Edible Flower Power

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Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook 

You must have seen the news that this upcoming weekend is Flower Power with blooms aplenty at both Homestead Gardens stores. Let’s expand that to be edible flowers which add extra sparkle plus flavor to any dish. The special crown of edible flowers are such a grand idea for Mother’s Day that our blog post will cover the topic for the next two weeks.

Below is a list and short description of 42 edible posies from Treehugger.com. After that is an incredible simply sweet concoction of pancakes made with only TWO main ingredients-clever yes and nutritionally rich! At the very end of the post is info on eating flowers safely and how to store.

  • 1.  Allium  All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful! 

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  • 2. Angelica  Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor.
  • 3. Anise hyssop  Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor.
  • 4. Arugula  Blossoms are small with dark centers and with a peppery flavor much like the leaves. They range in color from white to yellow with dark purple streaks.
  • 5. Bachelor’s button  Grassy in flavor, the petals are edible. Avoid the bitter calyx.
  • 6. Basil  Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder.
  • 7. Bee balm  The red flowers have a minty flavor.

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  • 8. Borage  Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber.
  • 9. Calendula / marigold  A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy.
  • 10. Carnations / dianthus  Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.
  • 11. Chamomile  Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.
  • 12. Chervil  Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.
  • 13. Chicory  Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.
  • 14. Chrysanthemum  A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.
  • 15. Cilantro  Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.
  • 16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)  Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.
  • 17. Clover  Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.
  • 18. Dandelion
  • 19. Dill  Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.
  • 20. English daisy  These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!
  • 21. Fennel  Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.
  • 22. Fuchsia Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.
  • 23. Gladiolus Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.
  • 24. Hibiscus Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.
  • 25. Hollyhock  Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.
  • 26. Impatiens  Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.
  • 27. Jasmine
  • These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.
  • 28. Johnny Jump-Up
  • Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.
  • 29. Lavender  Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.
  • 30. Lemon verbena  The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.
  • 31. Lilac  The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.
  • 32. Mint  The flowers are — surprise! — minty. 
  • 33. Nasturtium  One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. 
  • 34. Oregano  The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.
  • 35. Pansy  The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.
  • 36. Radish  Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.
  • 37. Rose  Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.
  • 38. Rosemary  Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.
  • 39. Sage  Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.
  • 40. Squash and pumpkin  Blossoms from both are wonderful stuffing.
  • 41. Sunflower  Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.
  • 42. Violets

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Wonder Pancakes with Lavender and Violets

Serves 2

 Wonder Pancakes are absolutely perfect for Mother’s Day breakfast extra big (but simple) treat! The term “wonder” comes in as the irresistible pancakes have only 2 main ingredients-banana and egg-items on hand in your kitchen. The other ingredients I added are mainly to refine the flavor. The natural sweet flavor of the banana comes through so plain yogurt balances with a nice tang.

  • 3/4 large banana
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Pinch salt
  • Lavender and small violet flowers
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Garnish: Plain Greek yogurt and maple syrup

IMG_8484 Cut the banana into small pieces and place in a food processor and puree. Add the egg and salt; continue to mix. Fold in flowers and raspberries by hand, saving some of each for topping the pancakes.

 Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Let the pan get warm and pour in single tablespoons full of pancake batter to make 3-inch pancakes. After first side has browned, flip for second side.

 Serve while still warm with yogurt, maple syrup and flower petals as garnish.

 

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