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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Edible Flowers for Your Container Garden: How to Add Beauty and Flavor

If you're looking for a way to add both beauty and flavor to your container garden, edible flowers are the perfect solution! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best flowers to grow in your garden, as well as how to use them. Edible flowers can be used in salads, desserts, drinks, and more! So why not add a little bit of extra flavor and color to your garden?


The Best Edible Flowers for Your Container Garden


Edible flowers are a beautiful and delicious addition to any dish. And while you can find some of them at your local grocery store, some are impossible to find unless you grow it yourself or find it at a farmers marker. If you're planning on starting a container garden, here are some of the best edible flowers to consider planting:

Nasturtiums



Nasturtiums are a cheerful annual flower that also happens to be edible. Their peppery flavor is a perfect complement to salads, and their cascading habit makes them ideal for container gardens.


Nasturtiums come in a variety of colors, including vibrant shades of orange, yellow, and red. Plant them in well-drained soil in full sun, and water regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy.


Once they start to bloom, you can snip off the flowers and add them to your next salad or use them as a colorful garnish for grilled chicken or fish.


As an added bonus, nasturtiums are also attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies.


So not only will your container garden look beautiful, but it will also provide a valuable source of food for local wildlife.

Calendulas



Calendulas are often used as an edible flower in a container garden. The petals of the flower can be used to add color and flavor to salads, soups, and sandwiches.


Calendulas are also known for their healing properties and can be used to make a tea that helps to soothe the stomach. If you are growing calendulas in a container garden, make sure to choose a pot that is at least 12 inches wide.


This will give the roots plenty of room to grow and prevent the plant from becoming rootbound. Also, make sure to keep the soil evenly moist and fertilize regularly to promote healthy growth. With a little care, your calendula plants will produce an abundance of bright, beautiful flowers that can be enjoyed in the kitchen and beyond.

Bee balm



Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is a beautiful and fragrant addition to any garden, and it also happens to be edible! The flowers are lovely in salads or as a garnish, and they can even be used to make homemade herbal tea.


Bee balm is an easy plant to care for, and it will thrive in any sunny spot. When planting bee balm in a container garden, be sure to use a pot that is at least 12 inches wide.


This will give the roots plenty of room to spread out, and it will help to prevent the plant from becoming rootbound. Bee balm will provide your garden with color and flavor for many years to come.


Cosmos




If you're looking to add a splash of color to your container garden, you can't go wrong with cosmos. Not only are these flowers beautiful, but they're also edible! Cosmos come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, and white.


They're easy to grow and don't require much care. Simply plant them in a sunny spot and water them regularly. You can start harvesting the flowers after they bloom. Add them to salads or use them to decorate cakes and cupcakes.

Rose petals




Rose petals are a good option for container gardens, as they'll add a splash of color and flavor. Make sure to choose petals from roses that haven't been sprayed with chemicals, and give them a quick rinse before eating.


Once you have your rose petals, you can add them to green salads, use them as a garnish on soup or pasta, or even combine them with other ingredients to make homemade vinegar or herbal tea.


Lavender



Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant flower that can also be used in cooking. When selecting a variety of lavender for your container garden, make sure to choose one that is edible. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a good option, as it has a milder flavor than other varieties.


Lavender can be used in sweet or savory dishes. It is often used to flavor desserts, such as candied lavender or lavender lemonade. Lavender can also be added to savory dishes, such as chicken with lavender and rosemary. When using lavender in cooking, it is important to use it sparingly, as the flavor can be quite strong. A little goes a long way!


How to Use Edible Flowers in Your Cooking





You may have seen edible flowers in your local grocery store or farmer's market and wondered how to use them. While they may look delicate, edible flowers can actually be quite versatile in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

One of the simplest ways to use edible flowers is to toss them into a salad. For a more dramatic presentation, you can arrange the flowers on top of the lettuce. Edible flowers can also be used to decorate cakes or cupcakes. Simply place them on top of the frosting, or even insert them into the cake itself.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try using edible flowers in savory dishes. They can be used as a garnish for soup or stirred into rice or pasta dishes. Just be sure to add them at the end of cooking so that they retain their color and flavor. With a little creativity, you'll find that the possibilities for using edible flowers in your cooking are endless.

Many people think of flowers as being solely for decoration, but did you know that many flowers are actually edible? While some flowers have a strong flavor that can be overpowering in dishes, others are more delicate and can add a unique flavor to your favorite recipes. Here are some edible flower recipes to try at home:

For a sweet and refreshing treat, try adding edible flowers to your favorite fruit salad recipe. This is a great way to add a splash of color to any dish, and the flowers will add a subtle sweetness to the fruit.

If you're looking for something a little different, why not try incorporating edible flowers into your next savory dish? Try adding some chopped chives or rose petals to scrambled eggs, or toss some pansies into your next green salad.

Looking for a fun and unique way to decorate cakes and cupcakes? Edible flowers make beautiful and whimsy toppings for desserts. Whether you use them whole or petals, they'll add a touch of elegance to any baked good.

Ideas for Salads, Desserts and Drinks with Edible flowers

Salads with Edible Flowers


Salads are a refreshing and healthy option for a summertime meal. Add some flair to your next salad by including edible flowers. Nasturtiums, pansies, and daylilies are all good choices. Make sure to wash the flowers thoroughly, and remove the pistils and stamens before adding them to the salad. You can also add petals from roses, hibiscus, or jasmine. To give your salad some extra zing, try adding a flower-infused vinegar or oil. Elderflower, lavender, or rosemary vinegars would be good choices. Simply steep the flowers in vinegar for a week, then strain out the solids. For a flower-infused oil, try mixing sunflower or safflower oil with calendula or marigold petals. Be creative and have fun experimenting with different flavor combinations. Your guests are sure to be impressed by your beautiful and unique salad.

Desserts with Edible Flowers


Spring is in the air, and that means it's time to start thinking about pretty pastel desserts. One of the trendiest ways to decorate cakes and cupcakes right now is with edible flowers. Whether you use fresh or dried blooms, they'll add a touch of elegance to any treat. And the best part is that you can customize your creation to match the season. For example, warmer months are ideal for using fresh flowers like roses, while fall and winter are perfect for using dried flowers like lavender. So whatever the occasion, there's an edible flower that will fit the bill. So go ahead and experiment with this unique way of decorating desserts. Your taste buds will thank you!

Drinks with Edible Flowers


Edible flowers are a fun and unexpected way to decorate drinks. They can be used to add color, flavor, or both. While many people think of edible flowers as being exclusively savory, they can actually be a great way to add a touch of sweetness to drinks as well. Rose petals, for example, can be used to make a delicate syrup that can be added to cocktails or mocktails. Hibiscus flowers can also be used to make a refreshingly tart tea. And lavender buds can be used to infuse honey or sugar with their characteristic floral flavor. So don't be afraid to get creative with your cocktail garnishes - edible flowers are a great way to add an extra dimension of flavor and visual appeal to your drinks.


Edible flower recipes

Lavender Honey Ice Cream




Ingredients:


  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers


Instructions:


1. Combine the cream, milk, honey, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in the lavender flowers.

2. Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain out the lavender flowers, then refrigerate until cold.

3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately, or store in the freezer for later.


Hibiscus Tea





Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1/2 teaspoon of hibiscus flowers

  • Honey or sugar to taste

Instructions:

1. Bring the water to a boil.

2. Add the hibiscus flowers and let them steep for 5-7 minutes.

3. Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar.

4. Enjoy!




Strawberry Rose Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


Ingredients:


  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, blue cheese, basil, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

2. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Rose Petal Cocktail


Ingredients:

  • 1 oz vodka

  • 1 oz cranberry juice

  • 3-4 rose petals


Instructions:


1. Pour vodka and cranberry juice into a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass.

3. Float rose petals on top and enjoy!

Pansy Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Violet food coloring

  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

  • 12 fresh pansies, for decoration

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.


2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.


3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Color batter with violet food coloring until desired shade is reached (I used about 10 drops). Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


4. Pipe Vanilla Buttercream Frosting onto cooled cupcakes using a Wilton 1M tip. Decorate with fresh pansies. Enjoy!

Dandelion Fritters


Ingredients:


  • 1 cup flour

  • 2 tsp sugar