3 Flower Preservation Methods: Air drying, Silica Crystal, and Pressing

I use a lot of dried flowers in my crafts and basically the 3 easiest ways to preserve them are by air drying, silica crystals, or pressing. Air drying is by far the easiest. Just tie a string ’round the flowers and hang ’em to dry. Silica crystals are cool because they preserve the original shape and color for the most part. Plus the silica crystals can be reused again and again. (An alternative, but similar method to silica is to put the flowers in a pan of sand and bake them on low for about 20 minutes. It sucks the moisture right out of them). And of course pressing is an irreplaceable method to obtain preserved flowers suitable for note cards or other projects requiring flat blossoms.

Edible Flowers

Everyone knows that flowers are pretty to look at, but a lot of people don’t realize that many of those delicate blossoms are also quite edible. A few years ago at the local farm market I attend, one of the vendors had implemented the ingenuous idea of selling “edible bouquets.” They were exactly what they sound like, aesthetically pleasing bunches of flowers that were also one-hundred percent edible.

A few edible flowers include:

Dandelions – Though generally thought of as a weed, dandelion leaves go great on a salads and rival many traditional vegetables with their health benefits. My family has used the dandelion heads for years to make excellent wine.

Squash blossoms – Those big yellow flowers that appear on your squash vines and eventually turn into pumpkins are very edible and quite delicious when fried up with a little butter and Cinnamon.

Violets – With violets both the flowers and the leaves can be eaten. They make beautiful candied flowers are also a good addition to jelly, so I’m told.

Day lilies – These flowers are often seen growing along the roadside. The blossoms have a sweet flavor even when eaten raw and provide a good source of vitamin C. (A warning, however, they are poisonous to cats)

Honeysuckle – As one might image the tiny blossoms of this plant have a sweet taste and go great when added to salad and the like.

Red Clover – Again, generally thought of as a weed, those big purplish globes that grow out in open meadows have some of the sweetest sugar you’re ever likely to taste. These are so good, I don’t even add them to food, I just grab a few and suck on the blossoms as I’m walking through the field. Tasty!

A fun way to use edible flowers is to “sugarize” them. You can make sugared flowers by boiling together a little water and sugar, which will create a type of paste. Dip your flowers in the sugar paste and let them harden. You can then use them to decorate cakes. Or skip the sugaring process altogether and just decorate the cake directly with the flowers for more vibrant colors. No marzipan roses here!
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf