Surely, when you’ve gone to a fancy restaurant, you’ve seen flowers used as beautiful garnishes on your plate. However, you may not always realize that those flowers are edible, too.
If you’re looking to bring some of that romantic, decorative tasting to your partner or friends’ meals this year, you’re in luck. Several easy recipes teach you to cook with edible flowers from infused oils and jams, baked goods, and even sprinkled over salads.
Edible Flowers: Things to Keep in Mind
A professional chef will have a much better idea of whether flowers are edible or not. They’ll have a better understanding of how much to use, as well. Of course, you can still give cooking with flowers a try at home.
When you’re choosing flowers to incorporate into a recipe, it’s important to keep a few tips and tricks in mind:
*Some flowers, such as daisies and marigolds, can trigger asthma or allergy symptoms in individuals at high risk for a reaction.
*Always make sure the flowers you use are edible. Common edible flowers include marigolds, daisies, chamomile, lavender, thyme, basil, elderberry, mint, cilantro, arugula and rose.
*Don’t overuse flowers in your recipe. Flowers are best used when infusing aromatics into oils or syrups or when included sparingly.
*Always check a reference book or ask an expert if you’re unsure if you can use a particular flower when cooking.
*Always be sure to use plants free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
5 Recipes That Use Flowers
There are lots of recipes for cooking with flowers this Valentine’s Day. Keep it simple with these five scrumptious treats if you’re just starting.
Is there anything sweeter for your sweetie than a cupcake? Adding flowers to your batter can really make a huge difference. For example, there are several ways to cook with lavender in baking and other culinary dishes.
Take this Lemon-Lavender Cupcake recipe, which uses a teensy amount of lavender buds for a flavorful punch. You may even garnish your cupcakes by sprinkling a few lavender buds on top of the frosting, as well.
If lavender isn’t your favorite flavor, you can opt for thyme instead. Feel free to use lavender, borage, thyme, and even rose petals in your cake batters.
2) Ice Cubes
If flower ice cubes sound too easy, that’s because they are. You can use a variety of flowers in your ice cubes, from roses to lavender, basil, mint and even chamomile.
Place a few tiny buds and petals into an ice cube tray and pour water over them. Stick them in the freezer until they’re frozen solid.
When you’re mixing drinks for your spouse or your gal pals, throw in a couple of flower ice cubes for some added color. They’ll look beautiful floating at the surface once the ice cubes melt, as well.
3) Infused Oils
Making an infused oil with chive blossoms is another excellent way to incorporate edible flowers into your cooking.
Wash the dirt off your chives and separate the stems from the blossoms. Meanwhile, heat champagne vinegar in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. In a canning jar, add the flowers and pour in the vinegar.
Store the sealed jar in the refrigerator for about two weeks until the oil turns a blush tone. Strain the blossoms and use the vinegar over salads and pizzas.
If a Valentine’s Day brunch is on the cards, this fragrant and fruity floral jam should be on your menu.
Consider using roses, lavender, hibiscus, orchids or pansies in this delicious recipe. You also have the option of mixing different juices, such as apple juice or grapefruit juice. Add lemon, lime or orange juices for a bit of zest, as well.
Flower jam will satisfy your tastebuds on a slice of toast while clicking mimosa glasses to celebrate your love.
5) Simple Syrups
Similar to oils, making flower-infused simple syrup is rather easy. All you need is water, sugar and flower petals to create some truly delectable concoctions.
Dissolve sugar in water in a saucepan at medium heat until it simmers. Pour the sugar water into a canning jar over your flower petals. Let the flowers infuse the syrup mixture for 30 minutes before straining them. Some flowers you may consider using for this recipe include pansies, tulips or violets.
You can also try an Elderberry Cordial recipe that adds lemon juice and citric acid, as well. With this recipe, you can let the elderberry infuse for 24 to 48 hours before straining the flowers and storing the liquid in the refrigerator.
Options for using elderberry cordials include adding it as a shot to soda water, in champagne and prosecco or other cocktails. You can also stir it into whipped cream over a bowl of fruit. There are endless possibilities when whipping up this simple recipe.
A New Way to Show Your Love With Flowers
Flowers have long been considered a romantic gesture on Valentine’s Day. Cooking with flowers delivers a new way to express your love for your partner and friends. Not to mention, they’re unquestionably delightful in a meal.