How to Preserve Edible Flowers

How to Preserve Edible Flowers

I grow a lot of edible flowers in my urban permaculture garden. That way, I not only have plenty of flowers for the bees, but also lots of beautiful edibles to brighten up any meal. Edible flowers have so many health benefits and valuable nutritional qualities. Flowers don’t often last long on the plant and a great way to preserve and harness their energy is to press or dry them. This way you can make infused oils, herbal teas and still have beautiful bright flowers to use throughout the year.

What Time of Day is Best to Pick Edible Flowers?

Pick your edible flowers in the morning but after the sun has come up. First thing in the morning the flowers will still be closed so wait until they fully open up. They will be at their best in the morning, full of life and well hydrated. Throughout the day they can lose moisture and become damaged by insects or wind. Make sure you select flowers that you know don’t have any chemicals or sprays on them. I only use flowers I have grown in my backyard as I can have more control over their surroundings.

Should you Dry the Whole Flower or just the Petals?

You can do both! If the flower has a thick base or bud I tend to remove the petals. Flowers such as Sunflower and Hibiscus, I usually remove the petals. The base will take a very long time to dry and most of the time will not be palatable/hard and bitter. Calendula has many healing properties in the base, leave this on if you are going to use it for infused oils and balms.

Air Drying Flowers Naturally

The main way that I preserve my edible flowers is to air dry them naturally. I keep a bowl or plate in my pantry and add petals and flowers to it regularly. Each time I go out to the garden to pick veggies, I will pick edible flowers as well. If I don’t use them fresh in my meals I will just pop them aside to dry. It is very hot and dry here in Perth, Australia during the summer, so they will dry within a couple of days. If you live in a humid or cool climate or it is winter, it would be best to oven-dry or use a dehydrator. You want to get the flowers as dry as possible with no moisture left. This is to prevent them from going mouldy or growing bacteria.

Oven drying flowers

Turn your oven on to 40-50degrees Celcius and spread your flowers out on a tray. If your flowers have thick buds or bases it will be best to separate them out and just dry the petals. This may take a while depending on the size and moisture levels of your flowers. It may take around 4-6 hours and gently turn and mix your flowers around during that time to help them dry evenly.

Drying flowers in the dehydrator

Lay your flowers out flat on a tray and turn your dehydrator on to 40-50 degrees Celcius. It will depend on the moisture levels and size of your flowers but it will take between 4-6 hours to dry. Make sure they are completely dry and they may sound crunchy to touch.

Pressing Edible Flowers

Another way I like to preserve my edible flowers is to press them. You can do this with any flower press or to press flowers without a flower press, simply place your flowers between sheets of paper or a notepad and stack some heavy books on top. Press whole flowers or petals but if the bud or base of the flower is quite thick, I would remove it and just press the petals. Pressing flowers will take a while to ensure that they are completely dry. Depending on your temperatures and climate it can take between 2-4 weeks to dry your edible flowers.

How to Store Edible Flowers

Once your flowers are completely dry you can store them in an airtight container out of sunlight. I keep all my air-dried flowers in jars in my pantry. My pressed flowers that I want to keep intact, I store in a glass container with a bit of paper towel. In dry conditions, these will last quite a while. I have some from a year ago that are still great.

preserved flowers

How to use Dried Edible Flowers?

There are so many ways to use your dried flowers. Here are some of my favourite ways to use them.

  • Herbal Teas
  • Cocktail Garnish Mixes
  • Infused oils
  • Infused Vinegar
  • Cake decorating
  • Everyday meal garnishing
  • Botanical Salts
  • Arts and crafts
  • Bath bombs or decoration
  • Hand scrubs
  • Infused spirits
  • Healing body balms

WATCH my Video on How to Preserve Edible Flowers

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
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Edible Flower Salt

Edible Flower Salt

I jump at any chance to use edible flowers in my dishes and this edible flower fairy salt is one of my favourites! Edible flowers are a great, easy way to add wow factor to any dish. Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are so vibrant and have been abundance in my garden this summer. This recipe helps preserve their stunning colours and I can use them on my dishes throughout the year.

Fairy salt would be a great way to get kids involved with garden to plate cooking. Foraging for edible flowers, drying them and making fairy salt.

Edible Flower Salt is so EASY with only two ingredients!

You could use any edible flowers for this but cornflowers are the perfect size and colour. They lose their colour when they are left to dry on the plant so I feel better about picking them.

edible flower salt

Edible Flower Fairy Salt

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 days
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 days 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Salt Flakes
  • 2 TBSP dried Cornflowers

Instructions

  1. Pick cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) and gently pull the petals from the bud. Lay them out flat on a plate. Leave them to dry completely for 5 days turning them regularly to release moisture. To speed up this process you could put them in the oven on low (40-50degrees Celcius) to dry.
  2. Place salt flakes into an airtight jar. Mix through the dried cornflowers.
  3. Serve on meals as a finishing salt.

Serving Suggestions

I have been using this edible flower salt to brighten up so many of my meals. Simple eggs on toast become a little more magical with a dusting of this flower salt. I also made some delicious salt and vinegar beetroot chips and this salt was the perfect addition.

salt and vinegar beetroot chips
Salt and Vinegar Beetroot Chips with Edible Flower Salt

DIY Gift Idea

I have also made up small jars as gifts to friends. A small simple gesture can go such a long way. I want to get in the habit of taking a small gift whenever I visit friends and family. Whether that is some preserved produce, cuttings, seedling or some saved seeds. You never know how much a spark of inspiration can cause a ripple effect in someone’s life.

Holly 🌱

WATCH Edible Flower Salt and Beet Chips Below

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

How to Preserve Edible Flowers

10 of the Best Edible Flowers

In this video are 10 of the best edible flowers I grow because they are not only my secret ingredient to make all food look magical but, are also great for attracting pollinators to your garden. If you want a thriving, abundant permaculture garden, it is so important to create diversity and attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Important: Make sure you clearly identify which flowers you can eat and are safe before eating.

Watch My Top 10 Best Edible Flowers to grow

Why Grow Edible Flowers?

Edible flowers offer so much to your permaculture garden. Here are a few of the MANY reasons I LOVE growing them:

  • Create beautiful aesthetic dishes
  • Attract beneficial insects to your garden for pest control
  • Aid in pollination by attracting insects
  • Create diversity in the garden
  • Add colour to your garden
  • Have subtle, delicate flavours
  • Add nutrients to your meals

Flowers for the Bees

The best edible flowers are ones that have multiple benefits and interconnected relationships within your garden. Creating diversity in flowers will help bring in a diversity of beneficial insects and become part of a natural integrated pest management system in your urban permaculture garden. A diverse ecosystem is a healthy one.

How to use Edible Flowers?

Edible flowers are amazing natural ingredients that add nutritional value and will elevate any dish to create magical food. Create a “wow factor” by just letting nature shine. They are great for natural cake decorating, salads, cocktails, baking, pasta and just anything really! Add detail, pattern, vibrant colour, and celebrate your homegrown food. I believe that creating visually appealing food can make everyday meals so much more enjoyable. Every day should be special and celebrated and this is just one way I like to spark joy in everyday living. Add some to your peanut butter on toast and BOOM you have a masterpiece!

Important: Make sure you clearly identify which flowers you can eat and are safe before eating.

Which are your favourite? It was so hard to even narrow it down to 10!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

Garden Toast

Garden Toast

Garden toast is something I created one day when I was scraping together something for lunch and all I had was a crust and some cottage cheese in the fridge. I didn’t have any avocado, eggs or anything special to have with it. So I went out into the garden and found some inspiration! I picked two small tomatoes, herbs and edible flowers. It looked like a mini garden on toast and now I can’t stop making these beautiful, tasty creations!

Here are the creations I have made so far..

Original Garden Toast

My first addition with the last piece of bread I had left! I had fun making this and it definitely tasted delicious! Ingredients: Rye Multigrain toast, Cottage Cheese, Fresh tomato, Parsley, Rosemary, Rosemary flowers, Zinnia Petals and Basil leaves.

Fairy Garden Toast

It’s amazing what a little bit of Beetroot juice can do! Natural colouring and plenty of beneficial nutrients with an array of micro herbs and greens. You may even be able to convince your kids to eat more greens with this Fairy Garden toast. Get them involved in the process by having a bowl each to go outside and collect herbs. Ingredients: White Multigrain Toast, Cottage Cheese mixed with beetroot juice or fresh grated Beetroot, Baby Nasturtium leaves, Parsley leaves, Basil leaves, Sweet Violet flowers, Rosemary Flowers, Baby Pink chard leaves, Pink Zinnia Flower petals and Dill Flowers.

Jungle Garden Toast

Packed full of herbs and flavour! Ingredients: Country Grain Toast, Basil Pesto, Orange Nasturtium petals, Tiger Eye Viola Petals, Strawberry Flowers, Parsley leaves, Rosemary Flowers, Pea tendrils, Burgundy Marigold Petals and Purple basil leaves.

Summer Garden Toast

Summer on toast! Homegrown tomatoes are so sweet and delicious and tomato on toast is one of my favourite ways to eat them! Ingredients: Rye Multigrain toast, Red, yellow, orange cherry tomatoes, Purslane, Red basil leaves, Strawberry Flower, Sweet Violet Flower, Dill flowers, Rosemary Flowers, chopped Purple Kale, baby Nasturtium leaves and Fresh Chilli.

Botanical Garden Toast

Pest on toast is so delicious! I made extra pesto and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I ate this for breakfast for an entire week! It was also so good with a poached egg on top. Ingredients: Sourdough toast, Basil pesto, Cottage Cheese, Chopped walnuts, Fresh Chilli, Basil Leaves, Fennel Flowers, Pink and White Dianthus, Baby Pumpkin Tendrils, Parsley Leaves and Strawberry Flowers.

Unicorn Garden Toast

My latest creation and maybe my favourite yet! Purple sweet potato spread is a vibe! Ingredients: Sourdough Toast, Mashed Purple Sweet Potato and Cottage Cheese, Overnight Pickled Red Cabbage and Red Onion (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar heated to dissolve. Pour cooled liquid over Cabbage and Onion), Purple Kale, Grilled Baby Eggplant, Purple Pansy, Multicoloured Dianthus, Rosemary Flowers and Red Basil.

Get Inspired by your Garden

There is always something in my garden to make a toast topping and I love how easy and creative it is! Each piece is so unique and full of fresh garden nutrients! Having these ideas tried and tested means I know I can always whip up something even when my fridge is looking very lean.

Get creative and inspired by your own garden. There is something so satisfying about being able to walk outside and make a meal from your own fresh, homegrown veggies. This is a great meal idea for beginner gardeners who don’t have many established edibles. Just look out for baby leaves and edible flowers (make sure you research and clearly identify they are edible). Baby leaves and flowers can add subtle flavours and turn any dish into a work of art!

Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your creations!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

Top 5 Flowers for the Bees

Top 5 Flowers for the Bees

Planting Flowers for the Bees is high on my current list of gardening goals. Bees are such an important element in the garden and it wasn’t until I really started trying to grow my own food that I realised just how important they are! Previously, although, I knew they were important for pollination, I had mixed feelings towards bees because my dad is deadly allergic. One Bee sting will quickly send him into anaphylactic shock and growing up this was such a scary reality. Today, I continue to learn more and more about bees and I am amazed at how incredible they really are.

Trying to grow food without pollinators can be hard and sometimes impossible without intervention. If you have ever tried growing pumpkin or watermelon you will understand what I mean! It is so important that we try and look out for our bee friends and provide them with healthy, organic, pesticide-free gardens. I am constantly planting flowers for the bees and also letting things go to seed, so there is always an abundance of flowers and bees in my garden.

Having water available for the bees is also another great idea, especially in Perth’s warm climate. If you have a bird bath you can place a flat rock in it so that the bees can stop by for a drink. Below are some of the plants that I grow and the Bees love!

Top 5 Flowers for the Bees

Flowers for the bees

1. Rosemary – This is my number one plant for the bees. There is always a hive of activity on my rosemary plant and I love seeing so many bees in my garden. Of course, it is a staple in the kitchen as well!

Flowers for the bees

2. Borage – Bees love borage flowers and they are so pretty and edible too! They are usually blue, pink or white but often you get this fantastic tie-dye effect!

Flowers for the bees

3. Lavender – is such a great fragrant addition to the garden and you can make natural perfumes, beauty products and it is also edible! Lavender is so easy to grow from cuttings so you can just cut off a stalk and plant it in other areas of your garden or pot up and give as a gift to your family and friends.

4. Sunflowers – These have to be one of my favourite flowers! The bees love them and they are an absolute show stopper in the garden. Sunflowers are also known to be soil remediators and extract any toxins in the soil.

Flowers for the bees

5. Zinnia – I am new to growing zinnia but I absolutely love them! They come in so many amazing colours (even green!) and the flowers are also edible! These are now a much-loved staple in my garden. I even grew them down the side of a fence with very poor soil and they thrived.

Bonus – The other thing I do let some of my veggies go to seed. Diversity in the garden is important and you will see different types of bees like different flowers. Radish flowers for example, always attract our native Blue Banded bees which are amazing to watch! Having a diversity of plants and insects in your garden will help create a thriving ecosystem.

Take the time to slow down and observe your garden and you will start to recognise which flowers are attracting beneficial insects. You may even find some you have never seen before! Most weekends I have my morning coffee in the garden and just spend some time observing without any distractions. We are often so busy trying to do something that we lose sight of all the little things going on.

This weekend I challenge you to give it a go! Make a coffee and spend just 10 minutes or so sitting in the garden or nature and observe. And if you can plant some more Flowers for the Bees.

Holly ✨

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!