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Flower Power (Recipes)

Edible flowers have been used in cooking for centuries, including the cultures of ancient Rome, China, the Middle East, and India. They can be eaten fresh on salads, frozen in ice cubes, minced for herb butters, or made into jams and teas. You can even make cookies with them which was a common practice of the Victorians in the 1800s. Edible flowers not only allow you to add color and beauty to dishes, but they also contain vitamins A and C.

Generally, the petals and whole flowers can be eaten, but remove the white base of each petal, stem, and interior part as these taste bitter. Also, avoid flowers picked from roadsides or obtained from florists or nurseries as these have often been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. It's best to look for organic or grow your own flowers to consume, especially since most are easy low-maintenance plants and look beautiful in your garden anyway!

Squash Blossoms

In some types of cuisine, such as Provencal, squash blossoms are delicacies because their harvest time is brief. The flowers can be fried, stuffed and baked, or added to pasta dishes and soups. Harvest the blossoms and use them in the same day. Of course, note that pulling off the blossom means the plant will not produce fruit!

Baked Squash Blossoms


The pretty little flowers of chamomile, also called English daisy, can be steeped to make a tea. It's not fussy and grows in most soils. Note: Avoid if you’re allergic to ragweed as this plant also may affect you.

Homemade bitters


This classic garden beauty has a range of flavors from sweet to spicy. The darker the petal, the more intense the flavor is. Petals can be added to ice cubes or sprinkled on cakes and over ice cream.


The flowers from these bright orange or golden annuals add a bitter zest to salads.

Pansy and Viola

These beautiful little flowers have a slightly fresh, grassy flavor. Use the petals or whole flowers to adorn cupcakes or add to salads and cocktails.


The thyme flowers have a milder flavor than the leaves and can be used in soups or salads. This perennial herb grows abundantly in Provence and spreads rapidly as an attractive ground cover.

Chocolate and Thyme cake


Many different flavors of mint exist ranging from peppermint to chocolate. The flowers and leaves can be added to teas, jellies, and sauces for lamb dishes. Mint is hardy, so it can be invasive. Instead of planting it in the ground, keep it in a pot to control the spread of this hardy herb.


Marigold is perfect for use in teas, salads, or as a substitute for tarragon. Remove the bitter white part at the end of petals before consuming. It’s one of the easiest annuals to grow and I always have a dozen of them in my garden.


Lavender's flowers have a lovely, intensely sweet flavor. Use them baked in scones, added to teas, candied for cakes, or to dress up salads. Lavender is a perennial and a huge Provencal tourist attraction.

Easy Apricot Pancake with Verbena and Lavender


This herb has edible leaves and beautiful blue flowers. Finely chop the leaves and add to salads for a light cucumber taste. They grow easily from seed and will reseed themselves for years in your garden.

Water kefir


You already know that the leaves of this hardy annual are edible. But the flowers also add a light citrus flavor to salads and Mexican cuisine. Plus, if you let some of the flowers go to seed, you can harvest the seeds, which are also known as the spice coriander.


Violet flowers have a delicate sweet flavor and are great in teas. You can also candy the blossoms to decorate baked goods. Both the leaves and the flowers can be tossed on salads.


This beautiful annual comes in an array of colors, including hot pinks, bright oranges, and golds. They’re the most versatile of the edible flowers. The pretty circular leaves, flowers, and seeds (which can be used a substitute for capers!) all add a peppery kick to salads. They’re incredibly easy to grow from seed! The leaves and flowers contain high amounts of mustard oils, which give them a pungent, peppery flavor and are released when the plant is crushed or chewed. (These are the same oils found in mustard seeds, horseradish root, and wasabi.) Mustard oils have active antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, making nasturtiums a natural remedy for everything from skin infections to sinus colds. The leaves are also rich in vitamin C and iron, and anthocyanins in the red and orange flowers make them highly antioxidant.

Nasturtium pesto

4 cups packed nasturtium leaves

2 cups packed nasturtium flowers

1 1/2 cups olive oil

5 cloves garlic

1 to 1 1/2 cups walnuts

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese4 cups packed nasturtium leaves

2 cups packed nasturtium flowers

1 1/2 cups olive oil

5 cloves garlic

1 to 1 1/2 cups walnuts

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

White Clovers

White clover flowers are so common in backyards, you're sure to have seen them growing at your feet. These blossoms are edible and medicinal, with a sweet aroma and taste.


Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Popsicles

Elderflower Fritters

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