Read This Before Putting Flowers On Your Birthday Cake

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, imagine what upping your daily intake of flowers will do for you. According to Thompson & Morgan, humans have been hunting, gathering, and eating flowers since the early days. Cooks in China were experimenting with edible flowers as far back as 3,000 B.C., and it wasn't uncommon to see roses, violets, and lavender adorning the food in ancient Rome. With the growing popularity of plant-based diets and farm-to-table cooking these days, no one should be too surprised if edible flowers became the next big food trend. They look cool, they taste great, and they reflect the creativity and care of the cook behind a cake.

But before you go pulling up daisies or scattering poppies over your next birthday cake, maybe read up a little about which blooms are safe to eat (hint: it's not daisies or poppies), and what they taste like. The right edible flowers can add a burst of color and flavor to your cake, according to Food Network, and you'll be participating in a 5,000-year-old tradition. Plus, your friends will think you're fancy.

Pick flowers that are good and good for you

If your garden isn't bursting at the seams with edible flowers (or if you just don't have a garden), Southern Living says that shouldn't stop you; ordering edible flowers online is easy, and many supermarkets sell them in the produce section. But be careful: just because that pricey grocery store that recently opened down the street boasts edible flowers in their baking aisle doesn't mean your job here is done. Penny Stankiewicz, owner of Sugar Couture, told Food Network that it's important to "purchase blooms to use on cakes that are grown organically without pesticides." This might even mean a trip to the farmers market, where you can have a face-to-face with the person who grew your floral flights of fancy. A Beautiful Mess points out that whoever makes the wedding cakes in your area can probably point you in the right direction for edible flowers.

Once you've got your (organic, pesticide-free) flowers, Healthline says that using them in your cooking is not only a piece of cake, it's good for you, too. The right flowers contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that will support a healthy diet, and some (like chamomile or roses) might even reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, or improve sleep quality. Using a handy guide like Healthline's will help you have your flower cake and eat it, too, and that's just dandy-lion.