Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘edible garden flowers’

Nasturtiums

Why not impress your friends and liven up your salads with Nasturtium petals, flowers, leaves, stems and seeds, they are all edible and have a peppery watercress like taste, the flowers are the mildest and the seed pods the strongest.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are easy to grow, have wonderful bright orange, yellow and red flowers and are delicious to eat, sow now to pick throughout the Summer.

Nasturtium seeds are widely available in shops, and garden centres, check on the packet that it is an edible variety. Sow seeds 1cm deep in small pots of compost and place on a warm sunny windowsill at 15-25C to germinate this will take approx. 7-14 days. Grow your plants on and harden off before planting outside after all risk of frost has passed.

Nasturtiums are fast growing and will sprawl across the ground if planted in the border or trail and create an attractive cascade if planted in a hanging basket, window box or container. Nasturtiums need very little attention, they grow best in full sun preferring the soil to be slightly dry, containers can dry out quickly so may need to be watered more often, Rain Gel Water Storage granules added to the compost will hold the moisture in and reduce the frequency of watering.

Start picking from your plants when several leaves and the bright flowers (approx. 6 weeks after sowing) have appeared. Always ask an adult before eating anything from the garden.

Here are some culinary suggestions for your Nasturtiums:

  • Make attractive flowery ice cubes, place the flowers/petals in an ice cube tray with water and freeze.
  • Nasturtium Butter – use to flavour potatoes, vegetables, fish or chicken.
  • Make Flavoured Oils, Vinegars or Dressings using the flowers and leaves.
  • Stuffed Nasturtium flowers – fill large flowers with, cream cheese, humus or guacamole and gently fold in the petals.
  • Include in a Salad or use as a garnish.

Towards the end of Summer allow some flowers to set seed, collect the seeds when they change from green to a tan colour, spread them out on a paper plate indoors to dry out for approx. two weeks before storing in an airtight container in a cool, dry place – you can plant these next year.

Even if you don’t fancy eating Nasturtiums or you dislike their taste they are definitely worthy of a place in your garden they are vibrant, easy to grow and will brighten up any corner.

Gill

Read Full Post »

If you are having a Birthday Party, Garden Party, BBQ or a family get together this Summer why not personalise your cakes or deserts with flowers from your own garden, they will look stunning and at this time of year there are plenty to choose from.

This is a lovely fun Summer holiday family activity, from selecting and picking the flowers to painting on the egg white and sprinkling on the sugar, you may need a bit of patience but the results are worth it. The flowers can also be made in advance.

Select flowers that you know are edible, pick a few at a time, when they are dry, and only choose those that are in perfect condition, make sure that they have not been treated with pesticides or chemicals.

Perfect purple pansies

Ingredients for Crystallised Flowers

Edible flower heads (Borage Flowers, Rose Petals, Pansies, and Violets are suitable)
Edible leaves (Mint, Lemon Balm)
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar

How to make Crystallised Flowers

  1. Take the egg whites in a large bowl and add a spoonful of water, whisk with a fork until a few bubbles appear in the mixture.
  2. Dip the paintbrush in the egg white and brush each flower and leaf with egg white making sure that you cover all the surface.
  3. Hold over the bowl of Caster Sugar and then sprinke on the sugar until fully covered on both sides.
  4. Allow the sugar to absorb and then cover lightly with a second sprinkling if required, take care not to over apply.
  5. Place the finished leaves and flowers on some kitchen paper, and position the flowers to best effect (once they are dry you will not be able to move them), allow to dry at room temperature for around 24 hours.  They are then ready to use.

    Flowers ready for crystallising

Your crystallised flowers can be carefully stored in an airtight container between layers of greaseproof paper at room temperature for up to two weeks.

It is worth remembering that all plants have a certain amount of toxicity which not everyone can tolerate, if in doubt don’t eat them, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Have fun

Gill

Read Full Post »