Edible Flowers Straight From Your Garden
As well as decorating a room with flowers, did you know that you can also use them to decorate your food? Edible flowers are becoming increasingly popular and can be used in everything from cocktails to salads and desserts. The Victorians even thought them to have body-cleansing properties, as well as being attractive garnishes. Scroll down to find out which flower would work best at your dinner parties this season...
BACHELOR'S BUTTONS 'CORNFLOWER'
This flower is a garden classic, and easy to grow, pollinator-friendly, and a great choice for gardening newbies. Plants will flower over a long period of time if they are harvested regularly. They have a slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavour, and go well in salads or egg dishes as a pretty garnish.
The cornflower doesn’t like to be transplanted, and they are cold-tolerant, so plant seeds directly into the garden in fall or early spring.
Nasturtium flowers have a wonderful peppery flavour, and make an incredibly gorgeous and delicious addition to salads. They can also be used to decorate cupcakes (and cakes). Cut the flowers in the cool morning or evening just before use. They can be stored for a few hours in plastic bags in the fridge if needed.
These lovely flowers do well mixed into egg dishes, including quiche and frittatas, as well as salads. Whole florets can be frozen into ice cubes to add colour to summer drinks. You can also dry the petals in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight, to save in jars for winter use.
Honeysuckle is most often used for making tea or a fragrant, flavourful syrup. You can use the syrup to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, yoghurt and sorbet, or as a sugar replacement in quick bread recipes. While the honeysuckle flower and its nectar are perfectly safe to eat, note that the berries of some varieties may be toxic if ingested in large quantities.
Pansies are very versatile and can be used sprinkled over salads, or, in fact, added to any dish to add some colour. You can also learn to make candied pansy flowers for exquisite cake garnishes, or just use fresh flowers as decoration. Pansies have a very fresh, salad-like flavour and go well with most dishes and desserts.
Marigolds are widely used as a stand-in for saffron, and they make a colourful addition to omelettes, rice, and soups. Edible marigold flowers are said to taste either mildly citrusy to subtly spicy to, well, like a marigold.