Edible flowers have been on our minds at Fieldcrest Garden this year, preparing for our course in how to grow and use edible flowers, including roses, geraniums and marigolds. There are a few things that you always need to bear in mind when thinking about using flowers in the kitchen, particularly when using them fresh. So here are our top tips – when collecting flowers for eating, keep the following in mind:
- Proper identification of flowers is essential – if you are in doubt, don’t eat!
- Pick young flowers and buds on dry mornings, before the sun becomes too strong, so the colour and flavours will be intense
- Use flowers immediately for best results . Dried or frozen flowers are best used in infusions or cooked
- Generally, only the petals are used, so discard the rest of the flower head in larger flowers.
- The bitter ‘heel’ at the base of the petal should be removed
- Smaller flowers in umbels like fennel and dill can be cut off and used whole
- Do not pick flowers from roadside, fields where chemicals are used, or if dogs/cats may contaminate the flowers.