This is a collaborative post.
Although it may seem strange at first to add flowers to the menu, edible blooms can be exceptionally tasty in a lot of dishes. Herbs like basil, thyme, and coriander have been used in the culinary arts for hundreds of years, and they’re often considered “flowers” in many cultures. You’ve likely already dipped your toe in, so why not add these other stunning flowers as well?
8 Incredible Flowers You Need to Add to Your Diet
1. Chive Blossoms
Chives, green onions, or scallions are a common addition to many recipes, including omelettes, stews, and potato dishes. The chive blossom that sits on top of the chive spout is also editable, even if it’s typically thrown away when harvested. The blossom has a mild onion flavour and can be eaten cooked or raw. You can separate the blossom petals and sprinkle them in a dish.
2. Red Clover
In the Middle Ages, red clover was used to treat leukorrhea, rheumatism, and gout, and it’s also believed to improve the texture of nails. Indigenous populations would use clover in salads and teas, as the plant could help with coughs and colds. Red clovers can turn bitter quickly, but when harvested before turning brown, they will taste like sweet red liquorice or star anise.
3. Calendula (Marigolds)
Known as “poor man’s saffron,” calendula tastes similar to the world’s most expensive spice but without the hefty price tag. Marigolds can be eaten raw, but you’ll lose out on the intense flavour cooking brings out. Calendula oil fusions are popular in the Middle East because oil seems to release this flower’s flavour and make it potent, so keep a bottle handy.
The hibiscus flower is one of the most beautiful edible flowers you can find, but what makes this bloom special is its unique medicinal properties. When steeped in tea, hibiscus can help lower blood pressure, promote weight loss, and offer up a daily dose of antioxidants. Hibiscus petals taste incredibly sweet and tart, which makes them the perfect garnish for cocktails and cakes.
Nasturtiums are likely the most popular edible flower in the world. They taste incredible in summer dishes, like salads and spring rolls, due to their peppery taste. Often compared to watercress, nasturtiums are just as tasty but twice as beautiful due to their brightly coloured petals that come in orange and yellow. To top it all off, they are packed with vitamins and nutrients.
No matter the colour, pansies have a minty or grassy flavour, but you’d be wrong to think they taste too earthy. Their mild flavour, coupled with their pleasing appearance, makes pansies the perfect palette cleanser. You’ll typically find pansies as a garnish for baked goods or cocktails, but they can be added to salads, chilled in ice cubes, or as a base for a cheese hors-d’oeuvre.
Although roses have a strong scent, their flavour is anything but intense. In fact, roses are subtle, fruity, and lend themselves well to any salad, soup, or tea. Roses are at their best when they’re included in deserts, especially with chocolate, or mixed into jams. For a low-calorie snack, make candied roses by making water or egg-white brush with sugar, then leave them out overnight.
8. Zucchini Blossoms
Squash or zucchini blossoms have a subtler taste than fully grown squash, but they’re lighter and easier to work with. Zucchini blossoms are nature’s perfect stuffing holder because they have a cup that can be filled with cheese, herbs, or meat. Their delicate and sweet taste goes well with buttery pastries, pizza, and fried goods. Plus, these blossoms are high in antioxidants.
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