Types of Edible Flowers
Flowers are beautiful gifts with lovely aromas that add life to your home. But did you know that they’re not just a treat for your eyes? There are edible flowers you can enjoy not just as a floral tea!
It’s important to note that not all flowers are edible and the taste can vary. Many of them go really great in summer salads or as a garnish on any dish. You can even candy them or add them to your ice cubes.
Up your food presentation skills and salad game with our list of delicious edible flowers!
Types of Edible Flowers
Probably the most popular type of edible flower out there! In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is usually prepared as a tea since it has many healing benefits. It aids in detoxing the body, reducing dryness and is categorized as “cooling”. You can learn more about the different properties of food in TCM here.
Their taste is described to be similar to radicchio which makes them great to add to salads, stir-fries and rice dishes. You can find them in their dried form at your local Asian supermarket or fresh from the farmers’ market.
2. Pagoda Flowers
Another popular edible flower is the Pagoda flower. They’re native to East Asia, specifically Northern China, Japan and Korea. You can sometimes find them here in their dried form at Asian supermarkets or the buds online.
There numerous ways to enjoy pagoda flowers as the flower itself and its leaves are both edible. You can eat the flower directly with your meal or soak them in sugar and treat them like candy. They also taste great in dumplings!
3. Chinese Violets
The family of violets has many different types and colours. Luckily they’re all safe to eat! We decided to include the Chinese violet specifically in our edible flowers list. In TCM, they’re steeped as a tea for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Although it may be difficult to Chinese violets in Canada, you can still enjoy other types of violet flowers instead. The violet flower family generally has a light, floral flavour, similar to grapes which goes great in salads or with seafood recipes. They also come in a range of colours which makes them perfect to add colour to any dish.
4. Chives Blossoms
You might be thinking of the herb but they’re not just the tall, thin stalks you’re used to seeing. The chive blooms are edible as well! They are one of the edible flowers on this that you can grow in your own backyard! Plant the seeds during early spring to harvest during late spring/late summer.
Chive flowers have a light onion flavour. You can toss the blossoms along with the chive stalks into a salad or use them to make a vinaigrette. Another type of chive is the Chinese chives, which have more of a garlic flavour though.
Here’s another edible flower you can find in your backyard. They are the bane of a perfect lawn but this tenacious “weed” is actually good for you! The entire plant is edible, so instead of spraying them down with weed killer or throwing them away, turn them into something delicious.
The leaves are also edible and taste like a spicer version of arugula. The easiest way to enjoy them is raw in a salad. Dandelion blooms taste the sweetest when picked young since they have a sweet honey-like flavour. Use them to make tea or saute them with other greens. The blooms also taste amazing fried like tempura.
How to Prepare Edible Flowers
Something important to note before picking flowers to eat is to do your research! Not all flowers are edible and some can be harmful. Some flowers look very similar to so make sure to have a positive ID before ingesting them. If in doubt that the flower is edible, go the safe route and skip it. Also, check which parts of the flower are edible!
Like any other ingredient you’re cooking with, you must properly clean the flowers before eating them. Immerse the blooms in water to get rid of any dirt or inserts. Next, gently pat them dry. If you’re just using the flower, trim it where the flower meets the stem. If you’re not using them immediately after picking them, place the flowers in a vase with water for temporary storage.
If you are just using the petals of the flower for garnish or decoration, carefully use clean, dry fingers to pluck the petal from the bud.
Now you’re all set to upgrade your spring dinner menu and presentation skills! Don’t forget to share your beautiful dishes with us on Facebook and Instagram.