Flowers can be mesmerizing because of their beauty, but did you know that some flowers are edible too? Edible flowers have been a gastronomic delight for ages. Whether they are used in a salad, cocktail or cake, they will surely add a burst of both flavour and colour to many dishes.
*Please be aware that only organically grown flowers are suitable for eating, any flowers that are treated or sprayed are not.
Dry this tropical flower and you will get the perfect ingredient for a delicious and exotic cup of tea. Drinking hibiscus tea can even help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The flower has a cranberry-like flavour with citrus overtones – which gives it a somewhat sour taste.
Fun fact: if you drop Hibiscus buds into a glass of bubbles, they will bloom before your eyes!
You probably know Lavender for its distinctive fragrance, but have you ever thought of it as an ingredient to your dish? Lavender can be added to a variety of foods, such as baked goods, liqueurs, dry spice rubs and herb mixtures. Its flavour matches really well with both sweet and savoury ingredients including berries, rosemary and chocolate.
The slightly sweet taste of borage (both the flowers and leaves are edible!) is reminiscent of cucumber and honey. That’s why these beautiful blue, star-shaped flowers are often used in salads. They also do well in lemonades or the favourite of many: gin and tonic!
Add Pansies to a dish and you will create a true feast for the eyes! Because this flower has so many colour variations, it’s a great decorative addition to desserts. Pansies have a slightly grassy or minty flavour which also combines very well with summer cocktails and fruit salads.
Research suggests that eating Rose petals (and many other edible flowers) may offer health benefits like reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. However, not every Rose tastes the same. A good rule of thumb is that whenever a Rose smells pleasant, it’s probably tasteful too. Mix dried Rose petals for example with granola or create rose-infused beverages and jams.
Make sure to cut the sweet petals of the Carnation away from the bitter white base of the flower before using! Like Pansies, Carnations are great to use as cake decorations because of their vibrant colours. Did you know that Carnation petals are one of the (not so) secret ingredients used to make a famous French liqueur?