Cooking with flowers? You may be surprised, but those beautiful garnishes also taste great with your meal! For example, bean blossoms have a sweet, bean flavor, and nasturtiums have a peppery flavor. Borage tastes like cucumber and miniature pansies have a mild wintergreen taste. Flowers like violets, roses, and lavender have a sweet flavor that can be added to flowers or desserts. When in doubt, you should taste the flower before adding it to any meal, but make sure it is not poisonous!

Adding edible flowers to your dish can make it look special, but you have to make sure the flower compliments the dish well. Here are some things to consider:

  • Place colorful gladiolus or hibiscus flowers (remove stamen and pistil) in a clear glass bowl and fill with your favorite dip
  • Sprinkle small pieces of edible flowers in your green salads for a burst of color and taste
  • Freeze small flowers into ice rings or cubes to add a pretty touch to your beverages
  • Use flowers in flavored oils, vinaigrettes, jellies, and marinades
  • Use candied or crystalized flowers to decorate cakes or fine candies

While adding flowers to a dish can be fun and exciting, you need to be careful because people who suffer from allergies can be at risk:

  • Asthmatics or people who suffer from severe allergic reactions from composite-type flowers should be aware of their possible allergic reactions.
  • You should never use non-edible flowers as a garnish. If a guest finds something on their plate, they will assume that it is edible.

Although flowers can be a beautiful addition to any dish, you should use flowers sparingly, especially if you are not accustomed to eating them because it can lead to digestive problems. Also, different flowers have differing levels of flavor, so you will have to judge accordingly when deciding how much of a particular flower you would like to add to a dish.

To help you determine whether a flower is okay to eat, check out a credible source for a list of edible flowers. Also, make sure you take a look at this plant toxicity list.

Hopefully now you are confident in your ability to cook with flowers. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Housing Buzz team.