How to store and preserve edible flowers
Edible flowers have been a part of our culinary tradition for centuries, and today many want use them to add an elegant touch when garnishing dishes. After you've found where to source edible flowers -now you need to know how to get the most of of them and preserve them to keep them fresh and as pretty as the day you harvested them!
Frolic and fare provides beautifully tested recipes with edible flowers so you get the most of their beauty and flavor.
There are several techniques that allow us to treasure flowers fleeting gifts, and recipes that allow us to enjoy their nutrients and flavor.
How Long Do Edible Flowers Last?
- Edible flowers have a very short shelf life and their “best by” date can be anywhere between two days and a week depending on which type of flower they are. You want to use them as quickly as possible after harvest, just like any other freshly picked produce.
- Most edible flowers will be usable for 4-6 days if kept in an airtight container in the fridge. 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.
How to preserve those blooms
- If you want to use your edible flowers for baking or garnishing, you can crystallize incorporate them in your splendid treats, like this Lemon sugar cookies Use our post on Crystallized rose petals for cakes and Candied edible flower petals recipe.
- If you want to admire a flowers beauty - use them in our honey tea spoons or Homemade lavender vanilla honey lollipops.
- Dry your edible flowers in a flower press. Once dry, you can store them in airtight containers for several months. There are endless crafts you can make with pressed flowers.
- Turn them into Edible DIY dried flower petal confetti. Sprinkle the dried petals onto cakes or other food that needs a touch of floral beauty.
- Freezing your edible flowers into ice cubes or Refreshing edible flower popsicles to brighten up any cocktail. Fill an ice cube tray halfway with water, add a flower, and let it set for an hour in the freezer so that the flower stays in the center of the cube. Fill up the remaining top half of the tray with water and place back into the freezer until completely frozen.
- Use them in honey like in this How to make lilac flower infused honey or How to make lilac flower infused honey
- Use them to make floral infused salts and sugar.
- If you want to enjoy the flavor of your flowers with breakfast, try wild rose petal jam and can them for preservation.
For ideas on how to use your edible flowers, visit this post on 11 ways to use edible flowers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my flowers are safe to eat?
- Not all flowers are edible. Even simply garnishing a dish with a flower that is not edible can make you very ill. Be sure you have properly identified your plant before consuming. If you are foraging in nature, use a plant identification app, which helps people identify harmful vs harmless plant species so they don't get sick from trying new things while hiking through nature. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers.
- Most store bought flowers are not safe for consumption. The type of flowers you plan to use for food should never come in contact with pesticides or other chemicals. The best edible flowers are ones you grow organically in your garden. The exception is the very seasonal food grade flowers sold in your local grocery store, more on this below.
- Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside, chemically treated lawns, or areas with lots of animals.
- If you haven't tried a particular flower in culinary uses, taste a small piece of the petal before consuming a whole petal. You can be allergic to flowers. Use flowers sparingly in your recipes due to the digestive complications that can occur with a large consumption rate.
What is the best container to store my edible flowers in?
The flowers can be directly stored in the refrigerator in an airtight, plastic container.
Can you freeze edible flowers?
If you want to preserve them by freezing, turn them into edible flower ice cubes. They will wilt immediately upon thawing otherwise.
Do I need to clean or rinse edible flowers before consumption?
It is always a good idea to lightly clean any produce you are consuming raw. Spray them with water and very gently dry them.