Edible flowers are a fun addition to a summer salad, are gorgeous when candied, and make beverages more beautiful. They are easy to use and add a special flare to your dish!
Some of the flowers on our list may surprise you. You might already have them growing in your yard without even realizing the culinary excitement that awaits! There are a few things to remember when cooking with flowers:
- use flowers that are grown organically
- make sure the flowers you want to eat are edible, as some flowers can make you sick
- eat flowers in moderation, they can cause digestive or allergy problems if overused
- if you know you are allergic to a certain plant, avoid eating its flower
- eat the edible parts (usually just the petals) of edible flowers–remove pistils and stamens
- Do not use non-edible flowers as a garnish, guests may reasonably assume that if a flower is in their food, they can eat it
Top Ten Edible Flower Picks
Borage is an annual herb (also known as starflower). Borage flowers are usually blue, but can also appear pink or white. They have a faint cucumber taste and are well-suited to salads, beverages and desserts.
Chrysanthemums have a mild flavor. Sprinkle the petals over a salad for a beautiful presentation.
Daylilies are slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor and work well for garnishes, desserts, or even deep frying! Use only the orange daylily.
Lavender has a sweet floral flavor and lends itself well to both sweet and savory dishes. Use it in desserts or stews, or simply use it as a beautiful garnish.
Nasturtiums are one of the most commonly used edible flowers. They have a sweet, peppery flavor. Beautiful as a garnish, in a salad, or even on an open-faced sandwich.
Pansies can be eaten whole (including violas and johnny-jump-ups). They have a sweet flavor and are good for use in salads, drinks and desserts.
Dianthus has a clove-like flavor and adds lovely color to a salad. Beautiful in an ice ring for a party, or freeze petals in individual ice cubes.
Roses are a staple in many yards, and perhaps soon in many kitchens! All varieties are edible. The flavor varies between types and colors, but they are generally fruity, with deep colors having a more pronounced flavor. Great for salads, garnishes, beverages, and many other culinary uses.
Scented Geraniums are ideal in desserts, drinks, and even frozen in ice. Flavor generally corresponds with variety. The Citronelle variety may not be edible.
Squash is possibly the most surprising member of our list. They can be eaten raw, sauteed in butter, or even deep fried! This is a great way to prevent waste if your plants produce more than you (and all of your neighbors!) can use.
*Please note: this list is not exhaustive. Many flowers are edible. This list contains our ten favorites. If you want to eat a flower that does not appear on this list, make sure to reference a reputable source to ensure its safety. Some flowers can make you sick.