Spring is still a few weeks away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start dreaming of warmer weather, flowers blooming, and iced anything instead of foods meant to keep us warm. One of the most unlikely places to get your boost of flavor and color when it comes to springtime meals is flowers. That’s right, those colorful things you have in your garden? Some of them you can eat. Maybe your two year old was on to something when he tried to scarf down that handful of dirt (just kidding, don’t do that). Below is a list of ten flowers you can actually eat, and delicious spring-time recipes to try.

10 Edible Flowers (and Recipes You Can Try)

Often times when you think of flowers, especially ones that are found in your garden, you are thinking of putting them in a vase on your table- not on your plate. However, many flowers are actually safe to eat, as long as they are grown and curated properly, and can add a bit of spice (pun and intended) and a whole lot of color to your springtime meals.

Roses

Those roses that your husband brought home to you because he turned all your white laundry pink again? You can eat those! Well, not those because it is recommended you use flowers that are harvested for eating, or flowers from your own garden if you aren’t using pesticides. But in theory, roses can be used in several different recipes. Roses have a sweet flavor that can taste deeper in darker colors, and are commonly used in drinks, jellies, and risottos.

You should try:

Dandelions

Dandelions are known for having a nutty yet bitter flavor. Some suggest using them before the flower appears as they are less bitter then, but others disagree. They noted that dandelions are wonderful at any stage of their growth, especially paired with things like goat cheese or bacon.

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Chives Flowers

Although chives are commonly used in the kitchen, this plant flowers before growing into the full stalk with which you are more familiar. Their purple color gives a bright addition to your meal, and their flavor is like a more intense caramelized onion.

You should try:

Clovers

Red clovers are known to be more flavorful than the more common white clovers, but both have somewhat of a lemon-y taste. They are high in protein and beta-carotene, making them a delicious and healthy additional to your plate. Clovers are great in jellies, teas, and are known to have several medicinal properties like anti-inflammatories.

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Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is one of the flowers that you may have already tried. But outside of eating the plant raw, there are several delicious recipes that you can try with this sweet, subtle flower. In addition to its flavor, honeysuckle is also known to help relieve headaches, boost your immune system, and even help detoxify your liver.

You should try:

Pansies

Adding pansies to your plate is one sure-fire way to get some gorgeous Instagram photos. The bright, often multi-colored flowers offer a gorgeous pop to any dish. They have a mild, fresh, almost wintergreen flavor that allows them to be paired with almost any dish. They are great as an edible garnish as well.

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Lavender

Lavender is another commonly known flower that is used in both food and wellness recipes. Its strong scent is obvious to most, and its flavor is no different. Lavender adds a beautiful purple to many dishes as well as adds a kick of what some may call spice to your food. Lavender also helps as a calming agent and can help relieve headaches and reduce tension.

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Lilac

Lilac is known for its strong fragrance and somewhat bitter taste, so most chefs suggest using it only in small amounts, as a garnish, or as an addition to sauces or dips. The raw flowers also make for gorgeous decoration on tops of cookies, cakes, and other baked goods!

You should try:

Marigold

Marigold is a common flower and easily recognizable by many. Its flavor can range from bitter and tangy to spicy and peppery. Many people find it relatable to saffron- in fact, it is nicknamed “The Poor Man’s Saffron” for this reason. However, some species are not palatable, so be careful which ones you choose.

You should try:

Squash Blossoms/Zucchini Flowers

Squash blossoms, are sometimes called zucchini flowers, are the flowering plant of a squash. They are soft and dedicate, and have a mild flavor that is similar to the squash or zucchini itself. Many people love them fried but there are several different ways to enjoy these blossoms.

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Springtime is a great time to not only go out and enjoy the warmer weather but also to brighten up your food. Flowers are an unexpected yet delicious way to get get adventurous with your food. Many of these flowers can be grown in your own yard, too. Remember, never buy flowers from a store to be used in your food as they may contain pesticides. It’s best to find flowers that are harvested to be used in foods (some natural, whole food stores carry them) or to grow your own without the use of pesticides. So go ahead, brighten up your dishes and surprise your friends and family with some playful plates!

Looking for more spring fun recipes? Check out “Wild and Crazy Drinks for Spring Break” here on Daily Mom!

Photo Credit: Lauren Lomsdale Creative Studios



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