Please DO Eat the Daisies! - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Please DO Eat the Daisies!

A salad with nasturtiums and borage, two of the tastiest varieties of edible flowers.  © istockphoto.com/Jowita Stachowiak A salad with nasturtiums and borage, two of the tastiest varieties of edible flowers. © istockphoto.com/Jowita Stachowiak
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By Susan Hall, Studio One Networks

You can grow the main ingredients yourself, purchase them dried, or find them at farmer's markets. Some of the tastiest edible flowers are: apple blossoms, bee-balm, borage, carnation, chamomile, chrysanthemum, cowslips, dandelions, daylilies, English daisies, goldenrod, hibiscus, hollyhock, jasmine, lavender, lemon balm, lemon blossoms, lilacs, locust, marigolds (note: all marigolds are edible, but the common types are quite strong. Look for pot marigolds also known as calendulas), mimosa, nasturtiums, orange blossoms, pansies, passion flowers, primrose, redbud blossoms, red clover blossoms, roses, sweet woodruff, tulips, violets, yarrow and yucca.

Avoid these flowers: Azaleas, crocuses, daffodils, foxglove, oleander, rhododendron, jack-in-the-pulpit, lily of the valley, petunias, poinsettia, and wisterias.

Here are some simple ways to serve edible flowers that may amuse, surprise and delight anyone who thinks flowers are found only in vases (see comments from Real Families for more ideas).

  • Freeze small blossoms inside ice cubes and put in tall summer drinks.
  • Place flowers in a mold and fill with lemon or pineapple gelatin.
  • Chop up the blossoms and mix with cottage cheese.
  • Use as a cake decoration.
  • Garnish, garnish, garnish.

And here are some easy-to-make recipes. Be warned: Kids can help with the preparations, but some may be hesitant to try "funny ingredients", so you may want to serve them only to adult guests:



Day Lily Dressing (Delicious on chicken salad)

What You Need:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 4 day lilies, chopped

What to Do:

  • Mix the above ingredients and chill. That's all.

"It is such a simple recipe and it was a breeze to throw together," said tester Aileen Steigerwald, who had all the ingredients on hand. She added that she was surprised at how tasty it was, but admitted that her five-year-old who helped with the preparation didn't want to taste it because "it's not right to eat the day lilies."



Nasturtium Spread

What You Need:

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped nasturtium flowers.

What to Do:

  • Wash and drain flowers, then chop.
  • Spread on thin slices of bread and garnish with flower petals or chopped nasturtium leaves.




Jonquil Cream Tarts

What You Need:

  • Pastry for 2-crust pie
  • Tart pans
  • 3 jonquils
  • 1 package French vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk.


What to Do:

  • Cut pastry to fit the outside of the tart pans.
  • Trim edges along the pans' edges, prick and bake, upside down, on cookie sheet in 400 degrees oven for 5 minutes. Cool.
  • Remove stamens and all greenery from flowers, wash, drain and chop.
  • Cook pudding and stir in jonquils.
  • Cool 1 hour, spoon into tart crusts and garnish with jonquil petals.




Redbud Spice Cookies

What You Need:

  • 1 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup redbud flowers


What to Do:

  • Remove all green from flowers, wash and drain.
  • Sift dry ingredients together.
  • Beat margarine and sugar until fluffy.
  • Beat in egg, then add molasses and orange juice.
  • Stir in dry ingredients, half at a time.
  • Fold in flowers and currants.
  • Drop by level tablespoonfuls, 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until firm.
  • Remove to rack and cool.

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