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Using edible flowers

You can't just go round grabbing any old flower and eating it willy-nilly. No. Just because something looks pretty doesn't mean its good for you... and that's a valuable life lesson right there.

Here's what you need to know about using and eating flowers:

Know what you are eating! Make 100% sure and then a little bit more that the flowers you are going to eat are edible. If you don't know, don't eat them. Lots of flowers are poisonous and will make you very sick indeed.

Wash your edible flowers. Like salad, fruit or vegetables edible flowers are a natural product grown in soil. Make sure you wash them thoroughly before using and consuming them.

When eating flowers for the first time, try them in small amounts. Very few people have allergies to flowers and so it's better to test them out first. If you know you are allergic to pollen, particular plants or any edible flowers, do not eat them. If you are pregnant or have health concerns such as liver disease then you will need to check whether it is safe for you to eat edible flowers.

Make sure the flowers are chemical free. Don't eat flowers bought from a florist, regular shop or garden centre as they may have been treated with pesticides, fungicides, preservatives and/or chemical fertilisers that may make you ill.

Edible flowers need to be clean, just like any other veg or salad you would eat. Picked from the roadside or other places they may have animal wee, pests, diseases or other nasty unsafe contaminants on them and you really don't want to eat that.

Store your edible flowers in a cool, dry place (refrigerator) in an air-tight container. They are at their best when eaten within a couple of days of picking and never eat flowers that are mouldy, rotten or old.

Only eat the petals (most of the time). In some cases you can eat whole flowers or buds but check first which flowers they are.

Make sure you know how to wash, prepare and cook flowers safely and to get the best from them.

And them's the rules!