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Healthy You

Fresh Recipe: Red Gem Marigold Sparkling Refresher

Friday, April 26, 2019 12:15 PM

By: Lauren McRae

Marigolds have long been popular garden flowers—a more unusual marigold, Tagetes tenuifolia, is called a signet marigold. ‘Red Gem’ is one of the Gem Series of single-flowered, edible, signet marigolds.

Red Gem grows to about 10 to 12 inches in height and features fern-like, airy foliage that has a pleasant citrus scent, covered with many small (approximately ½-inch) red flowers. It is attractive to beneficial insects such as ladybugs, butterflies and hover flies, and tends to repel pests. As a bonus, the flowers are edible, with a delicate, citrusy, slightly spicy flavor.


Harvest your Red Gem marigold blooms just before you want to use them, they can be rinsed briefly and dried on paper towels. Lori Wyble, RDN, CSO, LDN, Oncology Dietitian at NorthShore, shares her favorite way to enjoy.

Tip: Plant your Red Gem marigold seedling in full sun in well-drained average soil. Your seedling can also do well grown in a container—try using one at least 8 inches in diameter. Signet marigolds usually bloom throughout the summer until frost.

Red Gem Marigold Sparkling Refresher (Recipe makes 4 servings)

For the Sparkling Refresher:

  • 1 liter sparkling water
  • ¼ cup each or any combination: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries
  • 4-8 fresh mint leaves


  1. Thoroughly wash fruit and halve strawberries.
  2. Lay all fruit flat on a dish and place in freezer.
  3. When ready to serve, fill fruit into a wine glass and ice cubes using recipe below.
  4. Top with 8 ounces sparkling water.
  5. If desired, serve garnished with 1-2 fresh mint leaves.

For the Ice Cubes:

  • Edible Red Gem marigold
  • Ice tray
  • Distilled water


  1. To suspend flowers in the cubes, work in layers.
  2. Fill an ice tray (one that makes large cubes so the ice will last longer) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down and freeze.
  3. Add more water to fill halfway, and freeze.
  4. Fill to the top, and freeze again.

Tip: For ice that's especially clear, use distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled. This limits impurities and air bubbles, which make ice cloudy.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories : 20
Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Protein: 0 grams