Cake decorators and chefs around the world have used edible flowers for decades. The following list includes 5 flowers for an edible garden. I love heading out to the veggie garden to pick something for dinner. What’s more fun is to surprise the family with an edible floral display on top of their favorite dish or on a side plate.
Most varieties of lavender will come back year after year in a garden. The flowers have a rather sweet flavor with a hint of citrus. Some people enjoy the blooms with a slice of chocolate cake. The blooms can also be sprinkled into custards and sorbets for additional flavor. Lavender can be hard to start from a tiny seed; so many gardeners find it easier to buy a small lavender plant from a nursery or garden store.
The cucumber-like flavor makes the blue star-shaped flowers from this plant perfect for chilled soups, dips, cheese tortas, lemonade, and most punches. This plant is a perfect companion plant for strawberries, spinach, and brassicas. Tomato hornworms often confuse this plant with a tomato plant and end up laying their eggs on it instead of the tomato plant.
The flowers are just as edible as the oniony stems and leaves. These blooms can be used in salads, cooked in dishes requiring onion flavoring, floated on top of soups, and chopped and sprinkled on top of steaks. Chive plants grow quickly from seed and return year after year. Allow some of the flowers to go to seed and save these seeds for planting the following spring.
Related to carnations, dianthus flowers have a nutmeg scented base with sweet-tasting petals. The petals can be tossed into a salad or the entire flower can be steeped in wine to be used with meat dishes. These annuals can be grown from seed, but many gardeners pick up small dianthus plants to get a head start. Plant in full sun for best results.
These spicy little flowers are yellow, orange, or red. They are great by themselves, used as a garnish, or sprinkled on top of a salad. Nasturtium plants that climb, trail, and grow in bush form are all able to be raised from seed fairly easily. Plant the seeds in full sun or partial shade. They tend to prefer cooler weather to grow in than a warmer climate.
I hope you enjoyed this short list and it gives you some ideas on flowers you can use in cooking or to eat right off the plant. What types of flowers have you eaten?
Top Photo Credit: JETS Garden