I’ve always considered myself primarily a vegetable gardener. If I can’t eat it I don’t want to spend time and space cultivating it. However, perhaps as a side effect of the exceptionally rotten Bay State winter, I am completely obsessed with flowers right now. A fortunate social media post from the amazing folks at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds reminded me that many flowers are, indeed, edible.
The particular flower they mentioned was borage (Borago officinalis). I am not overly familiar with this herb, but it certainly looks enticing with those bright blue blooms. Then I remembered that there are some flowers we eat all the time, specifically artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower. Some flowers are common in teas, like chamomile, lavender, and jasmine.
Here are some helpful guides regarding the selection and cultivation of edible flowers from some authorities on all things planted.
There are some common themes amongst these guides. The most important is this: know exactly what you are eating. Be sure you have positively identified your flower before you eat it, especially if you are eating wild flowers. Some plants can be seriously toxic. Don’t be foolish! A corollary to this which is also mentioned repeatedly-know how the flowers were handled. If they may have been in contact with florists’ preservatives, pesticides not approved for foods, or roadside trash/car exhaust, then don’t eat them.
What to do with those carefully-selected-definitely-edible-not-contaminated flowers? Here are just a few recipes I found on the internet. I know there are plenty more out there.
Here’s a tasty flower and green salad from Martha Stewart
Baked, stuffed squash blossoms look seriously delicious.
More of an idea than a recipe- tulip cups for ice cream. I Imagine you could scoop in any manner of sweets, though.
Eventually, it will be warm enough to crave frozen desserts; you can perk up popsicles with flower petals.
So, apparently the entire nasturtium plant (flower and leaf) is edible.
I am now highly motivated to add flowers to my garden and to my DIYet. Give it a try! You’ll have something pretty to look at and something delicious to eat. Let me know what you decide to try.