I like making recipes with healing foods that offer fantastic health benefits and great taste in one package. Edible flowers are a perfect example of this because they add tremendous complex flavor, healing nutrients, and the added bonus of colorful beauty to your recipes.
When Linda Bailey approached me about doing a guest post on my blog with some of her favorite edible flowers, I knew I had to come up with a tasty recipe to go with her post using edible flowers so you could see how easy it is to add them to your favorite recipes. Since I like making homemade ice creams, I decided to make a delicious honey coconut milk ice cream and top this creamy recipe with some wonderful edible flowers that really take the recipe to another level!
Here are some of Linda’s favorite edible flowers:
Radish Blossoms– Radish blossoms have a beautiful pink, purple or white blossom that clusters. The flavor of radish blossoms is peppery and tastes great in salads, soft cheeses, or soups.
Turk’s Cap – This adorable little plant has the sweetest red flowers. Turk’s Cap is a form of Hibiscus native to Texas and Mexico. The flowers and the young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The flowers can also be steeped to make a drink that tastes similar to pink lemonade. When the flowers die off a small red berry appears. This fruit is high in vitamin C and can be eaten raw or made into jelly or tea. The flowers are high in antioxidants and the leaves have many minerals. Even the seeds can be eaten and are high in protein.
Nasturtium – With pretty orange, yellow and pink flowers and broad green leaves it is no wonder this plant is a common sight in flower beds. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible raw and can spice up a salad with their unusual peppery radish flavor. They can also be added to pickling ingredients for a great peppery taste!
Hibiscus – These huge flowered bushes are common sights in the southern United States and thrive in warm weather. The flowers themselves are edible raw and can also be used to make a lightly sweet tea. Some red variations also work as food coloring substitutes. Hibiscus flowers can be dried and candied and are sold as a treat in Mexico. It should be noted, however, that some varieties can have interactions with medication. If you are not sure what variety you have then use only a small amount and consume sparingly.
Sweet Alyssum – This gently scented white flowered plant is often found in flower beds in early spring. Though it wilts and dies in the heat it is actually a member of the mustard family and has a very strong flavor. The flowers, stems, seeds and leaves of this plant are edible. Tasting much like radish or horseradish add this plant to dishes for a spicy and unexpected kick. This plant can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves can be used like mustard greens and the seed pods have the best flavor when still young and green.
Pink Primrose – Pink Primrose typically grows during the spring and summer and loves the sunshine. The flower is edible raw but too much consumption can cause stomach upset. The leaves are edible raw or boiled before the flower blooms and are high in fatty acids.
Rose – The common rose is found just about everywhere. With beautiful flowers, a marvelous scent and the prickly thorns it is not hard to see if you have a rose in your yard. Two parts of the rose can be eaten. The rose petals are edible and can be added raw to salads. They have a mild flavor. They can also be made into tea or jelly. Rose hips, the round parts that form after the flower fades, are also edible and full of vitamin C. They can be made into tea or jelly and have a great flavor.
Linda has just shared her 7 favorite edible flowers and since there are so many other edible flowers you can choose from, I have put together a nice reference list at the end of this post with some of the available edible flower choices so you can start incorporating them into your cooking. Edible flowers can be easily grown in your organic garden so you have them readily available whenever you want to boost the flavor and nutrients in your favorite recipes. If you don’t grow your own edible flowers make sure you only purchase organic flowers that have not been sprayed. Only use the petals of the flowers in your recipes and remove the pistils and stamens.
Now it’s time for the ice cream recipe! My coconut ice cream is totally free of preservatives, stabilizers, corn syrup, and thickeners that commercial ice creams use to make their ice cream last for months on end in your freezer. This homemade ice cream should be consumed right away for the best flavor and texture. If you do decide to store it and eat later please make sure you leave it out on the counter to get soft and easy to scoop before you enjoy it. It will last for up to 3 weeks covered in the freezer if it lasts that long!
Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Edible Flower Topping
Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegetarian
Makes around 1 quart
2-13.5 or 14 ounce cans organic full-fat coconut milk (chilled)
½ cup raw honey
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
½ cup edible flower petals (apple blossoms, chamomile, hibiscus, pansies, roses, marigolds, bachelor buttons, and violets are all good choices)
1. Place chilled coconut milk into a high speed blender. Add honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. Cover with lid and blend ice cream on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional honey if you want the ice cream sweeter.
2. Pour into the frozen ice cream container of your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. After the ice cream is done churning, place in serving dishes and top with small pieces of edible flower petals. Enjoy!
Here is the list of edible flowers:
Have you ever used edible flowers in your recipes? Please contribute to the conversion by leaving a comment.
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The edible flower post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more.