Alright, we’re finally at the end of our Edible Flowers series! We’re planning on putting these all together in a downloadable PDF, and I’ll be adding a few recipes to help you feel more comfortable adding flowers to your meal plans ??
Thyme, Thymus spp.
Thyme flowers have a similar taste to thyme the kitchen spice, but much more mild. You can add these to any recipe, including sauces, soups, stews and casseroles. These also add an interesting flavor to any salad or sprinkled on top of avocado toast – YUM!
Add them at the end or sprinkle them on top to avoid premature wilting.
Tulip, Tulipa spp.
Depending on the type of tulip, the temperature in which it’s picked and its growing conditions, the flavor can vary wildly. Many tulip petals have a mild taste similar to cucumber or fresh peas, but you’ll bump into others that have a faint citrus or even apple flavor. Try foraging them at different times (cold vs. warm weather for example) and test to see which flavors you prefer for what dish.
Simply pluck the petals off (trim the base if you want) and use them the same as you would cucumber pieces. Try adding it to tuna or chicken salad, toss into a salad, drop them in yogurt with some garlic and salt to make a refreshing dip to go with vegetables or heavy meat, or use them to dress up a small bowl to serve ice cream.
Of course, tulips will add beautiful color to your recipes, and the way food looks should be something we care about. The better the appearance, the more palatable it appears to our brains!
Ginger, Zingiber officinale
Okay, this one really should have gone with the Gs, but I’m putting it with the Zs (for Zingiber) because that’s how I roll. 😉
It’s not just the root of the ginger plant that’s edible and enjoyable, the petals as well as the young shoots can also be eaten. They add a little zippy bite to any dish you’d normally pair with ginger.
Obviously, this little series was not an exhaustive list. I picked flowers that I’ve personally used and that are generally easily accessible to most people.
Please don’t eat flowers purchased from a shop. They’re usually sprayed and treated to make them last longer. If you’re foraging, make sure you are identifying the plant correctly, and you’re picking from a clean location. Nothing near a road, construction site or sprayed fields. If it’s near water, make certain you know what is upstream. Obviously, if you grow your own, you will have complete control over what you’re using to cultivate your plants and hopefully, it’s all natural.
If you would like to learn more about growing plants in a very sustainable and beyond organic way, then check out our cultivating plants series where Sean shares methods of planning, soil building, composting for big and small areas, water preservation and use.