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The Edible Impatiens

Updated on September 12, 2014

Beautiful and Tasty, Too.

Impatiens, one of the most popular bedding plants in the Northern Hemphisphere, is also a tasty edible flower. Use it's sweet petals to flavor desserts, salads, and drinks.

Although one of the most uncommonly-used edible flower, impatiens are probably the handiest edible flower. Most of us have them growing in some shady location in our yard, adorning our shaded porches, or decorating our northern-facing windows.

Besides impatiens, try The Edible Marigold or The Edible Begonia.

With more than 850 different varieties, and more being cultivated every year, impatiens are so popular they are becoming a victim of their own popularity. Many "master" gardeners are refusing to plant them just because they are so popular. Not me. Well, I'm not a master gardener, so that may explain a lot. But I love impatiens. I love their look and ease of growing. I have many shady places that make them perfect for my yard and porches. And I love to use their petals to decorate my cooking and entertaining.

So read on to find fun and beautiful ways to use edible impatiens in your own culinary endeavors.

Make Flower Butter

Oh, how tasty!

Enjoy a beautiful and tasty accent for your next luncheon, brunch, or party. Or treat your family to a special occasion!

How To Make Flower Butter:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals
  • 1 pound sweet unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse.
  • Chill for a couple of weeks or freeze for several months.

More Great Ways to Use Edible Impatiens

For some pretty ways to add impatiens blossoms to your desserts try looking at these recipes:

Shortbread Cookies

Decadent Chocolate Cake

And here's a great book just chock full of recipes and other ways to use edible flowers.

Word of Caution

Always make sure the petals you choose are free of pesticides, chemicals, bugs, etc.

Make Your Own Flower Jelly with Edible Impatiens

Yummy on toast or bisquits

FLOWER JELLY

2 1/2 cups apple juice OR white wine

1 cup fresh impatiens petals, or other sweet-flavored petals

4 cups sugar

1/4 lemon juice

1 - 2 drops food coloring (optional)

3 ounces of liquid pectin

fresh flower petals (optional)

Bring juice or wine to a boil and pour over petals. Cover and steep until liquid has cooled, then strain out flowers leaving only liquid. Combine 2 cups of this flower infusion with sugar, lemon juice and food coloring. Bring to a boil over high heat and as soon as the sugar has dissolved, stir in the pectin. Return to a rolling boil, stirring, and boiling for exactly 1 minute. Remove the jelly from the heat and skim off any foam. Let jelly cool slightly and add more flower petals (if desired), then pour into sterilized jars. If petals do not stay suspended, stir jelly as it cools until petals stay in place. Process in hot water bath or seal with paraffin. Yields: 4 - 5 half pints.

Candied Flowers

Great for Decorating Cakes!

Crystallized/Candy Edible Flowers:

Candied flowers and petals can be used in a variety of imaginative ways - to decorate cakes large and small - all kinds of sweet things, such as ice cream, sherbet, crèmes and fruit salads, cocktails.

Ingredients:

1 egg white or powdered egg whites

Superfine granulated sugar (either purchased or made in a blender or food processor - just blend regular sugar until extra-fine)

Thin paintbrush

Impatiens Flowers (or any sweet edible flower)

Wire rack covered with wax paper

Directions:

Carefully clean and completely dry the flowers or petals.

Beat the egg white in the small bowl until slightly foamy, if necessary add a few drops of water to make the white easy to spread.

Paint each flower individually with beaten egg white using the small paintbrush. When thoroughly coated with egg white, sprinkle with superfine sugar.

Place the coated flowers or petals on wax paper on a wire rack. Let dry at room temperature (this could take 12 to 36 hours). To test for dryness, check the base of the bloom and the heart of the flower to make sure they have no moisture. Flowers are completely dry when stiff and brittle to the touch. NOTE: To hasten drying, you may place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light overnight, or in an oven set at 150 degrees to 200 degrees F with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the flowers in layers, separated by tissue paper, in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

Time to Blossom with a Comment - What do you like most about Edible Impatiens?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've known about some edible flowers like pansies but not about impatiens and your butter had me licking my lips already....how uniquely delicious...and congratulations on your sweet purple star too!

    • profile image

      peacefullyhappy 4 years ago

      Wow! I had no idea you could eat impatiens! I've always included them in my garden since they are so easy to grow, now I will be eating them too! Thanks for sharing!

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 4 years ago

      Great lens. I wouldn't have guessed you could eat them...

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      flower and wine jelly - now that sounds GOOD! I'll have a chew on a flower tomorrow before dashing out to buy the (now vital) vino.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      I have always grown impatiens but never knew that they are edible. Hmm, what do I like most about impatiens? I like the fact that in the Southeast, the seeds that are sometimes spread by the seed pods of this plant will often come back and surprise you in the summer. Putting a link to this page on my impatiens page. Blessed.

    • namcam profile image

      namcam 5 years ago

      I've always liked impatiens, and I'm also amazed to know that they're edible. Thanks for the info.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I had no idea that impatiens were edible. Very interesting. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Totally cool, I didn't realize it either. Blessed by a Squidoo Angel!

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      we do not have these flowers but if we did... I would try your recipe :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 3/4/2011. Have a great day! I had no idea impatiens were edible.

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Yum yum! Giving this lens an Angel blessing and I will feature it on my SquidAngel At Your Service lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I always grow Inpatiens and had no idea they were edible. This is so very interesting and your products are gorgeous.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      Wow I never knew Impatiens were edible! great informative lens...thanks for sharing!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image
      Author

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      @RhondaAlbom: Thanks to all for the wonderful comments. My current impatiens are just loving the heat and we've had impatiens in many salads this summer!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      I knew you could eat impatiens in salad, but I never thought about jelly or candy. wonderful lens.

    • MeganCasey profile image

      MeganCasey 7 years ago

      Many things I never knew. Nice lens!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image
      Author

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      @norma-holt: Many thanks for the blessing and the Stardust! You are an angel in many ways.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Lovely lens and great ideas. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust - Flowers and also on my awards lens Charity Lenses for Summer Sunshine Giveaway

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      LOve impatiens, love the lens!

    • profile image

      SandraRoseDesigns 7 years ago

      What a great idea! I have impatiens growing and don't use any chemicals on it! I can't wait to use them - at least to start as a garnish! What fun for summer picnics!