We have come to the end of this budding series.
I decided to end with a trick to put all your foraged friends to use, no petal or leaf to waste: Freeze them!
Start with silicone ice molds of your choice. Fun shapes are always welcome, but I love the look of a natural shape next to a geometric one. So squares it is! Make sure to use a silicone mold so that you can gently remove the ice without breaking them.
I like to put a little bit of water in the bottom of the mold, then place my petals or herbs in, and finish with the rest of the water.
Unless I want the petals/herbs to sink to the bottom, like this purple basil bud here. Then, I place the herb first and pour the water on top.
Take your cubes to a more mindful level by really thinking about the subtle flavors they will impart once melting. Here we have rose petals, basil sprigs, and hibiscus roselles (the "fruit" of a hibiscus plant). When starting off, simply think of drinks and cocktails that would usually call for these flavor profiles.
For lesser known flowers like agastache (pictured below), think about how they taste. In this case, we have hints of mint and licorice. Oh, the possibilities are endless!
If you're looking for super clear ice cubes to let your petals shine, simply boil your water, then let it cool (and repeat) to make cubes that are more durable, melt slower, and won't break as easily. Then proceed as written.
The yellow flower pictured below is a flower we didn't get to, called calendula. They are related to marigolds, so think slightly spicy and peppery.
*** When picking flowers to be eaten, make sure they were grown in a pesticide-free environment (meaning that most florists won’t be a suitable source). Talk to people who sell flowers and even restaurants who use edible flowers, get to know your floral foods, and get creative!
Flowers are best eaten at their peak! Avoid wilted or unopened blossoms. And as always with new ingredients, slowly introduce them into your diet to prevent possible allergic reactions.