In the kitchen, summertime means using the freshest ingredients available to make light meals, whether you get them via farmers’ markets, the local grocery store, or you grow them yourself. You’re probably thinking tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, and more–but did any flowers cross your mind? Surprisingly, edible flowers can be a viable option for many drinks and meals, whether they simply serve as a garnish or are a main flavor in your dish.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry chose a lemon elderflower cake for the royal wedding. Why shouldn’t you use flowers to feel a little royal and add a pretty pop of color to your meals? The following edible flowers can be used in several different recipes, from margaritas to macarons and more.
The hibiscus flower has a tart flavor, somewhat similar to a cranberry, and is popular enough that even Starbucks has a Hibiscus Drink. You can make your own hibiscus tea, too, but if you prefer an alcoholic drink, try a Hibiscus Margarita. Utilize its sweetness in desserts too, such as a Hibiscus Loaf Cake and Hibiscus Lemon Bars.
The Borage flower is said to taste slightly of cucumber, so adding it to light, less sweet dishes than the hibiscus flower is the best way to experience it. Get your fix in this Cucumber & Borage Flower Gin and Tonic, atop a Blue Blossom Salad, or as a garnish on Baked Salmon with Green Apples and Pine Nut Salad for a pretty pop of blue atop the pink fish.
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Lavender is known for its calming essential oils, but its sweet taste can make for a great combination in sweet foods and drinks. Lavender lemonade is a gorgeous option with its purple hue a twist on the standard drink. Many coffee shops serve lavender honey lattes, iced or hot; and many desserts showcase lavender as well in confections such as lavender cupcakes, lavender ice cream, and lavender macarons.
This edible flower can have a wintergreen flavor if the entire flower is consumed at the same time, so make sure other flavors balance it out. Find that perfect balance in this Lemon Roll with Pansies, Pansy Sugar Cookies or simply freeze them into ice cubes for dainty and fresh flavors in your drink.
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As one of the most well-known flowers, roses are frequently given as romantic gifts, or their scent used in perfumes. Take roses one step further by using rose petals or rose water in a Rose and Tarragon Gin Lemonade, Strawberry Naked Cake with Rose Buttercream, or Rose Yogurt.