In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve edible flowers?”, and discuss the different methods of preserving edible flowers and the potential implications of preserving edible flowers.
How To Preserve Edible Flowers
There are various ways you can preserve flowers to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible. Depending on how you’ll eat your flowers, you can get away with more hasty preservation techniques, like freezing or food dehydration. These include freezing, dehydrating, pressing them, storing them in airtight containers, etc.
Edible flowers are plants that are safe for human consumption. These can be served as vegetables in meals or be used for herbal purposes. Many editable flowers are essential in the culinary world. They serve a nutritional, tasty, and decorative purpose. Just like produce, editable flowers have a short shelf life, so it’s optimal to know the various different methods to store and preserve them for later use.
Let’s take a look at these various ways :
- Air-Tight Container: Once the flowers are completely dry, they can be stored in an airtight container out of sunlight. I keep all my air-dried flowers in jars in my pantry. My pressed flowers that I want to keep intact, I store in a glass container with a bit of paper towel. In dry conditions, these will last quite a while. I have some from a year ago that are still great. Suggested jars are the Mason jars which are known to be the perfect air-tight container for preserving flowers. It has to be ensured that flowers are completely dry before placing them inside.
- Crystallization: A water and sugar rub is used to crystalize flowers that are used for baking. These are placed on the tray and then baked until crystalized.
- Air Drying Flowers Naturally: The age-old way to preserve edible flowers is to air dry them naturally. A bowl or plate is kept and petals and flowers are added to it regularly. The flowers are left aside to dry. It is mandatory to get the flowers as dry as possible with no moisture left. This is to prevent the flowers from going moldy or growing bacteria.
- Food Dehydrator: In a humid or cool climate or it is winter, it would be best to oven-dry or use a dehydrator. Lay the flowers out flat on a tray and turn the dehydrator on to 40-50 degrees Celsius. It will depend on the moisture levels and size of your flowers but it will take between 4-6 hours to dry. It is important to make sure they are completely dry and they may sound crunchy to touch.
- Oven drying flowers: Turn the oven on to 40-50degrees Celcius and spread the flowers out on a tray. If the flowers have thick buds or bases it will be best to separate them out and just dry the petals. This may take a while depending on the size and moisture levels of your flowers. It may take around 4-6 hours and gently turn and mix your flowers around during that time to help them dry evenly.
- You can also dry flowers in an oven at 170 degrees for 8-12 hours. Both the petals and the whole flower can be dried as convenient. If the flower has a thick base or bud it is convenient to remove the petals. For flowers such as Sunflower, Calendula, and Hibiscus, usually, the petals are removed. The base will take a very long time to dry and most of the time will not be hard and bitter.
- Freezing: It is said to put petals and water in an ice cube tray and remove them once frozen.
- Pressing Edible Flowers: Another way to preserve edible flowers is to press them. This can be done with any flower press or to press flowers without a flower press. Simply place flowers between sheets of paper or a notepad and stack some heavy books on top. Press whole flowers or petals. If the bud or base of the flower is quite thick, it is removed and just the petals are pressed. Pressing flowers will take a while to ensure that they are completely dry. Depending on the temperatures and climate it can take between 2-4 weeks to dry your edible flowers.
As the preserved flowers won’t taste as good as fresh, it is suggested to buy flowers only when in use immediately.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to preserve edible flowers ?”, and discussed the different methods of preserving edible flowers and the potential implications of preserving edible flowers.
If you have any questions or comments please let us know.