Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July Conservation Tip

Edible Flowers

And the flower saga continues on the blog...;-)
Inspired by a post from West Coast Seeds, a Vancouver based store, where I got most of my vegetable and flowers seeds from this year, I went into our garden, of course with my camera at hand, to see with how many edible flowers I can come up with at the moment. Some are already harvested, like the garlic scapes and the basil flowers, some are not blooming yet, as the sage and the sunflowers.
It is funny, I always admired the beauty of flowers, but until recently didn't much think about their nutritional value and taste...time to spread the word!


Since I want to harvest some seed pods from the Arugula this year, I let a few bolt...what a surprise to see how beautifully and delicate it blooms and the flowers add a nice hint of spice in my herb butter (recipe follows).


With all the animals around here there is not much left for me to harvest...but I remember still the days, as kids, when we would suck out the sweet clover...


The Daisy is a bit bitter, so try to get the smaller, younger flowers for eating...or just use for decoration.


Although I rather leave the pea flower on the bush for later pea harvest it sure gives a pea dish a nice touch to add some pea flowers. CAUTION: the flower of the sweet pea might be sweet BUT it is POISONOUS!


One spring flower, so versatile, it even has it's own blog entry:
Long live the Dandelion


As I just have been told, the Squash and Pumpkin blossoms, sauteed or else, are a big hit in fine restaurants...I will give that a try. But use only the male flowers if you want to harvest any squash or pumpkin.


Great for home made ointments as it has healing powers. I usually dry them and infuse oil with the dried petals.


Love the tasty zing of this colorful flower, great in salads and in, you guessed it right, herb butter!


Our favorite herb for spaghetti sauce, now the butterfly has to share with us the flower, too...


Another one of my all time favorites, have you tried to make Lavender lemonade yet?


This herb was new to me. I planted it as companion for the strawberries...glad I did it!


Great for decoration, I personally do not care to much for it's taste.


The herb is great for salads and herb butter...;-), the flowers are used for pickling.

For more edible flowers and info please see West Coast Seeds post as it is much more detailed.

Herb Butter Recipe

Once a year, at the prime of the herb growth I make herb butter. It's really easy to make and keeps (frozen) for a good year. It's great on all sorts of grilled meat, sandwiches, corn or on a fresh baguette to accompany a salad.

You need:
about 1 lb of butter, either freshly made or store bought at room temperature
salt to taste, 1 - 3 teaspoon(s)
as many herbs a you like, as

As colorful touch and for of course for taste I added the following flowers:

and a bit of lavender

minced garlic to taste, about 6 big or 8 smaller cloves

Use all herbs in equal quantities, maybe with exception of the mint. Go easy with it, since it tends to overpower the other herbs.

Wash, dry and chop all herbs
Wash and carefully dab dry the flowers
Mix the garlic with the salt

Prepare the butter and carefully mix all ingredients together. Fill into appropriate storage container, I use 1/2 cup mason jars, and freeze. The herb butter keeps about 1 week in the refrigerator, but not much longer.


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