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How to Eat Your Flowers

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 1 7

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
Garden Gloves
Garden Snips
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.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure the flowers you are using are edible. Not all flowers are edible, some are highly poisonous.


Oct 30, 2010 7:20pm
Great article on edible flowers. They really do add a lot to some dishes. Dandelion buds can also be battered and fried. Taste just like fried mushrooms.
Feb 3, 2012 2:50pm
I knew that some flowers are edible. Great article. Going to keep this for handy reference. Very nice!
Feb 22, 2012 6:01pm
When I first saw this title I thought "Nasturtium" straight away. It is strange that flowers stopped being so widely used in culinary because a few centuries ago they were a common sight.
Feb 22, 2012 6:04pm
Nasturtiums were the first flowers my kids ate! Once they got over the fear factor, they tried others. Borage and nasturtium are their favorites.
Feb 25, 2012 2:08am
This kicks derriere!!

I just learned about two years ago you can eat the yeloow blooms from squash plants (don't eat them all or you'll get no squash).

I tend toward a mostly vegetrian diet (courtesy of an ex-wife), and frankly it has opened whole new vistas of food experiences (gets you out of a rut).
This is the kind of stuff I love to read -- little off the beaten path and useful!! Thanks for a great piece. A big flowery thumb!
Feb 26, 2012 1:54pm
I've always wanted to try eating flowers. Great tips!
Feb 26, 2012 2:11pm
Thanks for reading.
@Vic---fry 'em up, they're good
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