Edible Flowers

Believe it or not, some of those plants growing in your garden may have, yes ... edible flowers!

edible marigoldsMarigold

Among the flowers you may have in your garden, consider the edible portions of Anise Hyssop, Arugula, Bee Balm (Monarda), Tuberous Begonias, Calendula, Chrysanthemums, Daylilies, English Daisy, Dianthus, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Lilacs, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Pinks (Dianthus), Roses, Sage, Scented Geraniums, Tulips, and of course Violas/Pansies/Johnny Jump-ups, and Violets.

We'll keep adding to the above edible flowers list - do check back here for updates on edible plants.

You'll want to check with an informed source to determine the edible parts of your flowers though.

With some flowers, only the petals are edible. Some petals may have a white part of the petal that can be quite bitter and which you'll want to remove before continuing to eat the rest of the petal.

With some of the other edible flowers, the entire flower is edible.

Remove the stamens and pistils if you are not sure whether the whole flower is edible. The pollen may also detract from the taste and may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

edible daylilyDaylily - Spiced Melon

A strong word of caution: DO NOT TAKE CHANCES!

If a flowering plant is on any list of poisonous plants or if you are unable to find the plant on any list of edible plants, assume it is NOT edible and ... DO NOT EAT IT!

You can use candied flowers as edible cake decorations and with cream pies, in cookies, pudding or ice cream, and on petits fours or hors d'oeuvres. Wedding cakes are dramatically stunning when covered with candied flowers.

edible violaViola

Some of the edible flowers you may want to candy are Johnny Jump-ups, Lilacs, Rose petals, Violets, Pinks and annual Geraniums.

Be sure to use pesticide-free flowers. Pick your flowers in the morning when the blooms have just opened so they'll be fresh and crisp, and then plan to prepare them immediately.

Gently wash your flowers and sort for any "critters" that may be hiding amongst the petals.

Lay the flowers out on paper toweling and allow an hour or so for the flowers to dry before candying them.

Candied Flowers Recipe

  • line a cookie sheet with waxed paper
  • beat an egg white in a small bowl until it's frothy
  • holding a flower by the stem, use a small paint brush to gently paint the petals with the egg white; be sure the flower is thoroughly covered, front and back
  • using your fingers, pick up a pinch of ground granulated (superfine or bartenders') sugar and sprinkle it finely over the back of the flower
  • gently shake of any excess sugar, snip off the stem and lay the flower face up on the cookie sheet spreading the petals so they lie in a natural position
  • using your fingers, pick up another pinch of sugar and sprinkle it finely over the front of the flower
  • when done, use a strainer to dust the flowers with a second coating of sugar
  • put the flowers in a warm, dry place overnight or, if necessary, for a few days; if it's not too humid, the flowers should dry in open air overnight otherwise a gas oven with only a pilot light or a food dehydrator set on low also works well
  • discard any flowers that become deformed or break them up to use as confetti
  • your candied flowers may be used immediately or transfer them to a lidded plastic container lined with paper towels; stack only three layers deep, separating the layers with additional paper toweling; your flowers should keep well for up to a year if they are tightly sealed and stored in your freezer.

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