Edible flowers have been used for centuries for culinary purposes in jellies, teas, oils and cakes to bring both subtle flavour and glorious hues, which can make any dish look and taste amazing. There is an increased interest in combining new, exciting and unique flavours which has seen the resurgence in cooking with flowers. This trend has resulted in common flowers such as lavender and rose petals even being found on supermarket shelves. As well as providing very distinctive flavours, many of these amazing flowers may also have some nutritional benefits.

Research suggests that all edible flowers contain some level of trace nutrients, so as well as making your plate look pretty you’re likely to be consuming some goodness too. Looking at nutrition from flowers, research suggests:

  1. Lavender contains some vitamin A, which may be beneficial for eye health
  2. Rose petals contain high levels of water and some trace levels of vitamin C
  3. Borage contains the omega-3 essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which is beneficial for immunity, joint and skin health
  4. Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties
  5. Chives contain allicin that may help to reduce cholesterol and have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities


This is the time of year to start planning ahead, and think about the edible flowers that could fill your garden, terrace, balcony and/or plant containers in summer. Some popular choices include the flowers from herbs including rosemary, chives, thyme and borage. Beautiful flowers such as viola, nasturtium, roses, primroses, lavender, lilies, chrysanthemums and sunflowers all have flavoursome petals that can be eaten.

So how can you incorporate flowers into your cooking? There are a multitude of interesting ideas worth experimenting with including combining flavours for different dishes, such as chicken with thyme and lavender or fish with fennel chive and dill. Some other suggestions could be:

  1. Vegetable salads – include primroses, violets, borage, bergamot, mint, nasturtiums
  2. Fruit salads – include borage, mint, hollyhock and evening primrose
  3. Ice cubes– include borage, rose, violets, geranium
  4. Oils for flavour – include marjoram, mint, lavender, bergamot, thyme, sage
  5. Vinegars – include mint, violet, chives, rose, nasturtium
  6. Casseroles – include marjoram, thyme, lavender, chives, sage, rosemary
  7. Butters – thyme, sage, chive
  8. Cakes, meringues and desserts – include primrose, viola, rosemary, rose,
  9. Tea drinks – include lime blossom, lavender, clover, chamomile, mint


Look out for my recipes using Rose and Lavender…

Lemon and Lavender Cookies (Gluten and wheat free)


For more recipes or clinic information do not hesitate to contact The Food Teacher: info@thefoodteacher.co.uk

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