Looking to spice up your springtime meals? Why not try adding a sprinkle of edible flowers to your recipe repertoire? While it may seem a bit “far out” to be eating flowers, you probably have already enjoyed edible flowers in one form or another.
Take, for example, those capers sprinkled atop a salad. They are actually a type of flower that has been pickled. The beautiful baby artichokes that grace the tables at farmers’ markets this time of year are also a type of flower.
Before plucking petals from a bouquet, try keeping these tips in mind. First, it’s of the utmost importance that you not eat store-bought flowers unless you can confirm they’re food safe, organic, and unsprayed. Packaged flowers are found in the herb section in many grocery stores. If unavailable, you may be better off growing your own or buying from a certified organic grower of edible blooms.
Second, not all flowers or parts of the plant are safe to eat. Doing a little research or asking an expert to help identify the edible and inedible parts of a plant is important for your well-being.
Finally, if you have never eaten raw flowers before, it’s a good idea to take a taste first before planning your menu. Edible flowers all have their own distinct aroma and flavour that they’ll impart to a dish.
While undeniably eye-catching, many edible flowers also contain nutrients and compounds that can support healthy lifestyle goals. Read on to discover colourful recipes that are sure to make your next meal blossom.
Lawren Moneta is a chef, food stylist, and recipe developer who can’t wait to cook with fresh spring produce after a long winter season.
This article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of alive Canada, under the title “Spring’s Flowers.”