Transform Your Cooking with Edible Flowers

Healthy eating
Une salade colorée garnie de fleurs comestibles, avec des légumes variés et des pensées violettes, jaunes et blanches - A colourful salad garnished with edible flowers, featuring various vegetables and purple, yellow, and white pansies

Edible flowers are making a strong comeback in modern gastronomy. Not only do they add a touch of colour and elegance to your dishes, but they also offer interesting nutritional benefits. Discover how these flowers can enrich your recipes and surprise your guests while adding beneficial nutrients to your diet.

Varieties of Edible Flowers

There is a wide range of edible flowers you can use to enhance your dishes. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

1. Nasturtiums

A group of vibrant nasturtiums, ranging in colour from orange to yellow and red.

With their peppery flavour, their leaves are perfect for salads and meat dishes. Nasturtium capers are excellent in dishes like spicy trout tartare with dill (1).

2. Pansies

Deep violet-blue pansies with distinctive patterns in their centres.

Sweet and slightly sugary, they beautifully decorate desserts and drinks. Use this flower to garnish your breakfasts, whether it’s a yogurt or vanilla chia pudding (1).

3. Borage

Vibrant blue borage flowers

With its cucumber taste, it pairs well with refreshing drinks and salads. Borage is perfect for decorating summer cocktails like a grape, melon, and lime mocktail (1).

4. Lavender

Lavender in full bloom, with purple stems stretching as far as the eye can see.

Increasingly popular, lavender is ideal for flavouring dishes like cookies or ice cream. It’s also delicious in syrup for teas and coffees. The choco-lavender breakfast bowl is perfect for enjoying the delightful flavours of this flower (1).

5. Hibiscus

Bright red hibiscus flower with delicately fringed petals and prominent yellow stamens.

Its tangy, fruity taste is perfect for iced teas and cocktails. This flower is also found in some kombucha recipes, which you can find in our Margarita kombucha mocktail (2).

6. Tangerine Marigold

A field of small, bright orange flowers with slender green stems, bathed in sunlight in a lush garden.

Tangerine marigold can add a fresh citrus touch and a subtle sweetness to your salads, desserts, and infusions. It can also be used to flavour grilled dishes like this air fryer orange-rosemary haddock recipe (2).

The Benefits of Edible Flowers

Edible flowers are not only beautiful, but they are also beneficial for your health.

1. Source of Antioxidants

Many edible flowers, such as nasturtiums and pansies, contain antioxidants that help protect the body against cellular damage (3).

2. Source of Vitamins

Some flowers, like violets, are rich in vitamins A and C, essential for good health. Vitamin A contributes to better vision and a strong immune system, while vitamin C helps protect the body against infections (3).

3. Source of Minerals

Certain edible flowers contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are essential for bone health, proper nervous system function, and blood pressure regulation (3).

4. Phytochemicals

They also contain various phytochemicals, such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids. These compounds have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties (3).

Caution with Toxic Flowers

When consuming flowers, it is crucial to avoid certain toxic varieties that can cause severe health issues. Here are some toxic flowers to avoid:

1. Lilies

Group of white lilies in full bloom. The delicate and elegant petals are open, revealing their stamens and pistils, while many green buds are still opening.

Ingesting lilies can cause severe gastrointestinal distress and kidney failure, especially dangerous for pets.

2. Foxglove

A group of foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) flowers. The bell-shaped flowers are a vibrant purple, adorned with white and dark interior spots.

Foxglove contains cardiac glycosides, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and serious heart problems.

3. Oleander

A bright pink oleander (Nerium oleander) flower surrounded by long, narrow green leaves. The flower is beautifully highlighted by sunlight, creating a striking contrast with the surrounding green foliage.

The entire plant is extremely toxic. Ingestion can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and potentially fatal heart issues.

4. Star Jasmine

White jasmine flowers (Jasminum officinale). The star-shaped flowers are delicate and white with small yellow centres, creating a subtle contrast. The jasmine is surrounded by fine green leaves, adding to the plant's elegant and refined aesthetic.

Star jasmine can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Tips for Using Edible Flowers

1. Grow Your Own Flowers

If possible, grow your own flowers to ensure they haven’t been treated with pesticides. Planting them yourself in the spring is also a more economical choice.

2. Read the Label Carefully

If you buy them, make sure they are specifically labelled as edible (4).

3. Clean Them Thoroughly

Gently rinse the flowers in cold water to remove any dirt or insects.

4. Add Them at the Last Minute

To preserve their freshness and colour, add the flowers to your dishes just before serving.

5. Store Them Properly

To preserve unused flowers, you can hang them upside down in a dry, dark place, candy them with egg white and sugar, or press them between paper towels in a thick book.

Learn More About Aesthetic Nutrition!

A wooden plate holds two pieces of whole-grain bread topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon, avocado slices, arugula, and colourful edible flowers, accompanied by a cup of tea and gold utensils on a rustic wooden table.

Want to learn more about aesthetic nutrition and how to optimize your diet for optimal health? Schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian nutritionist from TeamNutrition today.


  1. Kohlman, R. (2024). 15 Flowers You can Eat. Canadian Food Focus.
  2. (n.d.). Utilisation de l'Hibiscus
  3. Benvenuti, S., & Mazzoncini, M. (2021). The Biodiversity of Edible Flowers: Discovering New Tastes and New Health Benefits. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11, 569499.
  4. Espace pour la vie. (n.d.). Principales fleurs comestibles
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