7 Flowers Good Enough to Eat (Really!)
These seven flowers pack a sweet punch, adding more than just decoration to your dinner plate.
Just as parsley can double on dinner plates as spice or garnish, flower petals too can add more than just decorative color to dishes. While parsley is more familiar, flower petals add the same unexpected color, texture, and taste to food, and many varieties of flowers are 100-percent edible—and may already be growing in your own backyard! Make sure, of course, that there are no pesticides on your pansies before ingesting them, and remember to first remove all petals from the bitter white base of the flower before applying them to recipes.
The petals of this easy-to-find, perennial prom-lapel favorites are sweet and can be used in desserts and as cake decorations. Carnation petals are one of the secret ingredients used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur. Because they are popular wedding and special occasion flowers, carnations are generally available year-round.
Imparting a sweet honey-like flavor and fragrance, the flowers—particularly the buds—are sweetest when picked young and eaten right away. Leaves can be steamed, sautéed, or tossed in salads, and petals look like confetti when sprinkled over a rice dish.
Whereas the petals have a sweet honey flavor, stay away from the berries, which are highly poisonous! Honeysuckle grows from late spring until the very end of summer, making it a highly accessible flower to spice up summertime recipes.
Also known as "poor man's saffron," the flavor of marigolds ranges from spicy to bitter and tangy to peppery. Add this aesthetically pleasing foliage to soups, pasta, rice, or salads for an orange-gold glow. Like honeysuckle, marigolds are easy to grow in your home garden all throughout the growing season—watch them bloom from the spring months until winter's first frost.
A commonly used edible flower, nasturtiums come in brilliant red, orange, and yellow colors and have a spicy, peppery flavor similar to watercress. Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers. For a surprise treat, don't forget to nip off the end of the flower bud and suck out the sweet nectar.
The flavor, depending on type, color, and soil conditions, tends to be reminiscent of strawberries and tart apples. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. Sprinkle on desserts or salads, freeze them in ice cubes, and float them in punches. While these buds get pricy around the holidays, they are available year-round for infusing into your food.
Their sweet, perfumed flavor complements their colorful hues of purple, yellow, blue, or white and can amp up the taste, texture, and color of a salad of mixed greens in no time flat! They are also wonderful additions to iced drinks and can be used to decorate desserts. Freeze them in ice cubes for a pretty presentation in punches. Violets are most widely available and in season during the spring months.
5 Ways to Create a Great Vegan Picnic
Beat the heat with memorable outdoor meals that can happen at a moments notice.
Read More »
The VegNews Guide to Vegan Milk
Need milk? Our ultimate, up-to-date guides to vegan products give you everything you need to know.
Read More »
Going Vegan: How One Meat-Serving Restaurant is Catering to the Meat-Free
VegNews talks to acclaimed Washington DC's Equinox restaurant about its evolution to a more plant-based menu.
Read More »
Sneak Preview: What's on the Menu at Chloe Coscarelli's NYC Restaurant?
The 27-year-old chef is the latest to make the leap from cookbook author to restaurant owner, with her first New York eatery opening this month.
Read More »
14 Reasons Why Pitchfork Music Festival Is Vegan Paradise
Vegan beer, meat-free fare, and popsicles galore headline the catering line-up at Chicago's annual summertime festival.
Read More »
- Vegan Meringue Has Arrived
- Morrissey Uses NYC Concert to Promote Veganism
- Top 10 Male Vegan Bloggers
- How to Veganize Any Recipe: Sweet Edition
- 10 Foods You Never Thought Youd Eat Again
- 5 Ingenius Ways to Eat Chocolate Chips
- Subscriber Appreciation Month Giveaway: Miyoko's Kitchen
- A Vegan Mothers Day Your Mom Will Love
- A Vegan Cinco de Mayo Brunch
- Why Red Meat is at the Root of Americas Health Epidemic
- 14 Game-Changing Avocado Recipes
- Virgin America to Launch Vegan Airline
- 10 Foods to Help Get Rid of Stress
- Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
- The #1 Way to Make Sure You Eat Your Greens First
- 10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters
- 6 Delicious Ways to Get Vitamin C
- 3 Raw Vegan Desserts
- Valentine's Dinner for Two
- 4 Mouth-Watering Vegan Super Bowl Recipes