Fruits and veggies like apples, tomatoes and carrots are the first things that come to mind when most of us think about growing our own food. But did you know loads of floral favorites, including lilacs and sunflowers, have useful (and tasty!) applications in your kitchen? For a plot that’s as pretty as it is practical, incorporate edible flowers – along with your favorite produce picks – into your garden plan. To get you started, Earth911 rounded up seven versatile blooms that you can cook today.
Homepage Image: Alexandra Vietti, Earth911
The beautiful begonia is a garden staple. But did you know you could eat it, too?
Leaves, flowers and stems are edible: The petals have a tart citrus flavor and are often used in salads and garnishes, and stems can be used in place of rhubarb.
Note that only tuberous begonia petals are edible. Its cousin, the wax begonia, can have a slightly bitter and “swampy” flavor (yuck!).
As with all flowers you plan to eat, avoid using pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on leaves, flowers or stems for your own health and safety. And never cook blooms from a florist or harvest flowers from a roadside or public park, as these picks may also be contaminated with toxins.
Also, only eat the parts of each flower that are edible. Other sections may be tough on your stomach. For more rules of thumb for cooking edible flowers, check out this guide from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
RECIPE TO TRY: Strawberry Begonia Salad recipe from The Daily Meal