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All About Edible Flowers

All About Edible Flowers

March 13, 2012

Edible flowers are back in vogue! Popular during Queen Victoria’s reign, chefs and creative culinarians are adding flavor and color to their dishes with flowers. The most common are nasturtium, pansy, violet, calendula, and chive (allium).

Edible Flowers

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Click to view our Edible Flower Chart

Using Edible Flowers:

  • Wash flowers thoroughly before eating
  • Introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities, one species at a time
  • Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating
  • Eat only the flower petals for most flowers, except for pansies, violas and Johnny jump-ups
  • Flowers may aggravate some allergies, so introduce them gradually if you suffer from allergies

How to Pick Your Flowers:

  • Pick flowers on a warm dry day, early in the day after the dew has evaporated, and use them at their peak for the best flavor. Avoid unopened (except daylilies) and wilted or faded flowers, which won’t taste as good. Make sure they are free of insects.
  • Do not use flowers that have been fertilized with untreated manure

How to Clean Your Flowers:

Rinse gently with running water and place between paper towels, gently drying

Drying and Storing:

  • Dried flowers may not be as strongly flavored as fresh, but very highly scented ones like rose petals, violets, lavenders and pinks, as well as most herb flowers, will keep their flavor well.
  • Remove any green parts and cut off the white heels from the petals. Spread out the flowers on sheets of muslin stretched between two boxes, making sure that the petals don’t touch each other. Dry the flowers in a cool airy place, away from direct sunlight.
  • When they are crisp to the touch, store them in airtight jars, tins or boxes (no plastic cartons where they can mold).
  • If dried properly, the flowers should last through the winter.