Too pretty to eat? Hardly. Our guide to edible flowers.

25 Jun. 2018

Edible flowers have been a wow factor for food for centuries, and today's rainbow food movement is driving the current interest in edible blooms.

Find out what flowers you can eat and how to use them:

Short guide of flowers that are safe to eat

Add flower power to your diet with these reliable favorites:

  • Violet - The springtime favorite is a classic cocktail ingredient
  • Lavender - Floral and peppery, this herb evokes dreams of Provence
  • Nasturtium - Vibrant orange, slightly peppery, this is a favorite flower
  • Cherry - This subtle flower whispers "Japan"
  • Hibisbcus - The cranberry of flower petals has a lovely look
  • Zucchini blossoms - An Italian favorite for fritters and pizzas
  • Calendula - Saffron in flower forms, down to the golden hue
  • Borage - These pretty blue petals taste of cucumber
  • Pansy - A multicolored, minty-flavored spring gem

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4 ways to use edible flowers in cocktails and cuisine

  1. Infused soda syrups let you drink violet or cherry blossom soda; they also double as a great flavoring for classic cocktails, such as martinis. Colorful blooms including pansies and violets can impart a soft pastel hue to your drink.

  2. All edible flowers add a pop of color to items. If you're making dessert, top your cake, cupcake, or mousse with a single edible flower per serving. Sprinkle flowers petals in your salad to give it interest.

  3. Savory blossoms -- such as borage, calendula, or nasturtium -- do well in savory applications, whether it's salad or toast.

  4. Dried flowers -- you will commonly find dried lavender and rose -- are best infused, where they can lend their flavor. Cream infusions are the perfect base for flavored whipped cream or ice cream. By infusing blossoms with sugar, you can get flavored sugar. Or you can soak the dried flowers in water and sugar for a flavored syrup.

Master these simple techniques for working with edible flowers, but don't be afraid to be creative. Flowers are fun, so you should have fun cooking with them!

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