Edible Flowers and Recipes using flowers

 

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Edible flowers and recipes like Flower Jelly , Flower Honey,Flower syrup

      

                        Edible Flowers
by Jennifer A. Wickes    Copyright 2003
 
Have you ever  been to a restaurant where they have served you a
beautiful salad with flower petals scattered around the plate? Or maybe you have had a cake decorated with flowers on top? Perhaps you have visited a Tea Room and were served flower syrup. Edible flowers are the new rage in haute cuisine. The look is elegant; yet preparing flowers for eating is simple and fun to do.

The amazing part to edible flowers is that in spite of it being the new rage, eating flowers has been going on for centuries. The first mention of people consuming flowers was as far back as 140 BC! Did you realize that broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes and broccoflower are all flowers? Or that the spice saffron is the stamen from the crocus flower? Capers are unopened flower buds to a bush native in the Mediterranean and Asian nations.

In regions such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe and India, floral waters such as rosewater and orange flower water are used to flavor candies to meats to beverages! France has a spice mixture known as "Herbes de Provence" which has dried lavender flowers in it. North Africa has an herbal mixture too, which contains rosebuds and lavender. The green liqueur, Chartreuse, contains carnations.

There are a few cautions one should remember before harvesting any flowers:
(a) Do not harvest any flowers that could have been exposed to animal excretement.
(b) Do not harvest any flowers that have had insecticides sprayed on them.
(c) Do not harvest any flowers that have had fertilizers sprayed on them unless specified for food consumption.
(d) Do not harvest any flowers from the side of roads where they have been exposed to trash, carbon monoxide etc.
(e) If you are unsure if it is edible, then do not eat it. Caution is always the best policy.
(f) If you have any allergies, consult your physician before
consuming edible flowers.
(g) Do not eat any flowers from florists as they have been sprayed with pesticides.
(h) Do not pick any flowers that show signs of disease or have been eaten by insects.

Some of the more common EDIBLE FLOWERS in your garden:

Angelica                 Anise Hyssop
Apple Blossom      Artichoke
Arugula                  Bachelor Buttons AKA Cornflower
Banana                  Basil
Bee Balm              Borage
Burnet                    Calendula
Carnation              Chamomile
Chicory                  Chives
Chrysanthemum      Cilantro / Coriander
Citrus                      Clover
Dandelion                  Daylily
Dianthus                  Dill
Elderberry              English Daisy
Fennel                     Freesia
Fuchsia                     Gardenia
Garlic                       Geraniums
Gladiolas                   Hibiscus
Honeysuckle           Hollyhock
Hyssop                   Iceland Poppy
Impatiens                Jasmine
Johnny Jump Up       Lavendar
Lemon Verbena       Lilac
Linden                    Mallow
Marigold                 Marjoram
Mint                       Mustard
Nasturtium              Oregano
Okra                        Onion
Orange Blossom       Pansy
Passionflower          Pea
Pineapple Sage       Primrose
Radish                     Red Clover
Redbud                   Rose
Rosemary                Rose of Sharon
Runner Bean           Safflower
Sage                          Savory
Scented Geranium       Snapdragon
Society Garlic           Squash Blossom
Sunflower                  Sweet Marigold
Sweet William              Thyme
Tuberous Begonia          Tulip
Viola                            Violet
Winter Savory              Yucca

Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest. Then bathe the flowers gently in a salt-water bath.
Immediately drop them in ice water for 1 minute. Dry on a paper
towel. For best results, use your flower petals immediately (not the stamen or the stems), or store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight.

Flowers can be used for a multitude of dishes:
from garnishes to salads. Try freezing petals in ice cube trays
filled with water for a unique addition to your favorite lemonade or iced tea!

RECIPES:

CANDIED FLOWERS
1 egg white (please use powdered egg whites to avoid salmonella)
100 proof vodka
superfine granulated sugar
thin artist's paintbrush
violets, pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, rose petals, lilac, borage, pea, pinks, scented geraniums
wire rack

Beat egg whites until frothy. Add a couple of drops of vodka to help the flowers dry quicker. Using fresh picked flowers, paint each flower individually with beaten egg white using the artist's paintbrush. When thoroughly coated, sprinkle with fine sugar and place on the wire rack to dry. Flowers are completely dry when stiff and brittle to the touch. They can be stored in an airtight container and put in the freezer for up to a year. A simple bakery cake can be turned into a work of art by garnishing with candies flowers.

Will last approximately 6 months!

Idea: Try a chocolate cake decorated with fresh raspberries and
candied rose petals.

FLORAL LIQUEUR
4 cups vodka or brandy
1-cup sugar
1 - 2 cups flowers

Place lightly bruised petals in a jar with vodka or brandy and steep for 2 days. Then, add sugar and steep for 2 weeks, shaking vigorously once or twice a day to let sugar dissolve. Strain and filter into clean decanter.

Ideas:
rose, carnation, lavendar and mint
orange zest and mint
ginger and pear
peaches and lemon verbena
raspberry and lemon balm
use a dry white wine

FLOWER BUTTER
1/2 - 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals
1 lb. sweet unsalted butter

Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Let mix stand for several hours at room temperature, then refrigerate for several days to bring out the flavour. Can be frozen for several months.
 
Wonderful on breads or used in sugar cookie or pound cake recipes.

Ideas:
use cream cheese
rose, lavender or sunflower
add some herbs: basil, thyme, garlic

FLOWER HONEY
1/2 - 1 cup fresh or dried petals
1 lb. honey

Add chopped or crushed flowers to honey. Loosely cover jar and place in a pan half full of gently boiling water. Remove from heat, and let sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Remove jar from water and let cool to room temperature. Allow jar of honey with flowers to sit for 1 week. Flowers can then be strained out if desired.

Will last indefinitely in a cool dark place.

Uses: Tea, salad dressings, on croissants, scones, muffins and bread.

FLOWER JELLY
2 1/2 cups apple juice OR white wine
1 cup fresh rose petals or scented geranium flowers and leaves
4 cups sugar
1/4 lemon juice
1 - 2 drops food coloring (optional)
3 ounces of liquid pectin
fresh flower petals (optional)

Bring juice or wine to a boil and pour over petals. Cover and steep until liquid has cooled, then strain out flowers leaving only liquid.
Combine 2 cups of this flower infusion with sugar, lemon juice and food coloring. Bring to a boil over high heat and as soon as the sugar has dissolved, stir in the pectin. Return to a rolling boil, stirring, and boiling for exactly 1 minute. Remove the jelly from the heat and skim off any foam. Let jelly cool slightly and add more flower petals (if desired), then pour into sterilized jars. If petals do not stay suspended, stir jelly as it cools until petals stay in place. Process in hot water bath or seal with paraffin.

Yields: 4 - 5 half pints

FLOWER OIL
1/2 - 1 cup fresh or dried flowers
1 qt. vegetable oil

Add flowers to bottle of oil and place in a pan of water. Simmer
water with bottle in it gently for at least 30 minutes. Remove from stove and cool. Cover bottle tightly, and let steep a week before using. If dried flowers are used, they may be left in the oil. Fresh flowers should be drained after one week as they lose their color.

Uses: Salad dressings, marinades, hot pasta, stir-frying.

Nasturtium and herb blossom oils are excellent for sautéing.

Rose and carnation oils make nice salad dressings.

FLOWER SYRUP
1-cup water (or rosewater)
3 cups sugar
1/2 - 1-cup flower petals, whole or crushed

Boil all ingredients for 10 minutes, or until thickened into syrup.
Strain through cheesecloth into a clean glass jar. Keeps up to 2
weeks in the refrigerator. Can be added to sparkling water or
champagne for a delicious beverage. Or, it may be poured over fruit, pound cake or pancakes.

An Incomplete List of POISONOUS FLOWERS Commonly Found in the Garden:

Aconite                         Anemone
Anthurium                    Atamasco Lily
Autumn Crocus           Azalea
Baneberry                     Bead Tree
Belladonna                    Black Locust
Black Snakeroot            Bloodroot
Boxwood                       Buttercup
Butterfly Weed            Caladium
Calla Lily                       Carolina Jasmine
Castor Bean                  Cherry Laurel
Chinaberry                    Christmas Rose
Clematis                         Daffodil
Deadly Nightshade     Death Cammus
Delphinium                   Dogsbane
Dumbcane                   Elephant Ears
False Hellebore          Four O'clock
Foxglove                      Gardenia
Gloriosa Lily                Golden Chain Tree
Goldenseal                  Heavenly Bamboo
Henbane                        Horse Chestnut
Horse Nettle                 Hyacinth
Hydrangea                     Iris
Ivy                                  Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Jerusalem Cherry           Jessamine
Jetbead                            Jimson Weed
Jonquil                             Kentucky Coffee Tree
Laburnum                         Lantana
Larkspur                            Leopardsbane
Lily of the Valley              Lobelia
Marsh Marigold                 May Apple
Mescal Bean                      Mistletoe
Monkhood                         Morning Glory
Mountain Laurel                Nightshade
Ohio Buckeye                  Oleander
Periwinkle                       Philodendron
Poinsettia                       Poison Hemlock
Potato                             Privet
Rhododendron              Rock Poppy
Schefflera                        Spring Adonis
Star of Bethlehem           Strawberry Bush
Sweet Pea                        Tobacco
Tomato (blooms)                Trumpet Vine
Wahoo                           Water Hemlock
Wild Cherry                   Windflower
Wisteria                          Wolfsbane
Yellow Allamanda           Yellow Oleander

This article was originally published at Suite 101.

Jennifer Wickes is the editor at "Cookbook Reviews" and "Cooking With The Seasons", which has been voted to be one of the Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! For more information about Jennifer Wickes or her columns, please go to:
http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/CulinaryJen

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Turmeric again!

Two studies just released from the University of Toronto and the Yale University School of Medicine found that in mice with Cystic Fibrosis , turmeric could help alleviate the formation of thick lung congestion and allow the mice to live almost a normal life. Further studies will continue.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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