbal tea.
* Bee Balm: Also known as Monarda, Horsemint Wild Oswego, and Wild Bergamot, the bee balm tastes somewhat like mint and oregano.
* Borage: In midsummer, the annual plant has star-shaped flowers in blue. Used mainly in salads, cake decorations, desserts, and pastries, it has a cucumber flavor.
* Broccoli: Belonging to the Kale family, the large flower head is used for culinary purposes.
* Carnations: The petals are surprisingly sweet. Carnations can be used as cake decoration or steeped in candy or even wine.
* Cauliflower: Belonging to family Brassicaceae, it’s an annual plant. Its head or the floral meri-stem can be eaten raw or cooked.
* Chamomile: From the family Asteraceae, it’s a daisy like plant. Chamomile is commonly used for making herbal tea.
* Chives: An herbaceous perennial bulb forming plant, it belongs to the onion family. The flower or the buds are used in raw or cooked form in many dishes.
* Chrysanthemum: A perennial flowering plant which grows 50 to 150 cm, it’s used in making drinks such as tea.
* Citrus Blossoms: Lemon, orange and grapefruits are high in Vitamin C. It’s used in drinks and dishes.
* Clover: Clovers are high in proteins. They are cooked or boiled to be used in diet.
* Daisies: Belonging to the family of sunflower, it’s used in making cooking oils and teas.
* Dandelions: It belongs to the Asteraceae family and it has nutritious leaves. Dandelions have anti-carcinogen properties.
* Daylilies: It belongs to the Hemerocallis family and it is used to make cooking and food oils.
* Elderflower: The Elderflower is used in syrups, drinks, and wine.
* Hibiscus: This flower is popularly used as herbal teas, salad garnish, cordial, preserve or syrup.
* Honeysuckle: A part of the Caprifoliaceae family, it tastes like honey. Honeysuckle can be eaten on its own or added to desserts and wines.
* Jasmine: It is a shrub used for making teas and essential oils.
* Lilac: A flowering woody shrub, these beautiful flowers are commonly used in salads.
* Mint: Used in a variety of foods, mints are characterized by its clean smell and minty flavor.
* Moringa Oleifera: Its fruit is called “drumsticks” and it’s used in food preparation in many parts of the world.
* Nasturtium: Nasturtium is known as water cresses. However, it’s an endangered species in the U.S.
* Osmanthus Fragrans: The flower, also known as cinnamon flower, is used to create scented tea, jam, and sweet cakes.
* Pansies: Derived from the Viola species, it has delicate flowers which come in a variety of colors. A great tasting flower, it’s widely used in salads.
* Pot Marigolds: Pot Marigolds possess anti inflammatory properties. They are used for a variety of cosmetics, culinary, and medicinal purposes.
* Roses: Belonging to the Rosaceae family, there are over 100 species used for culinary and other purposes in all parts of the world.
* Sesbania Grandiflora: Part of the genus Sesbania, the flowers can be eaten raw or cooked.
* Sunflowers: Scientifically known as Helianthus annuus, the flower head is used for extracting oil which is used as cooking oil.
* Violet: From the genus Viola, violets have been used with grilled meats, desserts, salads, teas, stews, and more. The many species have different tastes.
* Zucchini Blossoms: Popularly known as summer squash, it can be dark green in color or yellow or orange. The flower can be fried, used in soups, stuffed, steamed, and many other methods.
Precautions and Risks
Flowers are eaten in various forms but there are many flowers which contain toxins. These flowers may not be safe to be taken in the raw form. Some flowers can cause allergic reactions and sometimes, the toxic pesticides on the flower can cause certain reactions. Furthermore, flowers which are insect ridden should not be used for culinary purposes.