Edible flowers you can find anywhere and how to eat them
Can you think of anything that represents spring better than flowers? They sure look pretty, but did you know that a huge variety of flowers are actually edible flowers?
In the era of instagrammable meals, edible flowers are the perfect way to make your plate look fancy. They have become somewhat common in gourmet stores and farmer’s markets, sometimes even supermarkets, but usually they are expensive and hardly stay fresh for more than a day. Besides you won’t find much to choose from while in reality there are so many edible flowers out there. But hey, why buy something when you can forage it for free? Obviously, I can’t write an article with a complete list of all the flowers you can eat so instead I decided to narrow it down to flowers you can find easily pretty much anywhere. But before we get started, whenever you pick something in the wild always make 100% sure you know what plant you are picking and that it’s free from pesticide and animal droppings.
Repeat after me: edible flowers are easy to find.
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)
Why do we consider this plant a bad weed when it truly is a gift from nature. Dandelion is packed with vitamins and minerals and it has medicinal properties (depurative and diuretic if you really wanna know). Technically, the whole plant is edible but here is how to enjoy it best: before the flowering stage, you can enjoy the leaves and flower buds in salad or make capers out of the closed flower buds. After the flowering stage, you can use the yellow petals to make dandelion jam or simply use them to decorate your food. Last but not least, you can dry the root and make tea with it
Daisies (Bellis perennis)
Who doesn’t love to chill on a lawn covered in daisies? What most people don’t know is that we can do a lot with them, including eating them. They don’t really taste of anything but they will look super pretty on your food. Besides, they are healthy and readily available. You can also dry them and enjoy them as tea. Finally, if you are a patient person, you can pick the flower buds at the base and pickle them or use the leaves as microgreens.
Roses (Rosa spp.)
Rose is a classic, particularly in middle eastern cuisine where rosewater is omnipresent. But did you know you could eat rose petals too? Sliced petals can be decorative but my personal favourite is to infuse plant milk before using it in deserts. Also, I like to dry them and use them later to pimp my gin & tonic. All varieties of roses are edible, including rosehip but don’t ever use the ones you find in flower shops. They’re usually covered in chemicals.
Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica)
If those pretty blue flowers are invading your garden, I have good news for you. You can eat them! They don’t really taste of anything but they add a touch of colour to both sweet and savoury dishes. I’ve heard that some people even make candied forget-me-nots but I think you need a lot of patience for that!
Clovers (Trifolium pratense)
Clover looks like a common lawn weed and grows in any open grassy area. It’s edible from root to blossom and you can use the leaves for salads or sauté them like a regular leaf vegetable. But since we’re here to talk about edible flowers, know that you can eat the pink or white flowers or use them for tea. Clover does however have blood thinning properties so avoid consuming large amounts if you are already taking blood thinners.
Dead nettles (Lamium purpureum)
If you like mushrooms, dead nettle is for you. They are very common in lawns and are easy to recognise thanks to their small purple flowers and square stem. They’re from the mint family, but taste nothing like it. The flowers taste sweet and can be used alone to decorate desserts or you can be bold and use the whole plant which will taste like mushrooms.
I hope you enjoyed this list. If you’re curious about what other plants to forage, I invite you to check out my instagram profile. There you will find a list in my highlighted stories named “plants”.