Sunday, May 17, 2015

Edible Flowers in my Gardens

As you know, I love flowers. Their beauty makes my heart joyful. But they often have another eat and/or beautify my food. 

It wasn't until the past 15 years or so that I gave much thought to eating flowers. I knew, as a child, that  my cousin made wines from lilacs and dandelions. But other than that, flowers were never found on the dinner table. 

In the past couple of years my diet has turned to more salads. Crazy mixed up salads. And I've begun to include flowers for a bit of color. Here's what I'm growing that I'll steal a few flowers to add to the bowl......

Beans ... A mild slightly earthy flavor. I prefer the purplish ones. 
Leeks ... A mild oniony flavor. 
Chives...A mild oniony flavor. 
Onions...A mild oniony flavor. 
Garlic chives....A mild garlicky flavor. 
Nasturtium....Peppery and a bit tangy. Very colorful. 
Violet...Perhaps mildly sweet. There isn't much to them, but the color is nice.
White ginger...Mildly gingerish. 
Rose....A light flavor with a hint of rose. The first time I tried them they had bitterness to them then I found out that you're suppose to remove the white base. So using scissors, I just snip off the colored part of the petals, discarding the rest. It's easy when you hold the entire flower in be hand and wield scissors in the other. Roses are fun because they come in so many different colors. 
White clover....Sweetish with a hint of licorice. Chewy. I usually only use one per salad bowl, as a garnish. 
Marigolds....Peppery. I use sparingly just for accent color. Some varieties don't taste too good, but others are fine. 
Squash....Mild. Not much too them. I just use the petal part. And I've only tried using them in stirfry so far. 
Pumpkin....Same as squash. 
Sunflower....Mild, I prefer to drop them into a stirfry. I haven't tried them raw in salad. 
Radish....A sweet radish flavor. None of the bite associated with the root. 
Bok choy and rest of broc/cabbage family....Small and not much taste, but they look pretty atop a salad. 
Basil....quite small. If it weren't for the flavor, I wouldn't bother with them. They taste like the variety that they are, that is, minty, lemony, clovey, etc. 
Dill....Well, like dill. 
Gladiolus ....I just use the petals as a salad garnish. Not much flavor. Kind of like lettuce I think. It's the color that is nice. 
Edible hibiscus.....Mild and slightly.....I'd say acidic. 
Impatiens....Insipid (ha, how often do i get to use THAT word!) I'll add just for color to salads.
Johnny jump ups....Bland. Nothing to them. A couple atop a salad for color, that's all. 
Pea....A mild pea flavor. Crunchy. 

Scarlet runner beans... Mild slightly earthy flavor. Very colorful. 

I don't use a lot of flowers, so I don't know what would happen if I ate a lot of them. Usually I'll just pop a couple in the bowl for accent color. 

There are more edible flowers out there, but these are the ones that I grow to date. Next on my list to try growing, and sampling, will be dianthus, bee balm, and borage. They look so incredibly colorful that I'd love to give them a try. 

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