Edible flowers have been used in the culinary world for thousands of years and over the past decade, they have become popular once again as. As more and more people are searching for interesting ways to elevate cooking while also leading a sustainable and healthy lifestyle dried edible flowers are becoming a trend.
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How to Use Edible Flowers in the Kitchen
Dried edible flowers are versatile and you can use them in many different ways, from decorating desserts and appetizers to incorporating them in delicious cocktails and even in savoury recipes. As mentioned above, people discovered the value of dried flowers a very long time ago and have been using them ever since. You shouldn’t feel intimidated by the idea of adding dried flowers to your recipes as the goal here is to have fun and to use your creativity. There are, however, a few important safety rules to remember:
- Before you purchase dried edible flowers, make sure you do some research into how the plants were grown. Knowing the source of your flowers is important as you should always avoid plants there were treated with pesticides.
- It is not recommended to use flowers purchased from floral wholesalers, florist shops, or gardening shops as these flowers were not grown for culinary purposes and are very likely toxic or sprayed with insecticides, fungicides, and pesticides. Ideally, purchase dried flowers that are labelled organic, edible, and safe for culinary use.
- Be careful in regards to pollen allergies – a lot of people are allergic to pollen and even a little bit of pollen can trigger a severe allergic reaction. You don’t want to make your guests sick, so make sure you inform them before serving them a drink or a dish that contains edible flowers.
- It is not recommended for pregnant women to consume edible flowers or other risky herbs and botanical elements.
- When cooking with dried edible flowers, make sure they are fresh and free of mould or small insects.
- If you wish to pick the flowers yourself and dry them, harvest them from clean environments that are free of pollutants. If the plants come from your own garden, refrain from using insecticides, fungicides, and other chemical substances.
- Know your flowers – Making sure that your flowers are actually edible and non-toxic is, of course, an important part of using dried edible flowers. To help you out, we’ve created a list of safe dried edible flowers. So keep reading!
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Examples of Dried Edible Flowers
Lavendula Angustifolia, commonly known as lavender is a very popular plant that is appreciated worldwide for its many different uses. It is widely cultivated in Australia, the United States, and in southern Europe but thanks to its low-maintenance nature, it can be grown pretty much everywhere. Dried lavender has a pleasant flavour and a slightly bitter taste. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible for humans, but not for pets as it contains linalool and linalyl acetate which can cause digestive problems in your furry companions.
You probably already know that dried lavender can be used to deter insects, decorate your home, and make your drawers and your wardrobe smell nicer. But did you know that lavender can be a versatile ingredient in the kitchen? Culinary-grade dried lavender can be used to make desserts such as tarts, sorbet, cupcakes, caramel sauce, cheesecakes, and anything you can think of. You can also make many delicious beverages using lavender from healthy and soothing lavender tea to refreshing ice tea, lemonade, and cocktails. If you are not a fan of sugary food and beverages, but you enjoy the flavour of lavender and wish to use it in the kitchen, you’ll be happy to learn that this flavourful plant can be added to savoury dishes as well. You can use it in combination with other herbs such as rosemary, oregano, marjoram, and herbs to Provence and when cooking any type of meat from fatty fish to poultry and even lamb.
A lot of people worry that using lavender in the kitchen might make the food taste like soap, and this is something that can easily be avoided if you fry the plant briefly in fat to tame its intense flavour a little bit. This, of course, is a technique that can only be applied when you make a savoury dish.
Another question that might pop up when it comes to culinary-grade dried lavender is how to store it correctly. The best way to store dried lavender it is in an airtight container. Dried lavender will usually last for about a year, so you’ll have plenty of time to try out different recipes and to put your creativity to work.
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Dried Rose Petals & Buds
Another delicious and flavourful flower whose petals can be dried and used in the kitchen is the beloved rose. Luckily for us, all roses are safe for human consumption, but the ones that smell the nicest will also have the most pleasant flavour for cooking. Some examples of flavourful roses include Rosa gallica (the Apothecary rose), Rosa damascena (the Damask rose), and Rosa rugose alba (the white beach rose). Wild roses have also been used in the kitchen for millennia, so if you have wild roses in your garden, you are in luck. The buds of wild roses are considered particularly flavorful and these roses also tend to produce plenty of hips, which are great for tea.
Dried edible rose petals have a delicate floral and slightly musky aroma that is a delightful addition to many recipes. Rose petals, both fresh and dried, are a very popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. If you want to start using rose petals to elevate your cooking, you should know that you can find culinary-grade rose petals in several forms: fresh petals, dried petals, fresh buds and dried buds, and ground petals.
Dried rose petals can be added to a wide range of desserts such as panna cotta, cakes, brownies, jellies, ice cream, fruit salads, and sorbet. You can add the crushed petals to your cookie dough or batter before baking. If you love flowery aromas, you’ll surely enjoy your dried rose petals mixed in your favourite beverages. Iced teas, lemonades, and cocktails can all become more delicious by adding rose petals. You can also make a soothing rose infusion by immersing the petals or the dried buds in hot water.
You can also use dried rose petals in savoury dishes mixed with other savoury spices like pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, clove, cumin, and, coriander to achieve a nice flavour for poultry, lamb, and other meats. A less common and often overlooked way to use rose petals is in salads. Rose petals can uplift the taste of a salad and work well when mixed with light salad dressings, crunchy greens, and herbs.
Culinary-grade dried rose petals and buds must be stored in a dry place, away from direct sunlight, and ideally, in a sealed glass container which will allow you to notice if they start to lose their colour. When stored properly, dried rose petals and buds can last between one and three years. When you start to notice discolouration, you should replace your stash with fresh ones.
Chamomile is a plant beloved by grandmothers worldwide and severely underrated over the past decades. When your grandmother said that a hot cup of chamomile tea could make you feel better in any situation, she was not joking. This plant has healing properties and it is also delicious. Using it to make infusions is a common use, but chamomile can be used for all kinds of recipes. There are several species of chamomile that are suitable for human consumption, but Matricaria recutita, commonly known as German chamomile and Chamaemelum Nobile, commonly known as Roman chamomile are the most popular ones. German chamomile has a more delicate and sweeter flavour, while Roman chamomile is a bit less sweet and slightly bitter.
As mentioned above, the best way to use dried chamomile flowers is to make infusions that have a calming effect. You can also use this friendly flower to flavour desserts such as ice cream, homemade candies, jams and jellies, but you can also use it to flavour homemade beverages and even liqueurs. People have found many creative ways to use chamomile in the kitchen including savoury dishes, dressings, risottos, and salads. With such a simple, yet flavour plant, the possibilities are endless.
Like most dried edible flowers, chamomile will last for about one year in an airtight container made of metal or glass.
Hibiscus flowers are another great example of beautiful flowers that are edible and perfectly safe. and not a lot of people are familiar with their versatility when it comes to the culinary world. The hibiscus is a tropical plant that is sometimes referred to as ‘flor de Jamaica’ and in some countries, it can even be found in the spice section. In Middle Eastern countries, hibiscus is a valuable ingredient and is commonly known as ‘karkady’.
When used to brew teas, more specifically infusions, the dried hibiscus flowers will release a deep red-violet colour and a flavour that reminds of cranberries. The colourful infusion of hibiscus flowers can be served both hot and cold and with a little honey, it can become your favourite comfort beverage. Dried hibiscus can also be added to other beverages such as punch, cocktails, lemonades, Boba tea, in deserts like the classic Pavlova, panna cotta, rice pudding, ice cream, tarts, and in savoury recipes as an ingredient for sauce, marinade, salads, pasta, quesadilla, tacos, and taquitos.
Other Uses for Dried Flowers
Apart from cooking, for which you should only use culinary grade plants from trusted sources, dried flowers have many interesting uses. If dried flowers remind you of childhood it’s probably because they were really trendy in the 80s and 90s, when you could find them in your grandmother’s home. Over the following decades, dried flowers had a slightly dated vibe, and most people forgot about them completely. However, over the past few years, dried flowers have made a comeback thanks to the Boho trend that has taken social media by storm.
We have to admit that we’re big fans of the Boho, organic, dreamy, and natural aspect of dried flowers, so we have a special section on our website dedicated to Boho dried flowers that are perfect for any occasion and for any type of space. If you love this aesthetic as much as we do, you will fall in love with our modest and charming dried billy buttons that will remind you of a sunny summer day spent in the countryside, with our dried lavender that will make your home smell amazing and keep annoying insects away from your drawers, and with our dried misty that will bring some colour and joy to any dull corner.
Dried florals are perfect ornamentals that will last for a very long time without any effort. This makes them perfect for large-scale events as you won’t ever have to worry that your floral arrangements start to droop before your guests arrive. When it comes to events, whether you are planning a wedding, a corporate event, or a home party, and you want everything to look perfect from start to finish, dried flowers are a perfect choice. Some of our most beautiful and popular dried flower bouquets are Bush Dance, Smitten, and Moon Dance.
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Are Dried Rose Petals Edible?
Yes, dried and fresh rose petals are edible as long as they were not sprayed or treated with pesticides and chemicals or were grown in polluted areas such as near busy highways, factories, or other potentially-contaminated places. All varieties of roses are edible, but the ones that have a sweeter scent will usually taste better. To ensure that your dried rose petals are safe to eat, make sure you obtain them from a reputable source and that they are culinary grade and organic.
Can you eat dried flowers?
Yes, there are many types of dried flowers that are safe for human consumption such as roses, hibiscus, lavender, chamomile, honeysuckle, calendula, marigolds, and nasturtiums, jasmine, sunflower, dandelions, elderflower, linden, etc. Most of these flowers are commonly used to make infusions, but can also be used in many sweet and savoury dishes.
How long do dried edible flowers last?
Most dried edible flowers will last for at least one year as long as they are kept in glass or metal airtight containers in a dry location away from direct sunlight.
How do you make edible flowers dry?
There are several ways to dry edible flowers. The fasted way to dry edible flowers is by using a food dehydrator, in which case you will simply spread the flowers evenly and dry them on low heat until all the moisture from the petals evaporates. Another common way to dry edible flowers is by spreading them on a sheet of paper and leaving them out to dry in a breeze-free location in your home, or you can also sundry them.
Dried edible flowers have been an important ingredient for thousands of years and for a very good reason – they are available everywhere, have amazing flavours, and have healing properties. The important thing to remember when using dried edible flowers for cooking is to ensure that they are culinary grade, organic, and come from a trusted source. Once you’ve selected a few types of flowers you can start using them to make easy recipes until you become more familiar with their flavours and slowly integrate them into more complex recipes.Don’t forget that dried flowers can also be used to create the most amazing dried flowers bouquets and that you can always contact us as we are happy to help if you have any questions about our products!