Thursday, 14 December 2017

Choosing edible flowers


Recently I read about Linda Brennan's new book 'A Delicious Bunch' on the Birdsong Market Garden blog when Racheal wrote a review of the book which she had been given for her birthday. I checked our local library catalogue to see if it was available there and it certainly was so I borrowed it to have a look-see. It is a fascinating read which is beautifully presented and soon had me checking our garden to see if we had anything growing in the flower department that was featured in the book.


Photo used with permission. Taken from Linda Brennan's book 'A Delicious Bunch: Growing and Cooking with Edible Flowers' .

I already knew that you could eat flowers like ....



...nasturtiums...


 
 ...and calendulas.



However I wasn't aware that dahlias were edible flowers....



 ...as well as day lillies...


...which are springing up everywhere at the moment and also begonias and some other flowers. 

I contacted Linda to ask her permission to print a couple of photos from her book as well as a recipe as Racheal had made 'Chamomile and salted caramel bars' for our  Simple Living Toowoomba Christmas workshop and they were absolutely delicious. Linda was very happy for me to share the recipe so here it is:


Photo used with permission. Taken from Linda Brennan's book 'A Delicious Bunch: Growing and Cooking with Edible Flowers' .

Chamomile and salted caramel bars

This is a no-bake slice for times when you need something sweet. It has a delicate chamomile flavour and you can up the ante with more chamomile if you wish.

MAKES 24 SLIVES GF, V, DF

BASE:

1 cup raw cashews soaked in filtered water 2 hours then drained
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
12 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers
50ml lemon juice

SALTED CARAMEL TOPPING:

1/2 cup cacao butter, melted
1/2 cup nut butter e.g. almond, peanut or cashew
1/3 cup mesquite powder *
1/2 teaspoon salt
Squeeze lemon juice
1/3 cup honey

COOK'S NOTE: *Mesquite is the powdered bean of the leguminous Prosopis plant. Mesquite has a pleasant caramel flavour and is available from health food stores.

TO SERVE: Fresh chamomile petals

BASE: Add all the ingredients for the base to a food processor. Process in short pulses until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and begins to stick together. Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper, taking the paper up the sides. Press the base into the tin and refrigerate while making the caramel top. 

SALTED CARAMEL TOPPING: Cool the cacao butter 5 minutes. Add the nut butter, mesquite powder, sale, lemon juice and honey to the cacao butter and beat together by hand until fully combined and creamy. If it's still a little oily, add more mesquite powder two teaspoons at a time, until all the cacao butter is absorbed. 

Spread over the base and chill. Cut into small bars and top with some fresh chamomile petals. 

---oOo---

If you would like to purchase Linda's book it is available from Ecobotanica as well as bookshops and Book Depository also has it on sale at the moment. I can recommend it for anyone who would like to learn about the best growing conditions for edible flowers and how to prepare them attractively for the table. It would make a great Christmas gift for the green-thumbed people on your gift list too.

 You can find more recipes here and I wish I had seen the recipe for Pink Apple and Jaboticaba Crisp last week as the CEO picked two huge bags of jaboticabas to put in the freezer. Do check out Ecobotanica as there are some great gardening tips there as well as recipes, videos and how to book for one of Linda's classes. 


 


 


7 comments:

  1. How beautiful. I am a terrible cake decorator so the use of edible flowers is my solution. Rose and rose petals work well luckily! I will look for this book!xxx

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  2. Annabel your library may have it. It is a very informative book and the photos are beautiful.

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  3. Dahlia's - wow, didn't know that. When I worked in a Garden Nursery many years ago, we used to snack on the Day-lily flowers, the yellow and orange ones are nicer than the darker colours. Looks like an interesting book to have. Cheers Lyndie.

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    Replies
    1. I must try the yellow and orange day lillies as we have both those growing here, Lyndie.

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  4. Can't wait to get my hands on this book. I hope it will be at my local library to borrow. Thank you (and Linda) for the recipe, looks absolutely delicious! I didn't know that day lilies were edible. I've got some flowering now so might have to have a munch and try them! Meg:)

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    Replies
    1. It is certainly a beautifully set out book, Meg. I am sure you will love it and be amazed at what flowers you can eat.

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  5. I really enjoyed your post Chel as I have been into edible flowers lately. When I get home I will check for this book in the library. I used to grow Day Lillies but they disappeared somehow. I also grow the tarragon herb and the flowers are nice for eating and decorating. Perhaps Dahlias in our Winter? I wonder if I can grow chamomile, as I like the look of that slice. Little violas work well too. Best wishes, Pauline

    ReplyDelete

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