11 Types of Flowers That are Edible and Full of Health Benefits

Whenever there is an occasion or celebration, flower arrangements are also present, not only as table and indoor decorations but also as part of the healthful cuisines and amazing food presentations.

These colorful edible flowers are widely used in different parts of the world for flavorful dishes and delectable menus.

Although most of the flowers are not classified as edible flowers, yet, those types of flowers that are safe to eat are also bursting in flavors and colors. They are just perfect for food and drinks, and they are full of health benefits, as well.

Check these 11 types of flowers that are edible and full of health benefits:

1. Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a tropical/subtropical type of plant that produces large ornamental blooms. There are hundreds of species and varieties of Hibiscus found thriving in regions where the temperature and humidity are mostly high. The most popular edible variety, however, is the Hibiscus sabdariffa or Roselle.

The blooms of the Hibiscus can grow up to 6 inches or 15 cm in diameter. The large blooms are usually found in colors of red, yellow, pink, and white.

Before Hibiscus became popular as an ornamental object, the flowers are known and widely used as a medicinal herb and culinary element. They can be eaten raw, but they are most commonly used to make teas and relishes for salad or jam.

In different tribes and regions, the tea is used to enjoy its medicinal benefits. Based on clinical studies, the tea can help regulate blood circulation, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. However, further tests and researches are still needed to support the health benefits of Hibiscus.

A Hibiscus tea is traditionally enjoyed hot or warm, but on summer days, they make a refreshing drink when mixed with ice.

Summary

The beautiful blooms of Hibiscus are said to provide health benefits against high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can be used to make herbal teas but other people enjoy eating them raw.

2. Dandelion

Dandelion is considered as a highly nutritious type of edible flower. Although it is known as a garden weed, it provides more to your health.

The small blooms of Dandelion usually grow up to 1 to 1.5 inches or 2 to 4 cm in diameter. The tiny petals are usually in bright yellow color. These petals are rich in antioxidant properties that are powerful enough to boost health.

Aside from their petals and blooms, Dandelions are enjoyed from roots to tip for their medicinal benefits. The blooms, leaves, stems, and roots of this stubborn weed are safe to eat.

Dandelions can be eaten raw for a purpose, but you can be inventive to enjoy this plant. You can toss its fresh blooms into your salads or coat them with breading and fry. They add texture and flavor to jelly and wine, too.

Dandelion teas are made from steeped roots. The leaves and blooms, on the other hand, are perfect as garnish and ingredients for salads, sandwiches, casseroles, stews, and other hearty, healthy dishes.

Summary:

Dandelions may grow stubbornly as weeds in the garden, but they are highly nutritious. This edible flower is great for dishes, salads, and drinks.

3. Lavender

Originally thriving in the northern parts of Africa and the Mediterranean, Lavender is a floral herb that has long woody stems. There are tiny flowers in each stem.

Its distinctive scent makes it a popular flower all over the world, especially that the fragrance is claimed to leave a calming effect on the body.

Lavender flowers are a favorite addition to herbal teas, infused syrups and liqueurs, herb mixtures, dry spice rubs, baked goods, and more.

Aside from its fragrance, Lavender also gives that rich flavor that can go well with other savory tastes. You can even pair it with chocolates, citrus, thyme, berries, sage, and rosemary.

Moreover, lavender should be added as an ingredient to food or drinks in moderate amounts because of its rich flavor.

Summary:

Lavender is an edible flower known for its aromatic fragrance and flavor. The violet flowers taste great when eaten fresh from the plant and when dried.

4. Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is an edible flower known for its fragrant blooms. They are mostly found in white and light yellow colors. The sweet nectar tastes delightful, especially when eaten from the flower. With around 200 varieties of Honeysuckle, the woodbine and Japanese Honeysuckles are the most common varieties.

Traditionally, it has been used in China as a vital part of their medical practices.

Honeysuckles can be extracted and their extract can either be ingested for relief or applied directly to skin for treatment of several skin conditions. Although the claim for its medicinal benefit and efficiency is yet unproven, it has long been used by many native people.

Honeysuckle is also used in the culinary world to make flavorful teas and syrups that can be used as sweeteners for sorbet, yogurt, lemonade, and iced tea. The fragrant syrups made from the flowers and nectar of Honeysuckle makes a perfect alternative to sugar for bread and pastries.

Some species of Honeysuckle that have berries, however, are not safe to eat. They are the varieties that contain toxins and may cause intoxication when ingested.

Summary:

Honeysuckle is known for its sweet fragrance and flavor, as well as for its medicinal benefits. Its flowers and nectar can be eaten raw and fresh, and its extracts can be used to make syrups.

5. Nasturtium

Nasturtium is a flowering plant that blooms edible, brightly colored flowers that taste uniquely savory and flavorful.

Aside from the blooms, the leaves of Nasturtium are also edible. They can be eaten fresh and raw or dried and cooked. The spicy and peppery flavor of the blooms makes it very distinct.

Interestingly, Nasturtium blooms are in funnel-like shape and they are available in bright colors of yellow, red, and orange. Thus, they are perfect as cake toppers or decorations and as a garnish for salads and pastries.

Moreover, the leaves, which are usually in round, lily-like shape, are tender. They can be added to salads and pesto recipes for texture and flavor.

Definitely versatile, Nasturtium flowers are not just a gorgeous bloom that can be used to decorate the dishes, but they are also nutritious and healthful. They contain minerals and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and boost immunity.

Summary:

Nasturtium is an edible flower known to produce colorful blooms that taste like peppers and contain nutrients and minerals.

6. Borage

Borage is a star-shaped flower that blooms mostly in pink and white. Some varieties bloom blue Borage flowers.

There are claims that Borage, as one of the edible flowers, is also a herbal medicine used for the treatment of sore throat and cough. However, further researches and studies are needed to prove the medicinal benefits of Borage.

Moreover, Borage has been a staple ingredient for a number of recipes, and it is probably because its flowers and leaves taste a little bit sweet and flavorful like honey.

It is a good thing that the flowers are safe to eat fresh and raw, thus they can be added as a garnish to salads and desserts. They can be eaten cooked, as well, giving soup, sauces, and pasta a different twist.

Summary:

Borage is popular as the star-shaped blue, pink, or white bloom that is used as a traditional medicinal herb and culinary element.

7. Purslane

Purslane is a succulent type of flowering plant that can be eaten raw and cooked. The thick leaves are fleshy and the yellow blooms are tiny, but they make any recipe flavorful and healthful.

Although Purslane was considered only as a garden weed, yet it gained recognition after finding out that this plant is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Purslane also became more popular as an edible flower when studies show that it contains a large amount of omega-3 fats that are essential to a healthier body. Based on clinical researches, this plant contains more omega-3 than other types of edible plants and vegetables.

Purslane is also attractive and flavorful, which is why its leaves and tiny flowers are often added to salads, sandwiches, side dishes, soups, and other types of dishes and culinary creations.

Summary:

Purslane is rich in omega-3 fats, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The flowers and leaves can be eaten raw and cooked.

8. Rose

Roses are available in the whole world with its 150 and more species and varieties. Some varieties are small, while some have blooms that are big and colorful. Aside from the original varieties, there are also hundreds of hybrids and crossbreeds around the world.

Roses are popular not only because of their beauty but also because they are edible. Each type of Rose is considered an edible flower however, the taste may differ. According to the experts, to know if the type of Rose is flavorful, you need to smell it. If it smells nice, it means that it also tastes good.

The petals are not only aromatic but full of savor. Some are even sweet to taste.

Roses can be eaten fresh and raw, or they can be added to fruit or vegetable salads. They also taste good when dried and mixed with other herbs.

Roses are also best when extracted, thus creating sweet syrup that can be mixed with drinks and beverages or with jams and jellies. Also, the fresh petals can be chopped finely to add to sugar or butter for some extraordinary twists to culinary recipes.

The edible petals of Roses, no matter the color, offer a wide range of health and medical benefits to the body. In fact, an ordinary Rose-infused tea can help reduce pain, anxiety, and fatigue.

Summary:

Roses are edible and flavorful. If you want the most pleasant taste get the most fragrant one. They are perfect for food and drinks, and they provide a variety of benefits to health and immunity.

9. Squash Blossom

The fruit of the squash plant is not the only one to enjoy when you grow them in your garden. Its big but delicate yellow blossom tastes good, too.

Of all types of summer squash, the zucchini is the most popular one. Its blossoms are mostly bright yellow in color and round-bell in shape.

The blossoms are usually cooked and baked, together with other herbs and ingredients. Some would even stuff each blossom with cheese and bake or dip them in breading and fry.  Some, on the other hand, preferred to eat the blossoms raw and fresh from the garden.

It is good to know that only the female blossoms grow into a squash, which means that you have all the male blossoms to enjoy for your hearty, healthy squash blossom recipe.

It is easy to distinguish the male blossoms. They are longer and thinner, and their stems usually grow on the outer edges. The female blossoms usually grow closer to the center of the plant. You can tell they are female because of the small fruit at the bottom part of the blossom.

Summary:

Squash blossoms taste good. You can eat them fresh from the plant or cook them and mix them into your favorite vegetable dishes.

10. Pansy

Pansy flowers are so attractive, and they taste good as well.

The flowers of Pansy are small in size, mostly around 2 to 3 inches or 5 to 8 cm in diameter. They are found in almost all hues and colors, including blue, purple, and yellow. The brightly colored petals overlap each other, and its center has that even brighter color as if stained by ink.

Some varieties of Pansies offer mild and light floral flavor, while some varieties taste different depending on the type or variety.

Pansies are available in all kinds of colors, making them a wonderful addition to salads, pastries, or desserts. The colorful petals of Pansies make any dishes attractive and flavorful because of the varying colors and pleasant taste.

Pansies are also suitable for simple dishes. You can add the chopped petals to salads for colors and texture or mix them as a garnish to pasta and soup.

Pansies don’t just add attraction to any dishes, but they also provide a ton of health benefits. They are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. They give such a distinct flavor and they help boost immunity as well.

Summary:

Pansies are beautiful ornamental plants, and they are also a perfect addition to ingredients for a sumptuous and nutritious dish.

11. Chamomile

Chamomile is an edible flower that has long been used for cooking and for traditional medicinal practices.

As an herbal medicine, Chamomile is used to treat sleep disorder, anxiety, stress, and fatigue.

The daisy-like blooms of Chamomile, although a bit smaller, have a mixture of earthy and sweet taste.

Some native people prefer to use the flowers fresh and raw, but most commonly, they heat the flowers first to extract the rich flavor or dry them and store them for a long while.

Chamomile tea is the most popular use of this flower. In addition, it is also extracted to create syrup that can be added to smoothies, desserts, and baked goods.

Summary:

Chamomile flowers are known as a medicinal herb proven to improve sleep and fight off anxiety. They can also make various teas, drinks, baked goodies, and desserts flavorful.

Conclusion:

Flowers are indeed popular as the best indoor and outdoor decorative objects. But they also gained popularity as a colorful, flavorful, and healthful garnish and addition to any culinary recipe.

Most of these edible flowers are full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Some even contain antioxidants, omega-3, and anti-inflammatory compounds that are necessary to boost immunity and maintain health.

These flowers can be eaten fresh and cooked. You can snack on them fried, baked, or garnished on pasta and desserts.

Next time you prepare a dish, whether you are an expert or not in culinary recipes, consider mixing edible flowers to your dishes.

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