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April 29, 2022 8 min read

Integrating edible flowers into a recipe is a great way to artfully garnish or add a floral flavor to a dish or beverage. 

To start your own edible flower garden try our edible flower gardening kit  Our kit comes with Borage, Calendula and Viola seeds to grow your own.

borage seeds and flower from grow and make

There are many different types of edible flowers here is a list of a bunch of different edible flowers that you may have in your own garden already to incorporate into your next recipe. 

lavender fields Lavender- Sweet and slightly perfumed-tasting purple buds. Adds a nice floral taste for cocktails, tea and cookies. 

Begonia- Begonia blossoms have a citrus-sour taste.  The leaves, flowers, and stems are edible. The petals are used in salads and as a garnish.  Stems, also, can be used in place of rhubarb.

Pansies- Available in a wide array of colors  have a minty lettuce flavor. They work well in herb-flavored summer cocktails and fruit salads. For a quick, easy, and festive summer hors d'oeuvre, spread some cream cheese on a small round cracker and top it with a whole pansy. The stamen, pistil, and sepals (those little leaves directly under the flower) are all edible too. 

Roses- Have a strong aromatic scent. Harvest roses in the early summer when they are the most vibrant and fragrant. Rose petals can be eaten fresh or dried. Add dried rose petals into melt and pour soap, tea or a vinegar infusion. 

Carnations– Carnations petals can be added to salad, steeped in wine, or used as cake decoration.  To use the sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower.  Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that’s been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century.

Dandelions– A member of the Daisy family, and found in most lawns.  The  flowers are sweetest when picked young and have a sweet, honey-like flavor.  Mature Dandelion flowers are bitter. Young leaves taste good steamed, or tossed in salads.  Serve a rice dish using dandelion petals like yellow confetti over the rice.

Nasturtiums- Flowers and leaves have a mild peppery taste like radish or watercress.  Add leaves and flowers to a green salad, or as a garnish for soup. The young green seeds can be preserved like capers.

Hibiscus- Both tart and sweet, hibiscus petals have a cranberry-like flavor that makes them perfect for teas, kombucha and cocktails. 

Borage- These beautiful blue, star-shaped flowers from the borage plant taste a bit like cucumber. Used in salads, lemonade and refreshing. 

Calendula- Known as the "poor man's saffron," taste like saffron when it's sautéed in olive oil to release its flavor. Bright yellow and orange flowers, historically used for medicinal and culinary purposes. Petals are used in cooking, and were used as yellow coloring in cheeses and butters in centuries past. When used in stews, broths and salads, these petals add a spicy taste similar to saffron to many dishes.

orange edible calendula flower

Violas- also known as Johnny-Jump-Ups or European wild pansies, make excellent additions to sugar cookies and salads. Violas are one of our very favorite types of edible flowers because of their bright purple color and prolific growth. Violas will give you flowers from spring to fall, and even a few in the winter, depending on your climate. You can dry them for future use

purple violas in a green pot

 

Be sure all of the flowers are organic before you consume, which means don’t eat flowers you’ve picked in the park or side of the road. Growing your own organic flowers to eat is the best way to know they haven’t been exposed to chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Double check that the variety of flowers you plan on eating is a safe species to digest. Use flowers sparingly in your recipes. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers.

Recipe #1 

Edible flower Shortbread Sugar Cookies

Delicious shortbread sugar cookies decorated artfully with edible flowers. Add green tea matcha powder if you seek an earthy green colored cookie. 

 

sugar cookie with a flower on it

 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free all-purpose flour) 

½ cup sugar plus more for sprinkling

⅛ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup butter, softened

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp green tea matcha powder (optional) 

Pressed Edible flowers: we used pressed viola flowers but also recommend pansy, and borage, calendula

1 Tbsp water (if needed)

Tools: baking sheet, parchment paper, a book to press the flowers, bowls and spoons. 

Instructions

Press edible flowers flat in between sheets of parchment and a book for about 2 hours or overnight. This will ensure the flowers will stay flat on your cookies

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and matcha powder if you want a green color. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter and vanilla extract and mix with a spoon until combined. Knead the dough with your hands until the dough comes together and is smooth. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 10 minutes. If the dough if too crumbly to form into a disc for chilling, you can add up to 1 tablespoon water, at a time to get it to bind. 

Remove dough from the refrigerator and place between two sheets of parchment paper with a light dusting of flour. Roll dough to about ¼ inch thickness and cut out cookies with a 1 ½ inch round cutter, and place them on the lined baking sheet. 

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges turn slightly golden then remove from the oven. 

Artfully place the flowers or individual petals on the cookies and press gently into the warm cookies. Adding the flowers to the baked cookies with prevent the flowers from shriveling up from the heat from the oven. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Let the cookies cool.

Cookies may be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days. Makes about 24 cookies, depending on size. 

fresh flowers on shortbread cookies  

 

Recipe #2

Goat Cheese Mousse and Flower Wreath 

A beautiful flower wreath made of soft goat cheese mousse and covered in edible sprouts, leaves, flowers and blossoms. This wreath is a beautiful dish to serve as an appetizer at a dinner party with some crackers, on toast, or as a dip for vegetables. 

To make your own goat cheese, sign up for our subscription club for the spring quarter we are shipping out a cheesemaking kit and an edible flower kit. 

goat cheese mousse flower wreath

 

Ingredients

24 oz soft goat cheese (Chèvre) room temperature or 24 oz cream cheese (3 packages)

8 oz heavy whipping cream 

Dash of salt

½ tsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp honey

Some sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and mint (or seasonal herbs in your garden)

Handful of microgreens (such as various sprouts, small basil leaves, parsley, arugula, or baby spinach)

Edible flowers (violas, fresh rose petals, lavender, pansies, and dandelions)

Crackers, toast or carrot sticks for serving

Tools: Electric mixer, bundt pan, plastic wrap, bowls and spoons 

Reserve 2 Tbsp of heavy cream for later, and make whipped cream in a bowl, with an electric mixer on high whisk whipping cream into stiff peaks and set aside.

To make a cheese mousse, in a bowl combine soft goat cheese or cream cheese and the reserved 2 Tbsp of cream with an electric mixer. Add some freshly cracked lemon zest, dash of salt and honey. Stir in the whipped cream until it forms a soft and smooth mixture. Add some fresh lemon zest, dash of salt , and honey. For a more savory cheese mouse add fresh chives into the cheese. Stir to combine.

circular bundt pan lined with plastic wrap

Line the inside of a bundt pan with plastic wrap and add spoonfuls of cheese mousse inside. Level and smooth out the top of the surface. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up and keep the round wreath shape. Grab a plate and put it on top of the bundt pan, with 2 hands flip the bundt pan over to have the cheese mousse centered on the plate. 

Prepare the fresh herbs, sprouts and edible flowers: Gently cut and wash the flowers and sprouts. Place them on a piece of paper kitchen towel to allow the water to dry off.

edible flowers and microgreens

Decorate by sticking small greens, herbs, and sprouts of your choice on top and around the cheese mousse. Artfully arrange the edible flowers and petals over the top of the cheese circle to create your wreath. Add some small sprigs of thyme into the sides of the mousse to garnish. 

Serve the cheese wreath at room temperature with crackers, or as a smear for bagels or toast.

goat cheese mouse with edible flowers for spring snacks

 

Recipe #3

Edible flower spritzer 

Delicate, mellow and refreshing spring beverage is sure to transport you to a tropical paradise at the first sip. Orange blossom water is distilled with the essence of flowers from bitter orange trees. If you can’t find orange blossom water you can substitute it with a few drops of orange extract or orange bitters. Add class to a glass of bubbly with an edible flower garnish. Can be made with alcohol or as a nonalcoholic mocktail. This could be a fun specialty cocktail at a wedding, brunch or for a special occasion. 

edible flower spritzer beverage cocktail for weddings

Ingredients

4 oz club soda or champagne

A few drops of orange blossom water or orange extract or orange bitters.

4 oz of fresh squeezed orange juice or cranberry juice

Edible flower petals such as hibiscus, calendula, pansies or violas 

Ice 

Tools: cocktail shaker and a cocktail glass

fresh squeezed orange juice handpicked from a tree

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

Add orange blossom water and a splash of fresh orange juice or cranberry juice.

Cap your cocktail shaker, give it a thorough shake and strain into an ice filled cocktail glass.

Top off with club soda or champagne for some effervescence.

Garnish with an orange wedge and edible flowers.

 

Recipe #4

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles with edible flowers 

Bright blueberries with a hint of lemon, lavender and creamy greek yogurt flavored popsicles with a floral garnish make tasty treats on a warm day. Incorporate beautiful and flavorful edible flowers like borage petals or lavender buds.  Feel free to swap the blueberries for any fresh summer berry you like like marionberry or raspberry. 

blueberry yogurt popsicle

 

Ingredients

2 cups Greek Yogurt (or vegan yogurt)

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp lemon zest

¼ cup lavender flavored simple syrup or sweetener such as honey, maple syrup or a sugar free syrup. 

12 ounces blueberries frozen (defrosted) or fresh

Handful of edible flowers such as borage or lavender buds

Tools: mixing bowl and popsicle molds with reusable popsicle sticks or wooden popsicle sticks

Makes 8 popsicles or ice pops. 

Recipes for a lavender simple syrup or a color changing floral simple syrup recipe can be found on our blog here...  

Instructions

In a medium bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest, lavender simple syrup and blueberries and slowly mix until it is combined. Gently fold in the edible flowers. Spoon your blueberry yogurt mixture into a popsicle mold. Freeze overnight, and gently remove the pops from the mold. Enjoy this refreshingly sweet treat on a warm day.

edible borage flowers growing for spring gardening

 

For additional ways to use edible flowers check out our blog on how to make pressed flowers. 

To start your own edible flower garden try our edible flower gardening kit 

 


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