Archive for May, 2011

Let’s Eat the Flowers

Icon Written by Wayne on May 1, 2011 – 12:01 am

Many flowers have traditionally been used in many types of cooking. Native American used flowers as food and passed this information on to early settlers. Our ancestors regularly used flowers to flavor vinegars for cooking, marinades, or dressings for salad.

Today, there is a renewed interest in edible flowers. My grandmother regularly fried squash flowers, for me, in light flour batter, under the mistaken idea that it was one of my favorite foods. What we really liked her to do was to freeze mint leaves in ice cubes to suck on during the hot Summer months.

When my son had his herb garden in Nebraska, he introduced us to the flowers of the borage plant. Nothing goes better with sliced tomatoes then a few bright blue borage flowers. They have a sharp clean snappy taste, somewhat like a cucumber, very refreshing. To this day we always have a few borage plants in the garden.

Some flowers can be stuffed or used in stir-fry dishes. Edible flowers can be added to teas for a light refreshing drink. Still others can be crushed and added to cheese spreads, butters, and ice cream.

We suggest you give it a try but do not eat just any old flower, some like the foxglove can kill you. Here are a few that are safe to use:

  • Rose
  • Nasturtium
  • Marigold
  • Pansy
  • Sage
  • Borage
  • Chives

Even edible flowers can cause indigestion or allergic reactions if eaten, so use caution at first.

Tips of the Month

Here is a recipe for dandelion blossoms which my mother made for my dad. These can be sprinkled over a pasta dish or added to a veggie omelet. You can also eat them as a snack.

Fried Dandelion Blooms

1 cup of flour
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram, sage, paprika
2 dozen large, fresh dandelion blossoms, freshly rinsed and still damp
Cooking oil

Mix flour and all seasonings together in a shallow bowl. Coat the bottom of a fry pan with oil and heat to a medium temperature. It is ready when a bit of flour sizzles up when dropped in. Coat the damp dandelions in the flour mixture, and fry in the oil until golden brown. Turn them as necessary to brown all sides. Remove blossoms from pan and set to drain on paper towels. These taste best when served fresh and hot.

Flower of the Month


Borago officinalis

Borage is a decorative annual with coarse, hairy leaves and stems and beautiful sky-blue flowers in a star shape. The plant grows about 2 to 3 feet tall. Borage is easily grown from seed and will sow itself. This plant does best in dry, sunny places. Pick blossoms as they open. Use leaves fresh anytime; they are seldom dried. Bees are attracted to the borage plant. Use sprays of borage flowers and leaves are used to give a cool, cucumber-like flavor to summer drinks. Flowers are excellent eaten raw with tomatoes.

Web Site of the Month

The American Association of Poison Control Centers

They work to support the nation’s 60 poison centers in the valuable work they do. America’s poison centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you. The Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 serves as a key medical information resource and helps reduce costly emergency room visits

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