NZ Gardener - Gifts from the Gardens - - Food -

Dress up plain cook­ies and cakes with gor­geous edi­ble flow­ers. Only eat flow­ers that you’re 100 per cent cer­tain are safe. Not all flow­ers are edi­ble; some, like daf­fodils, blue­bells, lark­spurs, lily of the val­ley, rhodo­den­drons, fox­gloves, monks­hood, hy­acinths, but­ter­cups and irises, are toxic. Don’t eat flow­ers from a florist or gar­den cen­tre. More than likely these have been treated with pes­ti­cides.

Pick flow­ers in the cool of the day, after the dew has evap­o­rated. Place long­stemmed flow­ers in a con­tainer of wa­ter and keep in a cool en­vi­ron­ment. Place short-stemmed flow­ers in a plas­tic bag with a damp pa­per towel and store in the fridge. Use flow­ers within a few hours.

Re­move pis­tils and sta­mens from the flow­ers be­fore eat­ing, and sep­a­rate the petals from fully formed roses.

For sug­ared flow­ers on top of cook­ies, lightly whisk an egg white. Place 50g caster sugar on a saucer. Place a flower or petal onto each cookie. Dip a small, clean paint­brush into the egg white and brush over the flower un­til it sticks to the cookie. Spoon over sugar then shake off the ex­cess and place the cookie aside to dry. Re­peat with the re­main­ing flow­ers and cook­ies. Leave to dry for a cou­ple of hours then store in an air­tight con­tainer.

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