Edibles, edibles, edibles! No – we’re not talking about the mind-altering kind – but the kind we are talking about will definitely prove to be routine-altering! Discovering how to incorporate these edibles into our daily life has been a game changer for us here at the Gardening by Design team and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. Read along for some easy-to-grow florals that you can cultivate right in your own garden and reap the edible benefits! Not only are they a delicious addition to any recipe, but they hold beneficial qualities utilized by herbalists for centuries (and come on – they just look stunning!). Each of us have chosen a common garden flower and our favorite way to use it in the kitchen, we always keep a nice big mason jar of each of these fully stocked nearby for when we need to spice up a dish!
Engelina’s Pick // Lavender
We’ve raved on in previous posts about how beneficial lavender can be! This multi-purpose little herb is just so versatile around the home and kitchen that we’re never caught without it and grow it every season. This lovely perennial is handy as a cup of tea in the evening, as an essential oil for the bath tub, can be placed in a small sachet beneath your pillow at night to help you sleep; the list just goes on and on! My grandmother always insisted I keep a sachet in my delicates drawer as well to keep my undies always smelling fresh! It’s kind of a family tradition passed along from generation to generation and I’ve gotten Erin hooked on this trick as well. Lavender has such calming properties that even just a quick whiff of it on a stressful day can clear my head immediately. You can grow it yourself or buy food-grade dried lavender buds in bulk at your local health food or loose leaf tea store!
Lavender/Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies:
- +1 cup all-purpose flour
- +1 tablespoon finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (from about 8 bags)
- +1/4 teaspoon salt
- +1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- +1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- +1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- +1 tablespoon dried lavender
Combine the flour, tea and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together, then set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, blend the butter, lavender and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Set the speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined. Place the dough on parchment paper and shape it into a log. Using the parchment paper, roll the log until it is about 1.25 inches in diameter. To keep the log narrow, press a ruler along the parchment as you roll it. Place the log in a paper towel tube and freeze for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the dough log into 1/4” thick slices. Line baking sheets with parchment and place the cookies about an inch apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the edges turn golden. Cool cookies on wire racks. (Recipe saved from https://www.stashtea.com/blogs/recipes/85840195-lavender-earl-grey-shortbread-cookies)
Erin’s Pick // Chamomile
You heard us, All-purpose beauty balm. Literally. Everywhere. Yes. We love to keep an extra jar in our bathroom cabinet to throw on post-bath or hot shower! Apply coconut oil in place of your usual body lotion, rubbing all over after a warm shower whilst your pores are still open. This is especially nice following a tough exfoliation (post coming on this soon!) or shaving your legs, as it has many soothing and extremely moisturizing benefits. We like to focus on our dry elbows and knees after a day spent kneeling in the garden. Coconut oil also seems to sooth extra dry patches such as eczema or burns. It also proves as a lovely substitute for massage oil after a long, treacherous hike on sore and strained muscles! Side note, it also makes a great lip chap before bed!
Chamomile, Ginger, and Lemon Tea
- +a small handful of chamomile buds (dried or fresh) – just the yellow center – remove all of the tiny white flower petals.
- +1 fresh ginger root
- +1 whole lemon
Boil your kettle and steep chamomile on its own in a tea pot for about 5-7 minutes depending on how strong you desire it. While this happens, take a moment to enjoy the aromatic scent of the tea (this alone will relax you to bits!) and reflect on your day, I take this time to meditate and chill out. Once fully steeped, add some fresh grated ginger to taste (this goes into the steeping basket alongside the chamomile) and steep for another 3-5 minutes. Remove the basket and compost the contents for your garden! Then squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the pot – slice up the remaining half to garnish your cup and let float in the tea. This is my top sickness remedy and even helps to clear up your skin as chamomile is an anti-inflammatory, so before a big event take some time the night before to indulge in this recipe and watch it work wonders!
Mary Anne’s Pick // Rose
The rose: so effortlessly beautiful in the garden or as stems in a vase on my kitchen table. I always keep this flower close at hand for its pure timeless beauty and scent and especially have a bundle in water at the table when I have dinner guests. It comes in so many different colors to match any mood or occasion. I always gravitate towards cosmetics and fragrances containing rose such as my rosewater facial spray and my favorite wild honey (yum) and rose candle to burn in the evening I hadn’t considered the rose for it’s edible benefits until quite recently and oh boy do I wish I had discovered it sooner! Rose petals and rosehips shine through as tea and in various sweet recipes like cookies and scones. Here’s a simple way I’ve been starting my summer mornings with a hint of rose:
Rose Jam and Toast
- +Wild Rose Jam
- +Salted Butter
- +Whole Wheat freshly baked bread from Bread By Us
Easy peasy start to my morning! Toast some fresh bread by http://breadbyus.com/, melt on just a touch of butter, and top it off with some elcaminofarm.com/contact_elcamino_farm Wild Rose Jelly that I picked up at the Pembroke Farmer’s Market the other weekend. This combination of salty, sweet, and floral is just heavenly! I enjoy it alongside a cup of rich black tea in the morning for a luxurious kick start to my day!
We hope this encourages you to grow and keep a stock of this common and easygoing flora in your household and to try out some of our fav recipes! It was so tough to pick just one use for each herb, some of our other favorites are rose jam and white chocolate gluten free scones, lavender simple syrup for our morning coffee sweetener, and chamomile lemongrass sugar cookies! We guess those will have to be other posts to follow… stay tuned!
Until next time,