Blooming Good Food

We’ve all heard that “April showers bring May flowers.” What better time than during this abundance of flora to explore the delicious, nutritious delights of edible flowers

From varieties such as impatiens and daylilies to blooms from the more familiar chives, basil, and mint, edible flowers can lend color to your plate — and palate. Use sparingly, choose safe varieties, and experiment with flavor complements for your favorite dishes:

Gladiolus petals taste like lettuce. Salads are the perfect place to experiment with this and other varieties, including borage, which tastes like cucumber, and nasturtiums, which have a flavor similar to watercress.

Calendula petals can be a less expensive substitute for saffron in recipes. (People with asthma should avoid certain flowers, such as calendula and chrysanthemum.)

Violets and lilac blooms can make a sweet garnish for ice cream and other desserts.

Blooms from florists or other plant vendors aren’t recommended for consumption, due to pesticides and other treatments. Growing your own edible plants and flowers is best, or check your local produce store.

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