If you’re longing to travel but haven’t got the time or money, try incorporating these edible flowers into your next meal. You’ll get to experience the scent, taste and beauty of somewhere else without leaving your dinner table!
Your next meal can take you to Europe or the tropics—but look no further than your garden or local plant nursery for inspiration!
Here are 8 edible flowers to add some exotic punch to your next lunch:
Originating in Syria but now found throughout the Mediterranean, the Starflower (also called Borage) has a sweet honey taste and is one of nature’s few edible blue plants. The stems can be used in salads and Starflower is thought to regulate metabolism. Use in soups, on top of deserts or make like the Italians and use it as a sweet ravioli stuffing.
2) Spiny Sesbina
The provincial plant of Ayutthaya, Thailand, Spiny Sesbina is found most often in sweets and omelets in Thailand. Known by a different name in different Southeast Asian languages, Sesbina is also very popular in Sri Lanka, where it is added to sodhi, a thin coconut gravy.
It’s no wonder hummingbirds love Honeysuckle—its juicy red berries release a strong fruity odor. The bell-shaped flower can be eaten too, and its sweet nectar lends itself to delicious desserts. Honeysuckle is found across the Northern Hemisphere with most varieties in China. Try it in your tea or favorite cocktail or whip up a Honeysuckle sorbet for a cool treat.
The gorgeous Hibiscus flower conjures up the image of sandy beaches and beautiful islands. Hibiscus grows in tropical climates such as Jamaica, where the flower is mixed with herbs, spices, sugar and rum to make the deliciously popular Christmas drink, sorrel. Thought to have a variety of medicinal uses, Hibiscus is most often made into a brightly colored tea in countries like Cambodia, India, Tahiti and Mexico.
Known for its delicate and vibrant blue petals, Cornflower is native to the fields of Europe and was once worn by young men in love. Even if you’re not a romantic, toss a few petals into a salad for color, or mix into cornbread muffins and imagine yourself in the French countryside.
Another native of the European countryside, Pansies are whimsical flowers that come in a variety of colors. Their mild, slightly tangy taste makes them a good complement to many foods, and they add a beautiful touch to any dessert. Try pansy popsicles or cucumber melon salad garnished with color-complementary pansies.
Native to South and Central America, the plant Nasturtium is known for having vivid, intensely colored five-petal flowers. Each part of the plant is edible but the flower is most often used because its slightly peppery taste spices up salads and stir fries. Make it into a pesto or with smoked salmon on pizza for an earthy, hearty meal.
8 ) Daylily
Originally found in China, Korea and Japan, the out-sized colorful blossoms of the Daylily made them a favorite with gardening enthusiasts. Daylilies come in reds, oranges, purples and whites and have six petals decorated with contrasting stripes. Stunning as they are, you can also eat them! When the petals are still firm, deep-fry to make Daylily fritters or stuff with rice and vegetables to make an unforgettable hors d’oeuvres.
Know of more edible flowers?? Got more recipe ideas? We want to hear from you!
Main Image Credit: Quintanaroo