How to use Flowers for more than a Floral Arrangement
If you love fresh flowers, you will love these ideas for using fresh petals and leaves for more than just floral arrangements.
As summer wanes into autumn, the garden starts to fade with the change in seasons, but if you still have beautiful blossoms, you can use these in a variety of different ways to bring a more everlasting touch of summer into your home - and your cooking.
dani fischer | flower mag
Ice cubes with a touch of summer
There should still be a few flowers in bloom that look wonderful when added to ice cubes, and they enhance the flavour of your chilled water or wine with a hint of floral essence. Flowers such as borage, chamomile, cilantro, citrus blossoms, roses, lavender, sunflowers, elderberry and dianthus offer a perfect display of colour and a dash of flavour.
To make your own floral ice cubes, use a silicone ice cube tray and fill each cube to one-third with filtered water, leaving enough space to pop in your freshly picked flower petals. Pop the tray into the freezer and take out when you want to add a refreshing dash of summer to your drinks.
Wedding treats - white chocolate roses
If you are planning a DIY wedding or special celebration, there's always the possibility to use fresh flowers to add uniqueness to the display of goodies. How yummy do these chocolate roses look with their sprinkled petals? Flowers such as Echinacea, sunflower and lavender provide a colourful display and just a hint of flavour that complements the creamy white chocolate.
Treats for your sweet (heart)
Why wait for Valentine's Day when you can show someone you love them all year round! Sugar cookies with pale pink and white icing are sprinkled with shredded (edible) flowers. Leave the icing just wet and then sprinkle the petals on top.
Edible flowers and petals
Angelica - With a liquorice flavour, angelica is something you can add to fresh salads or decorate cookies and biscuits.
Borage - With fuzzy leaves and sky-blue flowers, this herb adds a fresh hint of cucumber to a long, cool glass of water. You can also add to your salads, both green and fruity.
Calendula - Cultivate easily in your garden for the edible flower petals that can be sprinkled onto salads and cakes. Or put the petals into ice cubes for a colourful splash of ice.
Chamomile - This pretty herb has daisy-like flowers that have a light apple flavour that is ideal for both green and fruit salads. However, if you have any allergies, test before you consume in larger quantities.
Cilantro - While you can use this herb for cooking, did you know that the flowers are just as tasty and perfect for a fresh garden salad or salad made entirely with edible flowers.
Dianthus - Another pretty flower that can be used as decoration or for ice cubes, the flowers taste as good as they look.
Lavender - We also know how wonderful dried lavender smells in a potpourri, but you can also use lavender to flavour foods. Lavender ice cream and whipped cream is something unique for treating dinner guests.
Marigolds - I often use marigold petals to add a bit of tang to a fruit salad. They have a slight citrusy taste.
Mint family - Mint is always wonderful to freshen up a drink and are wonderful with iced tea.
Nasturtiums - The petals of the flowers have a peppery flavour with a bit of bite and are a great addition to green salads or as a garnish. You can also substitute with Arugula petals or leaves, which also have a peppery flavour.
Pansies - Not only do pansies add a burst of colour to cakes and biscuits, but you can also freeze them in ice cubes. Their wintergreen flavour gives drinks a fresh burst of flavour.
There are so many other edible flowers that look good and taste great, so perhaps take a wander around your garden and see what plants you have that could be used for more than decoration in a vase.