By Elise Hampilos
Ever wander through your vegetable garden and think to yourself, “What I would give for some more color and variety in here.” Never fear, because edible flowers are here! These tasty blooms add a unique splash of color and sweetness that turn even the most basic of meals into an artistic masterpiece. Not sure what to plant? Check out these seven suggestions for your next homegrown edible arrangement.
Don’t worry! The flower is way prettier (and tastier) than the name suggests. These tiny, blue bursts of honey-like sweetness typically dress up desserts and cocktails, but can also be a super colorful addition to your everyday salad. You’re out of cucumber, you say? Just throw a few big green borage leaves in your lettuce mix for an undeniable cucumber flavor.
2. Bachelor’s Button
Also known as cornflower, Bachelor’s Button is super easy to care for, and comes in a huge variety of colors: blues, pinks, whites, reds, and purples, to be exact. Another delicious salad garnish, these flowers can also be used in herbal and blended teas.
Yep—I know—you can totally eat pansies! I was shocked too. And with all of those unbelievable color combinations, who wouldn’t want to grow these babies in their edible flower garden? These cuties are an awesome decoration for desserts, salads, hors d’oeuvres, and, well, basically anything else you can think of.
A staple in vegetable gardens across the globe, arugula is known for its peppery, robust flavor. But did you know that the flowers are also just as flavorful? Don’t be fooled by their tiny size and delicate appearance, for these flowers pack a serious punch just like their leafy green counterparts. As if it could possibly get any better—the flowers are unbelievably prolific, so you’ll be munching on petals for weeks on end.
Once upon a time, calendula was known as “the poor man’s saffron.” Just give the petals a quick chop, heat slowly in a little oil, and you’ve got yourself a delicious saffron substitute, for a fragment of the price. Calendula is also known for its medicinal purposes, and is used widely for these properties in natural skin-care products.
Nasturtium may be one of the most well-known edible flowers out there, and for good reason. The plant is so prolific and has so many uses, who wouldn’t want to put it on their table? The bold orange and red hues, and sweet-as-nectar flavor, make nasturtium a perfect garnish on any savory dish or sweet dessert. It can even be soaked in vinegar to create a colorful, flower-infused vinaigrette.
7. Signet Marigold
If you love the fragrance of marigolds, consider these tasty treats a rich addition to your edible flower garden. Available in a variety of warm colors, these tiny blooms give off a sweet, citrus flavor. As a garnish, they enhance the color of your summer fruit salad as well.
These are just a few of the vast array of edible flowers that can bring a splash of color to your home garden, and your dinner plate. Remember: Just because your garden is growing food, doesn’t mean it can’t be gorgeous!
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com and www.dreamstime.com