Edible Blossoms & Flowers
Written by Diet Bites
Where to Find Edible Blossoms
Where can you find awesome blossoms and fabulous flowers? They are popping up all over!
Some good spots include: your own backyard or garden, out in the Wild Blue Yonder, at your favorite Super Market, at roadside stands and my favorite spot - my neighbor's yard.
A few caveats regarding flowers and blossom harvesting and purchasing.
Organic Specimens Free of Pesticides
When purchasing edible flowers and blossoms commercially produced, make sure that you ask for ORGANICALLY grown specimens.
Most florists, nurseries and home centers sell chemically treated items - so be certain to ask or you may Out-Glow your Glow Worm in the dark after consumption.
Avoid Harvesting by Busy Roadways
In addition, avoid picking specimens from the highways and byways, as chemicals are often times used for pest control in these areas.
Edible Blossom & Flower List
Squash blossoms, apple blossoms, carnations, chamomile, jasmine, young sunflowers, dandelion, sweet marigold, rose, passionflower, primrose, lilac, mallow, lavender, pea, pansy, onion, hyssop, red clover, rose of Sharon, safflower, violet, yucca, orange blossom, okra, radish, redbud, elderberry, chicory, fuchsia, chrysanthemum, banana, bee balm, marjoram, tulip, mint, nasturtium, pineapple sage, runner bean, linden, English daisy, Iceland poppy, inpatients, burnet, winter savory, dill, daylily, cilantro or coriander, borage, gardenia, mustard and oregano.
Items Needed When Harvesting Blossoms & Flowers
This is one occasion where being picky pays off!
Scissors or Shears
While collecting your colorful hoard of edible flowers and blossoms, take along a pair of sharp scissors, clippers or pruning shears. Why? Well, almost everyone has pulled a rose off of a bush, right? What happened during your experience? Odds are, the stem didn't snatch right off and once you managed to TWIST off the stem, it probably looked Leopard-Mauled. It's not easy to work stealthily when dealing with a tough stem or pointy objects, such as thorns. Which brings us to the next item you'll need to take along on your journey....
Gloves will protect your delicate hands from thorns as well as hiding objects that bar viscous stingers and bites. Oh, those bees...
Be Attune to Weather Conditions
It's best to strike out on your adventure on a sunny day, preferably after a sweet spring or summer rain shower. Therefore, you'll also want to take along a hat to protect your little head from the hot sun.
Dab on some sunscreen as well or you're certain to clash with your 'Lobster With Queen Anne Roses' entree that you're planning on serving to your guests tonight.
If you're planning on being outside for any length of time, don't forget your bottle or canteen of water for hydration purposes. No need to look like a prune over dinner tonight.
Other things for consideration: Spray bottle filled with water so that you can dust your harvested beauties with a light mist to keep them fresh AND a small cooler to keep them crisp and cool as a cucumber.
Sunshades will protect your eyes and you'll look ultra cool to inquisitive passerby's.
A good reference book or guidebook is always helpful when Tonto is unavailable.
Tip: Check one out at your local library for free.
Avoid Wearing Perfume & Cologne as They Attract Bee & Insects Amid Harvesting
Leave your cologne and perfume at home while you are out 'n about or you may attract a stranger that you really don't want to meet. Instead, opt for a light dusting of bug repellent.
If you are harvesting from your yard or garden, make certain that nothing has been treated with chemicals.
If you are harvesting from your neighbor's yard, be certain to discreetly ask them if they use chemicals,especially if you do not own a good pair of binoculars.
The Pollinating Flowers
Please do not be the TERMINATOR of the POLLINATORS. If you do happen to cross paths with a few bugs, insects or spiders - PLEASE let them scurry off or fly away. Lady bugs, spiders, even snakes are essential to our ecosystem and act to balance those awesome blossoms and fabulous flowers.
Being Picky & Snippy: When snipping, allow a few inches of the stem to remain so that you can plant them in water once you arrive back at the old castle or shack. This will keep your harvest fresh until you are ready to use.
In addition, take along some thick paper towels that you have moistened with your spray bottle of water, and gently wrap your blossoms up as you would an uncooked tamale. Ole`!
Potential Life Saving Tip
If you are not absolutely certain of the identity of the species, do NOT pick AND do NOT perform a random taste-test. An unfriendly species can cause your tongue to swell and choke you, which is almost as bad as Hip Bloat.
Therefore, unless you are a biologist or botanist or a Blossom-Wise person, or a Fabulous-Flower-Guru stick to flowers and blossoms that you recognize.
As a note, inedible flowers should never be used for garnishing purposes. Most people will assume that if it's on their plate, then it's okay to eat. Rarely do they ask, "What is wrong with this picture?" AND 'Why is this room painted in Tie-Dye?"
Preparation How-To's for Edible Blossoms
Wash off those awesome blossoms before use. Gently plunge larger specimens into water to get rid of loose dirt, as well as any bugs or insects. I just hate it when I serve spaghetti with squash blossoms and a guest smiles, only for me to discover a large beetle lodged in their front teeth. So wash those buggers clean!
When Wilt Thy Use Me? Safety Tips, Allergy Reminder
Use your flowers and blossoms as soon as possible, or you 'wilt' wind up with a wilted presentation.
Flowers: To keep your lovelies lovely, place the stems into a glass of water. If you are wealthy, you may use a bottle of spring water.
Blossoms: To keep those blossoms awesome, rinse in water then tuck them safely and gently between paper towels. You may layer the towels in you are using several blossoms.
Have allergies? Then you may wish to slowly introduce those awesome blossoms and fabulous flowers into your diet as they may aggravate your allergies.
One Blossom at a Time
It's very easy to go A-I-P with these colorful lovelies but a massive digestive upset is not lovely. So take it slow. Remember, this is a new relationship. It's about your taste buds falling in love, better known as, "Buds Meet Buds".
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