The theme for FLOWERS this week is Edible Flowers.
I have chosen seven different flowers that are generally accepted as edible - but to be cautious I will say that you should not eat any plants unless you are absolutely certain what they are and that they are OK to eat. Even so you should always look out for any allergic reactions. Any plants or flowers should also only be consumed in small quantities.
Apart from that you can have a lot of fun and do interesting things with pretty edible flowers.
The five flowers above are from top right:
- Marigold or Pot Marigold - Calendula officinalis
- Borage - Borago officinalis
- Thyme - Thymus vulgaris
- Lavender - Lavandula
- Pinks - Dianthus
The two flowers below are:
- Jasmine - Jasminum officinalis
- Rose - Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll'
Using any flowers in food you need to make sure there are no little bugs hiding among the petals - so it might be a good idea to give them a shake and/or a wash - all depending how you are going to use them.
With roses and Dianthus gently pull the petals apart from the centre and cut off any white heel at the base, it tends to be bitter.
Rose petals have a delicate flavour and can be used in drinks and fruit dishes. You can use them to make jam and jellies.
Dianthus make colourful garnish to soups, salads, fruit salads and the punch bowl.
Both rose petals and Dianthus petals can be crystallised and used to decorate cakes.
Borage flowers have this amazing electric blue colour and they have a bit of a cucumber flavour. You can use them as garnish in drinks, salads, soups or desserts. Cut the stem just under the flower and they are ready to use.
Jasmine is traditionally used in jasmine tea and in Oriental rice and shellfish dishes.
Most edible flowers are beautiful and will make wonderful bouquets - here I have made an arrangement with four of the flowers in an old French mustard pot.
Thyme is a well known culinary herb that has tiny light purple flowers. Thyme leaves can be used in stews, stuffings, marinades, omelettes or scrambled eggs and the leaves and flowers are delicious in Bloody Mary cocktails.
Lavender is another well known herb as well as a beautiful cut flower. There are many ways to use the flowers in both sweet and savoury dishes.
You can make lavender sugar as well as adding the flowers to biscuits, sorbets, jams and jellies. In France it's often used for desserts, vinegars and in the herb blend herbes de Provence.
Marigolds/Calendula has a little bit of a spicy or peppery taste. Because of it's colour it's also called "poor man's" saffron.
During my research I found marigold used both in sweet and savoury dishes as well as for decoration on cakes. (In the last image of this blog post is a beautifully decorated cake full of marigold petals.)
Don't confuse it with Tagetes which are also known as marigolds.
You can make really pretty flower ice cubes with all these edible flowers.
Here is one way of making flower ice cubes:
Fill the ice cube tray half full of water and add one or several flowers - they will probably float to the top - which is fine. Freeze for an hour, and then fill the tray to the top with COLD water and immediately put back in the freezer.
When you top up the water you want to use cold water and you want to do it quickly to prevent the first half to defrost - or the flower will float to the top. You want to try to have the flower in the middle of the ice cube - it just looks prettier that way.
Here are some very pretty Pinks or Dianthus as they are also called - just floating in a vintage sugar bowl. Perfect for giving some colour when decorating the table for a summer tea party.
Last year I reviewed a book called Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher. It's a beautiful book full of sweet and savoury recipes - all using edible flowers.
Please note - that the Hyacinths in the last image are NOT edible!
Titti over on HWIT BLOGG is also posting about Edible Flowers - so please go over and see what she has created with her flowers.
Here is a link to all the previous FLOWERS Titti and I have done so far.
You can also find all the images on my Pinterest.
Have a Creative Floral Day!
See you later in the week.
The Borage flowers are very generously provided by Cel Robertson at the Forever Green Flower Company.
Eat flowers only when you are sure that they are edible and organically grown. Eat only small quantities and be aware of any allergic reactions. Also as always with plants and flowers consider the safety of children and animals.