10 garden plants you can use in cooking

10 garden plants you can use in cooking

Posted 8th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne

Did you know you're likely to have plants in your garden that you can eat?

The garden whizzes at BillyOh.com have researched some of the unlikely garden plants that you could eat and have compiled a list of the ten you are likely to find in your backyard.

UK gardens are a haven for thousands of small animals, birds and insects with sufficient food each year - however, Brits don't realise that their gardens actually harbour tasty treats for humans too.

For instance, some of the most unlikely snacks include the common dandelion weed, and a bouquet favourite - the carnation.

A BillyOh.com spokesperson commented: "If you’re lucky enough to boast a plethora of colourful flowers in your garden, you might be surprised to learn that some may not only be a treat for the eyes."

"Violets, pansies and primrose are all flowers that look and smell amazing, but if you take the right part of the flower, they can taste great and be a real treat for your taste buds too!"

"With that being said, we definitely don’t want to give off the impression that you should be going around nibbling every garden flower and plant you see."

"Though we’ve listed the specific parts of some plants that are safe to eat, we recommend doing your research before branching out to try any others as some, like foxglove, larkspur and oleander, carry some really nasty side effects if consumed."

1 Violets

Both the leaves and stems can be eaten either raw or cooked and will have a very mild and aromatic flavour.

2 Primrose

Primrose flowers will have a rose-y smell and taste - in some cases, they're even used to make wine.

3 Daisies

They may taste bitter, but both the petals and greens have medicinal purposes.

4 Lungwort

A popular herbal remedy for long problems, the flowers of lungwort carry a fresh flavour while the leaves are said to be good when cooked like spinach.

5 Dandelion

Considered a weed, the flowers, leaves and roots of the dandelion can be used in food and medicine. As a rich source of vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants, dandelion leaves can be added either to a salad, cooked or dried and stored. The flowers can be made into juice, and the root can also be used as a coffee substitute.

6 Stinging nettles

The vitamin-rich food source acts as a remedy to numerous medical conditions, including eczema, arthritis and anaemia. The leaves, stems and roots are edible too, but make sure you remember that until they're dried or cooked, they have nasty stinging hairs - never eat them raw. As a good spinach substitute, they can also be used in soups and stews.

7 Sunflower

It's more than just the seeds that are edible - the petals and buds can both be eaten too. Unopened buds can be steamed like artichokes, and taste quite nutty - they're best eaten with bread, biscuits and cakes.

8 Carnation

Carnations being used in culinary applications is nothing new - the petals were previously used in French liqueur known as Chartreuse, that monks have been distilling since the 17th or 18th century. The petals are peppery and spicy, so will be best eaten with salads, meat dishes or even a dessert.

9 Pansy

The whole flower can be eaten - tasting like lettuce, it's best enjoyed as a garnish. Up close, pansies will have a slightly sweet fragrance, but a unique flavour that sets them apart. Popping the entire flower into your mouth means that as you chew, you get a sweet essence from the nectar, followed by a bold and peppery tang.

10 Forget-me-not

The flowers are the edible part of the plant, which you can eat as a trail snack, toss into a salad or use them to decorate desserts and garnish your meals.

Information and images courtesy of BillyOh.com

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