Not only can flowers be enjoyed through sight and smell, some can be enjoyed through taste as well! While not all are edible (some are definitely poisonous), they provide a wonderful visual experience to meals and offer a range in taste. When cooked, they will most likely lose their colors. When used in salads, candied or frozen into ice cubes, their vibrant colors will remain virtually the same.
Things You Will Need
Choice of flowers
Flower recipe of your choice
Decide on a recipe that calls for edible flowers that sounds appealing. Recipes include soups, salads, candies, beverages, jellies and others. Flowers range in the taste they provide. Some edibles, such as Nasturtium, have a delightful peppery taste whereas Carnations provide a clove like taste. Pansies offer a slightly sweet to tart taste while Sunflower petals can be bitter unless steamed. Scented Geraniums offer a range in taste from lemony to minty depending on type but the citronella type geraniums can not be eaten at all. Borage flowers compliment salads nicely because of their slight cucumber taste and Gardenias will provide a sweet twist on taste. Chamomile also makes a great addition because it has a slight apple taste when fresh and whole.
Determine, from the recipe, whether the entire head or only the petals are to be used. Sunflower, Gladiolus, Calendula and Dandelion are examples in which only the petals should be eaten. In some instances, such as Dandelion, only the very young buds can be eaten. Very young dandelion buds have a slight mushroom taste when fried in butter. Young Dandelion leaves are also edible and can be used as a substitute for lettuce in many salads.
Pick the edible flowers you are going to use in the recipe. Don't pick ones from diseased or pest riddled plants. If it is going to be used without cooking it, pick the best looking ones with the brightest colors. In some cases, such as with rose petals, the stronger the fragrance is, the stronger the flavor is. Pick as close to eating them as possible to prevent wilting.Gently pull the petals off if the entire head is not going to be used. With rose petals, the white part of the petal should be trimmed off because it is bitter. Follow the suggestions of the recipe closely.
Thoroughly wash your edible flower choices. Some pests are very small and can hide very well. If pesticides or fertilizers that are not safe for edibles have been used on the plant, don't pick from them. After cleaning, spread the petals out on a clean, dry cloth or paper towels to dry.
Introduce edible flowers to your diet slowly. Allergic reactions may occur for some people. Many of them also have a mildly laxative effect.