Your Edible Flowers Guide
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Not only do edible flowers add vibrancy to a dish, but they also bring forward a subtle flavor and texture with nutritional value. Today, decorating edible flowers on food and desserts is a beaming trend, which is the reason for their growing popularity and demand.
Why Edible Flowers?
There are so many edible flowers to choose from and a lot of great ways to use them. Full Nature grows some of the most popular edible flowers, including violas, borage, cornflowers, calendula, and many others. There are sugar versions of flowers, but fresh edible flowers that possess nutritious benefits beneficial for your health, such as various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Are Edible Flowers Safe to Eat?
A word of advice, never eat flowers without identifying it through a reliable source as not all flowers are safe to consume. Garden centers, florists, and supermarkets may sell plants, but they may have been sprayed with pesticides so they may not be safe for consumption. Always make sure you know where they come from. Same for roses, a common question asked, can you eat roses raw? If they are grown in an organic farm for food purposes, then yes.
Can You Bake With Edible Flowers?
Many bakers use edible flowers to make the most stunning décor for baked goods. They also add flavor to a dish in a more colorful and texturally exciting way. Bakers use edible flowers on cakes, desserts, and cupcakes. To construct this arrangement for cupcakes, it is best to pipe the cupcakes with buttercream and build up the decoration by adding flowers, starting with the larger ones, then adding the smaller varieties.
How Do You Eat Edible Flowers?
Flowers vary in terms of taste. Some are mild and delicate, while others have a strong flavor. You can find details of how to use and more about their taste here. You may choose how to use edible flowers on food for eating in its raw state or only for decoration. There are hundreds of edible flower recipes available online which can guide you in making the most delicious food and drinks you can imagine. At the end of the day, it’s down to personal choices.
How to Store Edible Flowers?
Edible flowers are delicate and may spoil quickly if stored incorrectly. The shelf life for flowers in the fridge is usually 3 to 7 days, but mostly they start wilting by day 3. Once harvested, keep all products refrigerated between 0~3°C. If you’re ordering from Full Nature, keep 2 pieces of kitchen towel under the flowers and change every day as it is used to absorb the humidity from the refrigerator. It’s essential to store edible flowers in the original packaging, and if you wish to change the container, avoid using air tight boxes.
How to Preserve Edible Flowers?
There are a variety of ways to preserve edible flowers to extend their shelf life, including converting into floral syrups, suspending in sugar, pressing edible flowers, and drying edible flowers.
You can use a range of flowers to make syrups to use all year round. It lasts for up to a few months if stored in a fridge and it can be frozen as ice cube trays, and defrosted as needed.
Crystallizing Edible Flowers
It’s a beautiful way to preserve flowers and edible flowers can last for a few weeks when suspended in sugar. The most common method is egg whites and superfine caster sugar.
Use a paintbrush, gently paint a thin layer of egg whites onto the edible flowers (both sides of the petals).
Sprinkle sugar carefully - on both sides and in the cracks.
If you get too much sugar stuck to the petals, the flowers can get pulled out of shape and flattened, so this process may take a bit of practice.
Knock off extra sugar and place on a baking sheet, lined with baking parchment to dry - this might take 8 to 36 hours.
Store them in a cake box layered between paper and kept between sunlight, in a cool, dry place. The color can fade from the flowers if they are kept in direct sunlight.
Please note, tiny petals takes time and patience to crystalize with sugar. The most important part is to coat the petals thoroughly.
Pressing Edible Flowers
Press the flowers when they are as fresh as possible. Flowers with flat faces such as pansies or violas are easier to press then flowers with thick stems. You can buy a flower press or use the old fashioned method of using heavy books. If you use heavy books to press flowers, make sure you don’t mind if they get wrinkly or damaged, though. Use blotting paper and use extra weight on top of the books to aid the pressing process. Take care to leave a few pages between layers if you are pressing more than one layer of flower at once as sometimes, the moisture might cause mould.
How to Dry Edible Flowers
Some flowers dry better than others such as rose, marigolds and borage. If you wish a whole flower to stay intact (for example, viola or pansy), be sure to lay it carefully with open face downward, and arrange flat so they don’t fold over. They will last for several months if stored properly.
Place a few sheets of kitchen paper in a dark place and layout the flowers with special care to avoid overlapping each other.
Let the flowers out to air dry in a dark home, and they will dry out thoroughly after a few days depending on the room temperature
Now let them dry for a day or two to get gorgeous, dried, edible flowers.
Once the flowers are completely dry, store them inside a cake box with a lid with a kitchen in between layers away from light.
If you’d like to find out more about edible flowers or add that something special for your dish, check out Full Nature Farm.