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5 Edible Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Garden

Plant these pretty—and pretty yummy—flowers in your yard, and you can enjoy their flavors as well as their beauty.

Plant these pretty—and pretty yummy—flowers in your yard, and you can enjoy their flavors as well as their beauty.


By ROL Staff,  Rodale's Organic Life

Most flower gardens are a feast for the eyes, and perhaps a smorgasbord of fragrances. But by planting some edible species, your taste buds can get in on the act. 

[post_ads]To help you cultivate a delicious garden, we asked Frank Stonaker, PhD, an assistant professor in the horticulture and landscape architecture department at Colorado State University about his favorite edible flowers. You can try growing your own, or if you want to taste-test before planting, pick some up at a specialty food market. (Before you sample any from someone else’s garden, make certain they were grown without pesticides or chemicals.)

(On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)



Pineapple Sage

As the name suggests, the flowers of this fast-growing herb have a pineapple-like fragrance, and a sweet taste that’s reminiscent of honeysuckle. They’re so sweet, in fact, that they often attract hummingbirds to your garden. The red blooms of this unique sage plant make a tasty and colorful addition to fruit cocktails, or they can be candied and used to adorn cakes and cookies.


Nasturtium

These sun-loving annuals bloom from midsummer until the first frost, so they can flavor your food for the second half of the summer and into fall. And you can use every part of the plant, as the stems, leaves, and blossoms are all edible (and don’t need to be cooked). The peppery-tasting flowers, which bloom in shades of bright red and yellow (the red varieties actually taste spicier), look beautiful as a garnish or can be used in sandwiches instead of mustard. Or try chopping up the stems and leaves, which have a radish-like flavor, and tossing them in a salad. Try the nasturtium seed pods pickled, for a very close approximation of capers.
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Chive Blossoms

Your herb garden may be filled with lavender-pink chive flowers right about now (they start appearing in June), so why not sample some tonight? When the flowers are just starting to open, pinch the blossom off at the base then break apart the onion-flavored florets. Try sprinkling them on salads, cooking them with fresh vegetables, or adding them to casseroles. Just be sure to use them sparingly in recipes that already call for a lot of onion, to avoid an overpowering flavor.


Squash Blossoms

Thanks to the popularity of Mexican and Italian cuisines, whose chefs often cook with these flowers, you may have already sampled squash blossoms in dishes at local restaurants. Thankfully, they’re a snap to prepare at home, too. The beautiful and large blossoms from all kinds of squash—including both summer and winter varieties, and even pumpkins—can be stuffed, breaded, and then fried for a tasty appetizer. Or try them steamed them until wilted; drizzle them with some olive oil, and enjoy. Just be sure to eat them soon after picking, as they are extremely perishable and last only about a day.
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Angelica

Want a new way to add some seasoning to your seafood? Add some angelica. Its celery-like flavor works particularly well when paired with fish: You can mince the leaves—which have a strong, clean taste—then use them in poaching water. Some cooks will also add the leaves when cooking squash or pumpkin to bring out those foods’ natural sweetness. The perennial is self-seeding, likes a bit of shade, and is generally easy to care for.


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Lifestyle Magazine: 5 Edible Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Garden
5 Edible Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Garden
Plant these pretty—and pretty yummy—flowers in your yard, and you can enjoy their flavors as well as their beauty.
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