The Best Ways for Harvesting, Storing, and Preparing Edible Flowers
Now that you have entered the joyous world of edible flowers, you will most likely know all about flowers you can eat. So here is the comprehensive Edible Flowers Care Guide to guide you through caring for your stunning blooms.
This Edible Flowers Care Guide will answer your questions about how to get the most out of your edible flowers. It will give you the best tips on when and how to pick your edible flowers, how to keep them fresh and fabulous, and the best ways to prepare them for using to add exquisite charm to your plate
When to Harvest Edible Flowers
When harvesting edible flowers, it is important to ensure they come from your own garden or you know they have been grown without being treated with chemicals.
Here are some guidelines for harvesting:
- If you grow your own edible flowers, pick them from the garden just before you plan to use them.
- Select flowers that have fully opened, avoiding those that haven’t opened yet or have started to deteriorate.
- Harvest the flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried. This is the time when the flowers are most hydrated and contain more water. Placing them in containers after the dew has evaporated reduces the likelihood of wet petals sticking together. Harvesting later in the day will decrease the shelf life.
- Use a pair of good quality snips so that you make a sharp, clean cut
How to Store Edible Flowers
After harvesting, it’s crucial to store the edible flowers properly to maintain their freshness. If refrigerated quickly after harvesting, then flowers should stay fresh for 4-6 days.
Also be careful when handling delicate and easily bruised smaller flowers. It’s always good to have a pair of tweezers handy to minimize damage.
- Use a plastic container with an airtight lid (not a plastic bag) to store the flowers, as this reduces the chances of crushing them.
- Place the flowers on top of a moist paper towel inside the container. The moisture from the towel increases humidity and helps prevent wilting.
- Various methods can be used to preserve edible flowers, such as drying, freeze-drying, crystallizing, and pressing.
How to Prepare Edible Flowers for Use
Washing your edible flowers
- Do not rinse under water. The water will make the petals stick together and increase the possibility of damage. As the flowers are grown organically there is no need to wash.
- If the flowers are clean and free from insects, they are ready to use. If necessary, remove dirt or insects gently using a small paintbrush or makeup brush.
- Take extra care when handling flowers with darker or delicate petals, as damage is more noticeable on them than on lighter or tougher petals.
Preparing the flower heads
- Before consuming, remove the stamens (pollen-containing structures) and pistils from the flowers. Pollen may cause allergies or detract from the flower’s flavor.
- Some edible flowers like squash blossoms, nasturtiums, begonias, and violas can be eaten whole, while others require preparation. For larger flowers like cosmos, marigolds, and cornflowers, pluck off the petals and use them only. Leave the petals on the flower stalk until just before using, as this helps retain moisture during refrigeration.
- Trim off any white or non-colored portion at the base of the petal, as it tends to taste bitter.
- Remove individual florets from the stem to avoid biting into tough and bitter stems.
- Remove any visible sepals or other green portions of the flowers, as they may have a bitter taste.
FAQ from the Edible Flowers Care Guide:
Q: Which flowers are edible?
There is a wide range of flowers that are edible and can be used with food. Here is a list of edible flowers with pictures. It is essential to ensure that the flowers are specifically grown for consumption and have not been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
Q: Are edible flowers safe to eat?
Yes, edible flowers are safe to eat when they are correctly identified and sourced from reliable and pesticide-free sources. It is important to exercise caution and only consume flowers that are known to be edible. Some flowers may have toxic parts or can cause allergic reactions, so it’s crucial to research and follow reputable sources for information on edible flowers. Here is a list of poisonous flowers with pictures which should be avoided
Q: How long do edible flowers last?
How long edible flowers last depends on the specific flower and how they are stored. Generally, when stored properly in the refrigerator, edible flowers can last anywhere from a few days to up to a week. It is recommended to use them as soon as possible for the best flavor and appearance.
Q: How to keep edible flowers fresh?
To keep edible flowers fresh, it is important to handle them with care and store them properly. After harvesting, gently clean the flowers of any dirt or insects using a soft brush. Place the flowers in a container lined with a slightly damp paper towel to maintain moisture and store them in the refrigerator. It’s best to use the edible flowers as soon as possible to enjoy their freshness.
Q: Can you freeze edible flowers?
Freezing is generally not recommended as the delicate petals become damaged and discolored. Making flower ice cubes is very popular though and can be used to add a floral touch to drinks and cocktails.