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Edible Flowers Add Color and Flavor to Meals

Pluck a few flower petals and add flavor and color to your favorite salad, beverage, jam, jelly or meal.

Flowers have long been used in cooking by many cultures.  Nasturtium leaves and flowers can be used in salads, while daylily blooms are great lightly fried or served fresh and stuffed with cream cheese.  Chive flowers will brighten a salad or add color and flavor to your baked potato.

Candy a few violas or borage flowers for adding a bit of decoration and zest to your desserts.

Even the leaves and flowers of some weeds like dandelions and chickweeds can be used.

Start by making sure the flowers you select are edible and pesticide free. 

You will get the best flavor if you pick fully mature flowers, during the cool part of the day, and as close to use as possible.  Remove the pistils and stamens to avoid the bitter flavor of pollen. 

A bit more information: As your garden comes alive with color try including a few blossoms in your salads, stir fries, and other dishes.  Clary sage, Fuchsia, chives, gladiolus, hyssop, lemon, orange, peony, plum, redbud, rose of Sharon, spiderwort, strawberry, and yucca are just a few of the edible flowers to include. For a more extensive listing and recipes check out these books by Cathy Wilkinson Barash:  Edible Flowers: Desserts and Drinks and Edible Flowers From Garden to Palate.  Both are out of print but may be available at your library.

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