1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Cooking with Flowers Tips and Hints

Asthmatics should avoid some flowers

By

edible flowers recipes cooking how to receipt food

Edible Flowers for Recipes

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cooking with flowers

Yes, those flowers look beautiful as garnishes, but what do they taste like?

Bean blossoms have a sweet, beany flavor. Nasturtiums have a wonderfully peppery flavor similar to watercress and their pickled buds can be substituted for more expensive capers. Borage tastes like cucumber, and miniature pansies (Johny-Jump-Ups) have a mild wintergreen taste.

Violets, roses and lavender lend a sweet flavor to salads or desserts. Bright yellow calendulas are an economic alternative to expensive saffron, though not quite as pungent. Other flowers may have a spicy or peppermint flavor.

When in doubt, taste, but first be sure it's not poisonous.

Edible flowers tips and hints

Edible flowers as a garnish make any dish look special on your table, but be sure the flavor of the flower compliments the dish. Here are a few ideas to beautify your recipes and perk up your taste buds:

• Place a colorful gladiolus or hibiscus flower (remove the stamen and pistil) in a clear glass bowl and fill with your favorite dip.

• Sprinkle edible flowers in your green salads for a splash of color and taste.

• Freeze whole small flowers into ice rings or cubes for a pretty addition to punches and other beverages.

• Use in flavored oils, vinaigrettes, jellies, and marinades.

• One of the most popular uses is candied or crystalized flowers, used to decorate cakes and fine candies.

• Asthmatics or others who suffer allergic reactions to composite-type flowers (calendula, chicory, chrysanthemum, daisy, English daisy, and marigold) should be on alert for possible allergic reaction.

• Never use non-edible flowers as a garnish. You must assume that if guests find a flower on a plate of food, they will think it edible.

• Use flowers sparingly in your recipes, particularly if you are not accustomed to eating them. Too much of a pretty thing can lead to digestive problems.

• If you are prone to allergies, introduce flowers in small amounts so you can judge their effect. Some have a much more pronounced flavor than others, so you'll need to judge accordingly.

• The leaves of some flowers also have culinary uses, but be sure to check a trusted food reference source before experimenting. This helpful edible flowers chart links to full color photos, plus includes info on scientific name, pertinent warnings, and flavor comparisons.

• Peruse this plant toxicity list for further reference.

More About Edible Flowers and Edible Flowers Recipes:

Edible Flower Storage and Selection
Edible Flower Cooking Tips and Hints
Edible Flower History
Edible Flower Flavor Chart
Poisonous Flowers Chart
Edible Flower Recipes
Edible Flowers Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cookbooks

Taylor's Pocket Guide to Herbs and Edible Flowers
Edible Flowers : A Kitchen Companion With Recipes
The Forgotten Art of Flower Cookery
Edible Flowers: Desserts & Drinks
More Cookbooks
  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Home Cooking
  4. Recipes
  5. Miscellaneous Recipes
  6. Cooking With Edible Flowers Tips and Hints

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.