The garden pansy (Viola × wittrockiana) is a type of large-flowered hybrid plant cultivated as a garden flower. Pansy flowers are not only beautiful, but they are also edible! That's right, you can eat these flowers raw, cooked, candied, or pickled. They make a great addition to salads, rolled inside edible flower summer rolls, as a decoration on cookies, cakes and cupcakes, or even as a stand-alone snack. Here's everything you need to know about growing pansies for consumption and eating pansy flowers.
How to Prepare Pansy Flowers for Eating
The first step is to make sure that your pansy flowers are clean. Rinse them gently in cool water and then pat them dry with a clean towel or let them air dry. Once they're dry, you can remove the stems and leaves. These parts of the flower are not edible.
If you're planning on eating the pansies raw, you can stop here. However, if you're going to cook them or pickle them, you'll need to blanch them first. To do this, simply plunge the flowers into boiling water for about 30 seconds and then transfer them to a bowl of ice water. This process will preserve their vibrant color.
How to Eat Pansy Flowers
There are many different ways that you can enjoy pansy flowers. As mentioned above, they make a beautiful and tasty addition to salads. See them featured in our Vibrant edible flower salad and Garden pansy salad. You can also use them to decorate cakes or cupcakes. Press them If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try deep-frying them! Whichever way you choose to eat them, enjoy!
How to press pansies:
Pressing pansies is a great way to preserve their delicate beauty. Pansies are a popular choice for pressing because of their flat, wide shape. By following these simple steps, you can successfully press pansies and enjoy their beauty for years to come! Just think about how exciting it is to grow an abundance of pansies in your edible flower garden and then press them, store them properly and use them for all of your baking and garnishing needs through the year. That's exactly what we do at frolic and fare as an edible flower bakery. Visit our post on the best ways to use edible flowers
Picking Your Pansies
The first step is to pick your pansies. Choose blooms that are just beginning to open for the best results.Cut them at the stem, being careful not to bruise the flower. If you do bruise them, they will not press as nicely. You should plan to press them right after picking. Pansies will be usable for 4-6 days if kept in an airtight container in the fridge if you've picked too many or need them for another project, like garnishing a fresh salad. I've had pansies last two weeks in the fridge! But they may begin to wilt much sooner, after day three is common.
Wilted or droopy flowers can occasionally be revived by placing them in an ice water bath for 10 minutes. This helps rehydrate the flower's cells and gives it new life! Use these blossoms immediately after removing from your ice bath.
Preparing Your Flowers for Pressing
Now that you have picked your pansies, it's time to prepare them for pressing. Start by removing all of the leaves from the stem. Once the leaves are removed, gently dab the flowers with a paper towel to remove any excess water. Next, lay each flower on a piece of absorbent paper, such as parchment paper or coffee filters. Make sure that the paper is big enough so that you can fold it over and completely encase the flower.
Pressing Your Pansies
The final step is to press your pansies. Place your flowers between the pages of a heavy book and close it tightly. Alternatively, you can use a flower press specifically designed for this purpose. Leave your flowers pressed for at least two weeks so that they have plenty of time to dry out completely. Once they are dry, they can be used any and everywhere!
Pansy flowers are not only pretty but also delicious! With their subtle flavor and delicate texture, they make a great addition to salads, desserts, and more. So next time you're looking for something new to try in the kitchen, don't forget about pansies!