10 Ways to Use Edible Flowers
Your garden looks good enough to eat.
Edible flowers are experiencing a renaissance, of sorts. They’re popping up everywhere – on top of wedding cakes, in cocktails and even in savory soups and salads. And not just your usual lavender or nasturtium – pansies, sunflowers, tulips, violets, orchids and even those pesky dandelions are getting the culinary treatment.
And don’t forget to turn to your vegetable garden, too. The blooms from fruits and veggies and herbs pack a ton of flavor if you’re willing to sacrifice part of your harvest. You can use blooms from bolted herbs and leafy greens, too.
When selecting edible flowers, make sure to select organic plants or seeds. And never consume anything you find growing on the roadside or in the wild. If you need the blooms fast or in bulk, turn to the grocery store, farmers market or online.
Ready to give your next dish a little flower power? Check our top uses for our favorite edible blooms:
This one’s a no-brainer – toss blooms like nasturtiums, chive blossoms and pansy petals into your next salad for a burst of fragrant flavor.
Up to your arms in squash? Fry up a batch of blossoms (stuffed with cheese, no doubt) when you just can’t eat another piece of zucchini bread.
If you’re a tea drinker, you’ve probably had your fair share of florals. Chamomile, rose hips and lavender are common, but also try Echinacea (popular in cold remedy teas), hibiscus and bee balm.
Floral ice cubes are the perfect mix of pretty and flavorful. In beverages, the flowers add a hint of flavor as the ice melts. Try freezing up mint flowers for mojitos, hibiscus flowers for iced tea or make lavender for a botanical take on lemonade.
Seeing a fresh flower in your cocktail never gets old. But don’t just stop at using them as a garnish – you can infuse your spirits with flowers, too. Vodka is an easy candidate since it doesn’t have much flavor on its own, but don’t be afraid to try infusing gin or even bourbon.
Marigold Citrus Popsicles
These popsicles incorporate citrus and marigold petals for a bright, summery treat. Editor’s Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. HGTV does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.
Remove marigold blossoms
Remove the blossoms from the plant and give them a rinse. Shake off any excess moisture. Grab the marigold with one hand at the top of the stem. Use the other hand to gently twist and pull the petals loose all together. Break them apart and discard any pieces you don't want to include.
For best results, remove the lid and sticks after one hour. Use long tweezers or one of the sticks to gently push some of the petals down into the liquid. The crystals that have formed will help them stay in place. Replace the lid and sticks and freeze for at least another three hours before serving.
There’s nothing like a homemade popsicle on a hot summer day, and fresh flower petals only add to the experience. We love these boozy, marigold citrus pops – feel free to leave out the alcohol if you’re a non-drinker or have little ones.
It’s like being a kid again, but fancier. Speaking of kids, this is a great activity to teach them about gardening. Let them help you plant, then harvest, the flowers to make lollipops or candy. Just make sure the kids are out of the kitchen while handling hot sugar.
Image courtesy of Molly Oliver Flowers
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been known to skip the cake altogether and just eat the ornate frosting flowers. But if you’re looking to make a cake stand out, try using the real thing. It’s also a great alternative if you’d prefer to go light on the icing (feel free to send your leftover frosting to me).
Cookies, Donuts and Beyond
You can add edible flowers to pretty much any baked good, but we especially loved them on cookies and donuts. See how it’s done in the video below, plus get more ideas for edible flowers:
Editor's Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some wild plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. DIY Network does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.