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5 Edible Flowers to Know And 12 Fancy Ways to Cook with Them

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In celebration of their new organic Pure Leaf Tea House Collection, we partnered with Pure Leaf Iced Tea to share our favorite flowery recipes.

Use edible flowers in the right amount and they can be like any herb or spice, present not to be the dominating flavor, but a supporting one. And to answer your impending question: No, cooking with them will not make food taste like perfume!

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Just be sure that whatever your flower of choice is, it's culinary grade, meaning it's edible. (Those sold at farmer's markets usually are, but it never hurts to ask.)

Lovely lavender going into simple syrup.
Lovely lavender going into simple syrup. Photo by James Ransom

From lavender to chamomile to borage, here are recipes and ideas to get started with edible flowers:

Lavender:

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Lavender-Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Crème Frâiche

Lavender-Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Crème Frâiche by Fig Test Kitchen

Rhubarb Lavender Streusel Muffins

Rhubarb Lavender Streusel Muffins by xuedanw

 Lemon Lavender Polenta Cake

Lemon Lavender Polenta Cake by Chrissie

Oatmeal and Lavender Shortbread

Oatmeal and Lavender Shortbread by QueenSashy

You can also try it in biscuits and scones. Make a lavender-scented sugar and sprinkle it over French toast or roll snickerdoodles in it. Infuse cream or milk for a floral-y whipped cream, panna cotta, caramel sauce or crème brûlée. You can also add lavender to simple syrup and use it in cocktails or lemonade.

Borage Flowers:

Crystallized Flowers
Crystallized Flowers

These naturally blue (however they can also be white, pink, or purple) flowers are stunners. And they taste like honey, too. Float them atop cocktails and use them to adorn everything from cakes to cupcakes to salads to soup.

Rose:

Sesame-Rose-Pistachio Meringues

Sesame-Rose-Pistachio Meringues by Alice Medrich

Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet with Rose Cream

Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet with Rose Cream by Yossy Arefi

Rose Petal Panna Cotta

Rose Petal Panna Cotta by Sara Jenkins

Pistachio Cake with Lemon, Cardamom, and Rose Water

Pistachio Cake with Lemon, Cardamom, and Rose Water by Sarah Jampel

Rose water also adds floral flavor to lassis, cookies, and gin fizz, for starters. Rose petals can be used in a simple syrup for cocktails, to decorate cookies or cupcakes, and made into jam like our contributor Emiko Davies does.

Chamomile:

Chamomile Lemon Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream Frosting
Chamomile Lemon Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream Frosting

Use chamomile flowers to make your own herbal tea, which can then be used in a hot toddy, to cook rice, and to poach fruit like pears. It may take a little more time, but infusing alcohol with chamomile makes for one heck of a cocktail.

Hibiscus:

Bakewell Tart with Rhubarb-Hibiscus Jam

Bakewell Tart with Rhubarb-Hibiscus Jam by Sarah Jampel

Rhubarb Cherry Hibiscus Crumble

Rhubarb Cherry Hibiscus Crumble by em-i-lis

Use hibiscus flowers to make ice cream, sorbet, or a granita. Make a simple syrup and use that in margaritas, cocktails, spritzers, or to sweeten ice pops. For more ideas, this Hotline question is here to help.

How do you use edible flowers? Tell us in the comments below!

Pure Leaf Tea House Collection is a trio of organic iced teas that each sport a fruit or herb companion, like organic Black Tea with a hint of Honeysuckle and Sicilian Lemon. See all three flavors here.


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Tags: pure leaf, tea house collection, edible flowers