In this edited extract from their beautiful book Root to Bloom, authors Jocelyn Cross and Mat Pember write about the medicinal, magical, and culinary properties of edible flowers.
Root to Bloom is the essential handbook for anyone wanting to grow, eat, and celebrate every part of their plants written by Mat, a best-selling gardening author and founder of Melbourne-based Little Veggie Patch Co., and Jocelyn, founder of the country’s most sought-after edible flower brand, Petite Ingredient. The book, published by Hardie Grant Books with photography by Bonnie Savage, is available now.
Read on to learn more about creative ways to use, preserve, and cook with edible flowers.
If you’re keen to learn more, join our Kitchen Table Chat with author Jocelyn Cross at Kitchen Warehouse Preston plus Petite Ingredient pop up on September 1st.
As gardeners, it is drilled into us that it’s a bad thing to let herbs and edible plants go to flower, but doing so allows you to benefit from every stage of a plant’s life, and produces another exciting ingredient: the edible flower.
What is so wonderful about preserving edible flowers though, is that cooking our blooms intensifies their incredible flavours and colours.
1. Create edible flower sugar
Flower sugar is a quick and easy way to bottle the heady scent of summer blooms and can be used your baking year-round. Sprinkle the sugar over hotcakes, or use it to make cakes and desserts; it is very versatile.
2. Dry your edible flowers
Drying flowers is a simple way to preserve the beauty of your garden long after the flowering season has ended.
To ensure the best colour, cut flowers just before they are fully open and opt for darker drying locations.
3. Whip up rose petal jam
I like to use pink or red roses for natural colour in this recipe.
4. Create edible flower ice blocks
Flower ice blocks are a fun and pretty way to finish your summer drinks.
Place a flower or petal in each ice cube and half fill with water. Freeze for 1 hour, or until ice begins to form, then fill ice trays to the top.
5. Make crystallised edible flowers
Make these the crowning glory of your cakes. Click here for the full recipe.