Don’t Just Smell Them – Eat the Daisies!
I take delight in introducing edible flowers to people I meet in all walks of life. Come late June, a vast amount of flowers are in bloom.
Found and gifted flowers are the least expensive, but a few plants – even purchased at a nursery – put in the ground or in a whatever containers you have on hand – can add inexpensive dazzle to your recipes and rituals.
Consider incorporating edible flowers into your Litha celebration, mixing up a fairy cake recipe, and brewing petals to make tea or freezing flowers into ice cubes to add to your drink for cakes and ale.
Some flowers are mild, while others are slightly bitter or peppery. Some taste sweet while others taste like they smell.
A woman who was very in touch with the Fae living behind the house she rented first introduced me to the concept of eating flowers to receive their powers – realizing we are what we eat spiritually as well as physically. If harvested with respect, I sense the Fae are pleased that we are aware of these energies that can help transform our very cells.
Here is a short list of some edible flowers, with most also listing magical uses. Be aware that different sources will yield different information, so trust your instincts and go by what rings true for you.
Remember to never harvest flowers growing by the roadside, or take them from plants sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. Be sure all flowers are identified exactly right; if in doubt, do not eat it.
Daisy: Add petals to salads, sandwiches and omelets. Magically, daisies resonate with the energy of Venus and the element of water. They are used to represent youth, simplicity and future telling.
Lavender: Use flowers fresh or dried to flavor sugar and milk; add them to baked goods such as muffins. Brew into tea or substitute lavender for rosemary in savory recipes (doubling the amount of amount of rosemary called for). Magically, lavender works for love, protection and sleep.
Lilacs: Snip off the small, individual flowers. Great in salads. Brush with egg whites and sugar to crystalize them and use on desserts. Magical uses include protection, compassion, happiness, pleasure, youth and beauty.
Marigold: Pull apart and use the leaves. Enjoy their spicy, peppery taste. Great to add color to salads. Also mix with lettuce on sandwiches. Protection, truthfulness and inner vision are associated with marigold, which corresponds to the element of fire.
Nasturtiums: While they are perhaps the most common edible flower (you can also eat the seed pods), they are also among the best. They come in range of colors and have a sweet and spicy taste. Add to salads, use for garnishes, and stuff flowers with a mousse or crab salad for an appetizer. Associated with air, nasturtium flowers are used in potpourris for spells having to do with aspiration, ethics and festivities.
Pansy: Regardless of color, they then tend to have a slightly sweet, grassy flavor. Use in salads, as garnish or as you would lettuce in, say, a tuna salad sandwich. Pansy’s magical uses include love and divination.
Peony: Add to water for a summer beverage, float some in punches and lemonades, or steep for tea.
Phlox: The tall, perennial variety (not the creeping phlox) has a slightly spicy state. Using them adds pinks and whites to all sorts of summer salads.
Rose: Remove the bitter white portion and use petals in salads or as a garnish. Freeze fresh petals into ice cubes for summer drinks, or brew into tea. The most fragrant tend to have the most taste. Use rose magically for love, healing, luck, protection and psychic powers.
Violets: This family includes pansies and Johnny jump-ups, also known as violas. Put in salads, freeze in punch and adorn desserts. Magically, violets are associated with tranquility and peace. Petals are said to bring healing, luck and protection, and enhance nighttime magic. Dried, they can be used in dream pillows.
And merry meet again.