Flower Power: Fancy Free Food

Up-level your cooking and food presentation with flower power.

These fancy free foods are probably growing in your garden, or even as a weed!

This visual guide will help you recognise what’s edible and what’s not.

Edible Flower Safety

As with any foraged food, if you’re not 100% sure about identifying a plant as edible, then don’t eat it.

Other things to be mindful about are the potential for flowers to have been in contact with herbicides such as Roundup, particularly on roadsides, and from any pollutants that may already be in the soil.

It’s a good idea when trying any new food to only consume a small amount in case you are part of a minority who develop an allergy to a particular food item. For example, the milk thistle contains a natural latex.

Common Garden Flowers

Nasturtium

The flowers and peppery tasting leaves are edible

Snap Dragon Flowers

Found on the fanciest of meals

Rose Petals

On cakes, fresh or dried, candied or sugared

Carnation Petals

Enjoy the sweet tasting petals by cutting off the bitter white base of the petal

Calendula Petals

Sprinkle the petals on a salad for added pizzazz

Marigold Petals

Add the petals to a stir fry, salad or quiche

Pansy, Viola, Johnny Jump Up & Native Violets

Pansy
Viola
Old fashioned Johnny Jump Up
Native violet (grows like a weed)

Vegetable Flowers

Pumpkin

Stuff and deep fried them, you can also eat the leaves like spinach

Zucchini & Squash

Stuff raw flowers with a soft cheese and olive tapenade

Broccoli & Cauliflower Flowers

I adore snacking on broccoli flowers!

Radish

Even the flowers taste like radishes

Peas (Not Ornamental)

I’m actually surprised we end up with podded peas as my kids love eating the flowers!

Beans

Much like pea flowers – yum!

Herb Flowers

Sage

Flavour ice cream, oil, pesto, cream cheese or tea

Basil

One of the most delicious smells on Earth

Rosemary

Add flowers to a salad, or as a cake garnish

Thyme

Strip the lemon flavoured flowers with the leaves off the stalk, and use how you’d usually use thyme

Mint

Try mint flowers in an iced tea

Oregano

Use in vegetable dishes or as a pizza topping

Dill

Sprinkle over a meal

Chives

Use with any food enhanced by a delicate onion flavour

Garlic

Eat the flowers when still young and delicate

Lavender

Add to salads, soup, pasta, stew, tea, cakes, biscuits, slices and dessert

Weed Flowers

Clover

Has a mild pea flavour

Dandelion

Add these sweet flavoured flowers to a salad

Mallow

Apparently, an aphrodisiac …

What’s your favourite edible flower? Please scroll down to leave a comment.

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