Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flowers that are edible

Edible daylilies in bloom edging the vegetable garden

Saturday, June 10, 2017

If you want to add a beautiful touch and taste to a salad, dinner plate or drink, add a flower!  Many common flowers are edible.  These flowers do triple duty-adding beauty to the garden, attracting pollinators to increase harvests, and food.

Herb flowers are edible-like basil, thyme, oregano, calendula/pot marigold, sage, lavender, nasturtium, chamomile, borage, bee balm, garden chives, garlic chives and rosemary.  They add great color and flavor to salads and dishes.  Their flavor is a lighter version of the herb.  Let's not forget saffron; a pricey spice from the stigmas of the saffron crocus.
Edible garlic chives in bloom

Vegetable flowers are edible-like broccoli, cabbage, kale, bean, pea, onion, chives, garlic, zucchini, chicory.    Fried squash blooms are delish!  Just stuff them with a cheese mixture and fry.

Some plants we consider weeds are edible-like chickweed and dandelions flowers as well as their greens and clover flowers.  Chickweed tastes pretty good.  Cultivated dandelions are sweeter in the cool temperatures.  When it gets warmer, harvest the young leaves and flowers for salads and the large for steamed greens.  Full of great nutrition.

Edible lavender flowers in bloom

Then there are the ornamentals that are edible like daylilies, orchids, violets, chrysanthemums, honeysuckle, lilac, roses, dianthus, passion flower, pansies, Johnny Jump Ups, daisies, scented geraniums, snapdragons, tulips, zinnias and sunflowers.  Citrus blooms are, too.

Self sowing edible flowers:
Borage
Calendula
Chamomile
Marigolds
Nasturtiums
Sunflowers
Zinnias
Plant these, allow to go to seed, and they will continue to re-establish themselves year after year.  These are referred to as "volunteers" in the garden.  You can also save their seeds and sow in the spring where you want them to grow.  They do great in garden beds and containers.  This year, I had many self sowing zinnias return in light pink, medium pink and fuchsia. 
Self sustaining gardening appealing? Try the self-seeders!

You can also make beautiful flower sugars to spoon into teas, over berries and desserts.  Or add herbal flowers to sea salt for seasoning dishes.  Using herbs, flowers and fruit for flavored sugars and salts  You can  make flavored vinegars  Make your own flavored vinegars  The flower color will tint the vinegar as well as flavor it.  After straining, add a whole flower for its beauty. You can even make candied flowers!  Or add them to homemade drinks as a garnish  Use herbs for signature desserts and grown up beverages   or main ingredient Homegrown flavored waters and sodas
Homemade herbal sugars and salts
You can quickly look on line to verify that your ornamental is indeed edible which is recommended just to be on the safe side.

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