Recently, edible flowers have become an intricate part of many meals, not only for the beauty that they add but also for their nutritional and healing properties.
Many of us previously failed to realize how many flowers are actually edible and that they can be added to so many different types of foods. On the other hand, edible flowers have been a part of various cultures for centuries.
Here are 6 edible flowers that can add a little sugar and spice to your next special night in, most of which you can purchase at your local farmers market or grow in your garden:
1) Greek Omelet with Zucchini Blossoms
Zucchini blossoms, found at the end of an emergent zucchini, are sweet, nutrient dense and beautiful to boot.
According to Peter Minakis of Kalofagas, many Greeks like to eat scrumptious omelets for dinner, instead of breakfast. This is due in part to preferring a lighter meal at night, with the heavier meal being in the afternoon.
As omelets go, you can add whatever vegetables that you like to the mix, though red peppers, tomatoes, and feta are often popular choices. Add zucchini blossoms to a skillet with other vegetables before pouring in eggs and cook to a crisp, golden brown.
Want to go Greek? Add zucchini blossoms to your next omelet, and eat it for dinner. Photo by George M. Groutas.
2) Thai Spring Roll with Pansies
Spring rolls tend to conjure up soft, warm summer nights and waves rolling in tropical surroundings. Add to this already light and scrumptious food a beautiful purple pansy flower and you have the makings for a getaway right in your backyard.
Pansies are actually a species of flowers that includes nasturtiums, borage, roses, calendula, violets, and lavender. So you have many choices of what to add to your spring rolls, depending on what type of flavor you are craving.
Get creative and add different lettuces and rice noodles to complete your meal.
Fresh spring rolls become even more nutritious with the addition of a pansy flower. Photo by johannakoll.
3) Nasturtium Salad
First found in Mexico and Peru, nasturtiums provide tremendous color when added to an already healthy and vibrant salad. They have a peppery flavor and can easily be used in pasta dishes as well.
The best part is that they are easy to grow. Plant them in your garden and go back to whatever else you were doing. They also provide a good deal of Vitamin C, an important nutrient in maintaining the health of your immune system.
A bonus for your garden: they help protect against pests that are ready to nibble your fruits and vegetables.
Add nasturtiums to your salad for an extra peppery flavor. Photo by Sancho Papa.
4) Sushi with Chrysanthemums
What could make a fresh sushi dish even better? Adding some edible flowers to the mix. Depending on which fish and vegetables you want to use in your roll or sashimi style, you can choose from a variety of colorful edible flowers to add on top.
If you want the true Japanese influence as a part of your meal, you might go with chrysanthemums as your edible flower. That’s because the flower is used as the Imperial Seal of Japan. It’s also considered a delicacy by foodies in Japan.
The chrysanthemum’s bright yellow color and slightly bitter flavor can also help wake up your digestive system.
What’s the one thing that can make sushi even better? The addition of a bright edible flower. Photo by telepathicparanoia.
Edible chrysanthemums on sale in Fukuyama, Japan. Photo by panina.anna
5) Plumeria Hawaiian Cocktail
Possibly the most well-known treat that includes edible flowers is a Hawaiian cocktail, which ranges from mai tais to pina colodas (though the latter actually originated in Puerto Rico). You may feel as if you are in the tropics simply by looking at a photo of one of these tasty beverages.
If you want to be truly authentic, you can add a Plumeria—better known as frangipani—on top of your cocktail, since it will match the fresh lei you received when you stepped off the plane in Hawaii.
Hawaiian cocktails just aren’t the same if they are missing a fresh flower. Photo by Sharon Hahn Darlin.
Beautiful Hawaiian frangipani. photo by bob8son
6) Rose Petal Cakes
Known for their love of tea, which often arrives in beautiful and eclectic boxes or tins, the British also enjoy edible flowers procured from beautiful packaging.
As the photo exemplifies, there are a range of edible flowers available at places in London, such as the Chelsea Market with the delicate rose petals being among the favorite.
These perfume-filled flowers offer a variety of vitamins, including A, C, D, and E and also are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. They can be added to a variety of foods, but look especially beautiful on top of cakes and other desserts.
Chelsea Market provides some amazing packaged edible flowers. Photo by AlexiUeltzen.
Crystallized rose petal and chocolate cake by distopiandreamgirl
Which edible flowers have you tried? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this, you might also like: 10 Irresistible Paris Pastries (and Where to Eat them).
Main photo: Pistachio and rose petal cupcake with vanilla frosting by quintana roo.