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Nancy Hogsett

Decorating your food with flowers, leaves and herbs is a great way to make your recipes beautiful and enticing and show off your artistic creativity. Edible blossoms are also flavorful and add color to your recipes. Some tips to remember when using fresh flowers as garnishes:

NEVER use non-edible flowers as a garnish. Always assume that if guests find a flower on a plate of food they will think it is edible.

No flower is safe to eat unless it was grown organically. Sample first to be sure you like the taste.

Gather flowers from your garden in the morning you will use them. Wash thoroughly and gently blot dry. Store in plastic in the refrigerator until ready to use them.

Use flowers to decorate the tops of cakes for special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Color coordinated with your party theme and dessert ends ups being much more special than just cake!! I have used pansies and violas for many years to dress up my baking.

Freeze whole small flowers in ice cubes then float them in drinks for a surprise. Rose heads or violetsin ice cubes are pretty in water. Mint or lemon balm leaves in ice cubes are perfect in ice tea and lemonade. Large ice molds with flowers look elegant in silver or glass punch bowls.

Any food with a flat top can be fun to embellish with flowers.

Common Edible Flower List:

Calendula - Marigold - resembles saffron
Carnations - Dianthus - sweet petals with clove like or nutmeg scent Clover - sweet anise like used in folk medicine against gout Lavender - sweet with lemon and citrus notes
Impatiens - sweet flavor
Johnny Jump Ups - mild wintergreen flavor
Nasturtiums - sweet spicy similar to watercress
Pansy - grassy flavor
Rose - reminiscent of strawberries & green apples
Violets - sweet flavor



About Nancy Hogsett: Nancy has been a Master Gardener for 10 years. She graduated from the University of South Carolina Culinary Institute in 2007 and is a lifelong flower and food lover. She especially likes baking cakes and cookies.

Reprinted from The Green Sheet, a Lexington County Master Gardener Volunteer newsletter, with permission from the author.

Posted May 15, 2014

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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