The arrival of spring marks the return of flowery landscapes… Good news for the eyes, but also for our taste buds! In addition to being beautiful and colorful, many flowers are also edible. Sweet, spicy or even intoxicating, their original taste will inevitably enhance your sweet and savory preparations. But how do you choose the right flowers? Can we garnish our salads with flower petals with our eyes closed? We give you all our tips to transform your dishes with edible flowers. Bonus: we’ve selected our eight flower favorites for you in the kitchen.
How to choose them?
Before you go to the kitchen with your flowers, find the one that suits you. But watch out ! Like wild mushrooms, not all flowers are edible. Some such as anemone, lily of the valley or colchicum are even poisonous and their consumption poses a real danger to the body. It is therefore advisable to inform yourself in advance about the edible nature of the flowers before making your choice. When in doubt, you can always ask your pharmacist for advice.
Keep in mind that not all of them have the same taste. Nature is rich and full of flower varieties with varied flavors: spicy, sweet, peppery, spicy, aniseed, iodized… There is something for everyone!
Where to get them?
Do you want edible flowers on your plate, but don’t know where to find them? In particular, never eat cut flowers from florists or garden centers. Most of the flowers sold in these stores are treated with toxic and inedible preservatives.
You can choose to pick at home, if you have a garden or balcony, or pick wild in places that are protected from pollution. Note, however, that the flowers taken are edible! Some florists or garden centers also sell edible flower seeds to grow at home. When you buy it, make sure the products are untreated or certified organic.
Finally, some supermarkets also offer containers of edible flowers in the fresh department. These flowers must be eaten fresh, ie recently picked. So make sure you prefer local shops!
How do you cook them?
Edible flowers can be used in many ways in the kitchen, it’s all about doing it sparingly. You can decorate a dish with it, offer it in a salad, add it to a sorbet or a vinaigrette or process it in a donut. Let your creativity speak!
How to keep them?
If your edible flowers are fresh, they should be consumed quickly, between 2 and 4 days after picking. You can store your flowers in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for up to two days. You can also let them air dry and put them in an airtight container to enjoy later.
8 edible flowers for your plate
Now that you are well informed, here is a small selection of edible flowers in different colours, shapes and flavors for tasty and original dishes!
If violets are very beautiful in a garden, they can also decorate your plates – and perfume them. This delicate flower has a soft and sweet floral taste, ideal for flavoring a dessert such as a fruit salad or ice cream. But it can also be integrated into savory salads or other refreshing appetizers. Refined effect guaranteed!
East Indian Cherry
Native to Latin America, nasturtiums are an easy plant to sow and grow in your garden. And good news, the flowers are edible! Yellow-orange in colour, these have a surprising and slightly spicy taste. Something to brighten up your salads and perk up your taste buds.
In the kitchen, marigold flowers are mainly used in savory preparations. They are ideal for decorating a simple green salad or for flavoring rice, coloring them in the same way as saffron. Their taste is similar to this spice. As for the buds, they can serve as condiments like capers.
Violet flowers can be put in a champagne flute… but also in your culinary preparations. With their subtle and intoxicating scent, these flowers can enrich a salad or flavor a vinaigrette, liqueur or sorbet. They will also be delicious in desserts such as flans, rice pudding or pastries.
Also called cuckoo, this hardy perennial has small, fragrant yellow bell-shaped flowers. And they are edible! Raw, these slightly anise-scented flowers give a spicy touch to your salads. Cooked they go very well with vegetables or soups. It can also be used to flavor syrups, liqueurs or beers.
They beautify the meadows… but also the dishes. Daisies are also one of those edible flowers. Their taste is aromatic and slightly sweet: enough to brighten up your salads or your infusions.
His name already makes our mouths water. In addition to the florist carnation and the poet carnation, the sweet carnation is one of the edible carnations. The flowers are distinguished by their scent of nutmeg and their sweet taste, similar to that of cloves. They are used in salads, pies, but also in drinks.
Cornflower flowers, which bloom between late spring and mid-summer, are quite edible. They have a delicate and slightly sweet taste, ideal to give an original touch to your desserts or fruit salads. In Canada, the blueberry flour is also used in pancakes!
There you go, now you know everything you need to imagine colorful, fragrant and plant-based dishes! Tip: also think about the flowers of your favorite herbs (rosemary, chives, coriander, etc.). Moving on, we present you 10 edible flowers and plants to grow in your garden.