We love a bit of flower power and make use of blossoms and petals wherever we can. We don’t just put them in vases, on balconies or window sills, no, we also appreciate their colour and flavour in our food. Here are the seven best edible flowers – and some of them are very easy to grow, too.
Borage (Borago officinialis)
In its native Middle East, borage has the reputation of boosting a soldier’s bravery in combat. Today, it is used much more peacefully in kitchens around the world. The leaves and especially the furry, star-shaped flowers have a taste reminiscent of cucumber and add freshness to your homemade gazpacho. Salads and even cocktails look pretty as a picture with a sprinkle of bright blue borage blossom.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Thriving in Mediterranean and temperate climates around the world, calendula is a member of the daisy family and flowers between June and October. Often growing wild, it is closely related to dandelions. Freshly plucked, the peppery, bright orange petals are a vibrant addition to salads, soups and stir fries and make any dish pop with both flavour and colour.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Originally from southern Europe, this unassuming little flower is full of essential oils. Best picked in the morning hours, it can be consumed fresh and dried. Tisanes of chamomile flowers has been used for centuries to calm and soothe, but the flowers can also be eaten fresh. A sprinkling of the petals is a colourful way of sprucing up your summer salads and dips.
Chive Flower (Allium schoenoprasum)
Chives, a popular herb in any kitchen garden, flower between May and August and create a sphere-like cluster of tiny, purple florets. These can be sprinkled on almost anything from succulent steaks to crisp salads. They have a mild, onion-like tang and a subtle sweetness. You can also make them the main attraction by topping a slice of crusty, buttered bread with them.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
According to legend, Benedictine monks brought lavender across the Alps to numerous gardens in western and northern Europe. Incredibly fragrant, lavender contains an abundance of essential oils, flavonoids and rosmarinic acid, prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender blossom flavours your grilled chicken and gives an aromatic edge to lemon drizzle cake. A sprinkle of lavender on your summer drinks is just another fresh idea to impress your guests.
Courgette Flower (Cucurbita pepo)
Courgettes belong to the squash family of vegetables. They are very easy to grow in a vegetable patch or pot. We know and love their fruit as vegetable but their large, yellow flowers are a wonderful treat. Courgette flowers are not only beautiful to look at, they also taste fantastic. Stuffed with goat’s cheese and green peas, coated in a light tempura batter and deep fried makes a spectacular dish.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Native to Central and South America, nasturtiums have taken kitchens around the globe by storm with their pungent flavour. Curiously, they belongs to the brassica family like cabbage and broccoli. The flowers and leaves are rich in vitamin C and unveil a profoundly peppery note, perfect for vibrant pestos and divine toppings on salads. Their buds can be pickled, too, as an alternative to capers.
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