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17 Edible Flowers To Improve Your Diet (With Pictures)

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Typically used for decorations and beautifying your home and sometimes put at the side of your dinner plates as garnishes, several flowers have more to offer than just aesthetics. This article will talk about 17 edible flowers that will add variety to your nutritional profile and help improve your health.

If you have these flowers lying around your garden, consider using them to add to your regular diet. Rich in Vitamins, Potassium, Iron, Fiber, and antioxidants. You can add these edible flowers to your dishes, such as pasta, salads, sandwiches, and soups.

Suppose you are still wondering how you can improve your health by eating flowers. This article will tell you about those edible flowers, their nutritional values, and how you can use them for your dishes.

1. Squash Blossoms

Squash Blossoms vary in shades of yellow and orange, and their larger size makes them ideal for grilling or frying. They can be stuffed with cheese and served with a marinara dipping sauce, sauteed in olive oil, layered over salads or on sandwiches, and they can also be eaten raw.

The best time to harvest Squash Blossoms is midday when flowers are open to the sun. For the best flavor, pick them while they are still small. Nutritionally, these tiny blossoms pack a pretty heavy punch: in addition to being low in calories and sodium, they are a good source of fiber, iron, potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.

2. Rose

More than Valentine’s day favorite, roses come in more than 150 varieties, all of which are potentially edible. In addition to their petals, the buds and leaves are all edible. Roses are highly versatile with various uses like; teas, cocktails, baked goods, garnishes, jams, granola.

Their aromatic flavor can also be strong, so go easy initially. Rose hips are also famously known for their tangier taste and high levels of Vitamin C. While they aren’t known for their nutritional profile, research suggests they may help ease anxiety.

In Chinese medicine, roses are valued for their ability to improve digestion, balance Qi (thought of as “vital energy”), and encourage skin health.

3. Hibiscus

As large as 6 inches in diameter, Hibiscus are typically grown in tropical climates and come in many red, yellow, and pink shades. Many people find hibiscus tea a welcome refreshment on a hot summer day with a slightly sour flavor. Prevalent in tea, Hibiscus can also be used for jams, salads, yogurt, or cereals.

There is evidence that Hibiscus, when taken as a tea, may reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. The flower’s anthocyanins and polysaccharides also give it antioxidant properties.

4. Carnations

Carnations are used to spice foods with several nutritional benefits. Also used in tea, carnations may help minimize nervousness and stress, soothing the nervous system and reducing inflammation.

In addition to teas, they can be put into salads or added to cakes. Like roses, less may be more when it comes to carnations, as they have a peppery flavor.

5. Dandelions

One of the more familiar edible flowers, Dandelions, has been used in foods and medicines by many cultures throughout time. From the ancient Egyptians to the Chinese and Native Americans, dandelions have been more prized nutritional powerhouses.

The bitter leaves are rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and Vitamins E. A, K, B, and C. The flowers are equally beneficial, rich in antioxidants, and able to balance blood sugar levels. You can mix Dandelions leaves into dishes that use kale or spinach, and its flowers are added to salads or pasta.

6. Lavender

Lavender flowers have an earthy, savory flavor and can be added to various sweet or spicy foods. Pair it with savory herbs such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme, bake it into scones, or use it to adorn a special birthday cake. Lavender can also be infused into sugar, simple syrup, lemonade, or jam.

There is also evidence that drinking lavender in tea help reduce anxiety and depression and can be used as a complementary treatment for both.

7. Pansies

Delicate and colorful, Pansies are used to decorate cakes or garnish salads. With a light, fresh flavor, pansies’ edible flowers are extra fun when candied and added to pastries, cookies, or other desserts. They can also be chopped fine and added to summer salads.

Pansies are also known for their antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. In any healthy diet, antioxidants are essential in protecting your cells against free radicals, which may contribute to cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.

8. Honeysuckle

Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, Honeysuckle has two standard varieties, the Japanese and woodbine, that can be ingested or applied to the skin. While research does not yet prove it, the Chinese believe Honeysuckle has valuable anti-inflammatory properties.

Still, it tastes sweet and delicious when brewed into a tea or made into a syrup used to sweeten beverages, yogurt, ice cream, and even bread. Honeysuckle’s flower blossoms are also eaten raw too.

Be mindful that while the petals are safe, the berries may be poisonous when consumed in large amounts.

9. Chamomile

Chamomile is another of the more familiar flowers, and Chamomile is most widely known for its calming and even sleep-inducing effects when used in tea. It also appears in tinctures and is also frequently used for various additional ailments, from calming muscle spasms to soothing an irritated stomach to reducing feelings of anxiety or depression.

The edible flowers look like smaller versions of daisies, with a sweet, earthy flavor that infuses beautifully into syrups or oils. It also incorporates well into smoothies, mayonnaise, baked goods, and salads. They can also be made into bitters and tinctures of your own.

“Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

Luther Burbank

10. Purslane

A succulent with tiny, yellow edible flowers and thick leaves, Purslane has been chiefly thought of as nothing more than a common variety of weed. More recently, however, it has become prized for its nutritional content, which is not minimal.

Perhaps its most valuable nutritional component is its omega-3 levels, which, surprisingly, deliver more than any other vegetable. It’s also loaded with additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

After rinsing it well, Purslane’s leaves can be tossed with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper for a delicious salad but can be added to more complex salads featuring radishes, kale, and roasted squash. The leaves are made into a pesto by adding olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, garlic, almonds, or cashews.

11. Sage Flowers

Most people are familiar with Sage, the highly aromatic herb used in cooking and similar to rosemary, basil, and thyme. But the flowers are often left forgotten. Beautifully scented, edible Sage flowers, especially the Salvia Officinalis variety, can be made into many foods. From jelly and syrup to cocktails and pesto, sage flowers are highly versatile.

They are also widely used in folk medicine for reducing inflammation and healing the body from diarrhea and ulcers. Some studies suggest it may calm heartburn and even boost brain health.

12. Nasturtium

Nasturtiums are commonly used as remedies against scurvy and build the body’s defenses against cold or flu. They have been used as traditional herbal medicine for centuries in places like Africa to ward off infections, mainly targeting the urinary tract and lungs.

Some other potential benefits include assisting in cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and even preventing or managing obesity.

Since every part of the plant is edible, Nasturtium has several uses. The leaves can be folded into an omelet or used as a garnish on baked potatoes or pasta. The edible flowers are used in making pesto or infusing vinegar. And the seeds can be pickled for a caper alternative and added to chicken or bean dishes for a burst of peppery flavor.

13. Borage

Also called starflower, borage is a small, star-shaped edible flower that is most often blue but may also be pink or white. Both the flowers and leaves are edible. Described as having a slightly sweet, honey-like taste, flowers can garnish salads, desserts or cocktails, or cooked into soups, sauces, or filings.

Borage can also be made into a tincture or tea to help with sore throats or coughs, though limited research on its effectiveness.

14. Marigold

Bright orange, Marigold edible flowers are most frequently made into teas, tinctures, or ointments. The tea, in particular, is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities.

When made into creams, marigold can have an antiseptic effect and soothe bites, sunburn, or dryness. Marigold flowers are also another option for getting a daily power dose of antioxidants.

15. Calendula

Calendula is another antioxidant powerhouse, protecting the body from free radical damage and inflammation. It is most often used in cosmetic products like oils, creams, or gels, but Calendula is also highly valuable when taken internally.

From cramps to inflammation to cancer, Calendula is one of the unsung heroes of the edible flower world.

In cooking, Calendula is used in soups or stews. It can also be infused into oils and vinegar, and of course, steeped into teas or tinctures.

16. Fennel Flower

While its bulbs are what most are familiar with, Fennel’s leaves and flowers are also edible. Known for its licorice-like taste, Fennel is another edible flower high in antioxidants necessary for minimizing damage from free radicals.

Fennel is widely used to aid in digestion and can be found in bitters and teas. The stalk is high in fiber, and the seeds can help stimulate gastric juices, which aid in digestion.

17. Chrysanthemum

More commonly known as a mum, Chrysanthemum is an edible flower used frequently in herbal medicine to treat various ailments, including headaches, colds, influenza, and other viral infections. It is also used in Chinese medicine to help soothe a sore throat, reduce fever, reduce bloating and cramping.

Often taken in tea form, Chrysanthemum can also be added to stir-fries, salads, or made into wine. Chrysanthemum flowers are also high in anthocyanin, another powerful antioxidant found in dark-colored foods such as blueberries and eggplants.

FAQ’s About Edible Flowers

Conclusion

It’s essential to keep in mind to buy only flowers labeled as edible to ensure there are no harmful pesticides or added preservatives. Edible flowers not only have a wide variety of uses in the kitchen, but they can also be a vital and health-promoting addition to any diet.

Whether used in tea or as a garnish, baked into a desert, or mixed into a salad, edible flowers can improve health and bring variety into your cooking and meals.

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