Summer is the best time to enjoy flowers in all their forms and that includes flowers as food! Edible flowers are plentiful in nature but are often overlooked by cooks in kitchens around the world.However, since the beginning of civilisation edible flowers have played a part in creating some of the tastiest dishes around.
Today we’re going to show you just how delicious, and visually appealing flowers as food can truly be. Spice up you summer recipes with a few of the following flowers:
The flowers that grow on courgettes are often removed by the time they arrive to the supermarket, but these vegetable flowers can make great dishes just on their own. For instance, you can stuff them with cheese and herbs and then fry them for a delicious dinner or just fry them on their own to enjoy with honey and vinegar. Alternatively, you could add them to your summer pasta recipes.
Borage is a brilliant blue flower that can be found growing wild across Europe and surprisingly can be the perfect companion to sweet and savoury dishes alike. While they bloom all year round they are best enjoyed during summer time when the flowers and leaves are young and flourishing.
Dandelions may seem like an invasive garden pest but there are many health benefits to eating these hardy and fast growing flowers such as stronger bones, better digestion and even preventing acne. The whole plant including flowers, leaves and roots can be eaten in delicious recipes for dishes like salads or as greens with your main course.
That’s right! Artichokes are in fact unbloomed flowers! If left to grow as nature intended they’ll bloom into a spectacular purple flowers. However, they are best enjoyed in their closed form either on their own, roasted with some lemon and oil, or perhaps with a few rocket leaves and artichoke hearts in a healthy salad.
Capers like artichokes are another unassuming vegetable that are actually an unopened flower bud that’s been pickled. Capers can go great with pastas, salads or used to make sauces thanks to their strong salty taste. Their leaves and fruit can also be picked and used to add extra flavour to your summer dishes.
Marigolds are more than just a ‘pretty face’ as their petals can be used for medicine, pesticides and, of course, as food. Marigolds are an ideal addition to cakes or custards, with a small quantity of minced petals adding a touch of distinctive flavour. They also make an ideal decoration on their own for the most extravagant desserts and drinks.
Lavender looks spectacular during the summer and can smell and taste great too! A little lavender added to cakes, tarts, dressings and syrups adds a strong dash of flavour that can give an extra tasty edge to your sweet treats.
Chamomile is well know throughout the world for its strong tea which can aid digestion and reduce stomach discomfort, however that’s only a fraction of what chamomile can do. It can be used to add a touch of extra flavour to cakes, smoothies, cream toppings and cookies.
Just like courgettes, squashes grow with beautiful flowers which can be fried and added to many dishes. You can easily make delicious stuffed flower dishes, quesadillas, pastas and soups with the ever versatile squash blossom.
That’s right! Roses can also be eaten and we’re not talking about one of the many creative ‘apple roses‘ out there. Rose petals scattered across a berry smoothie can add a subtle hint of that sensual scent to your breakfast or alternatively you can candy the petals and eat them as a snack. It’s also super easy to create rose jam or jelly, which can be used to flavour up toast and ice cream alike.
Which herbs have edible flowers?
Edible flowers, the perfect touch to your summer drink
Make your own simple flower ice cubes to make your long drinks a little bit more flowery this summer. Just add a few edible flowers to your ice cube tray and use a little purified water (regular water contains impurities that will make the ice cloudy) and voila!
There are a lot of flowers that you can enjoy on your summer menu this year. You can use them to flavour your recipes or just scatter them across your dishes to add a little floral flair to your dinner table during the warmer months.
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