People often ask us if there’s some way they can save leftover edible flowers. Unfortunately most varieties don’t freeze well (read Can I freeze edible flowers? for details). However, we’ve discovered that many larger flowers can be dehydrated while maintaining a certain amount of their visual charm.
How to Dehydrate Flowers
1. Set your dehydrator to 120 degrees (or if it won’t go that low, as low as possible).
2. Lay the flowers out on the trays in single layers.
3. Dehydrate for several hours, checking them occasionally and removing any blossoms that are completely dry. Check more often as they get close to finishing.
4. Store dehydrated flowers in an air-tight container in a cool, dark, dry place.
In our experience thinner flowers take 4-8 hours to dry while thicker varieties (rose buds, etc) can take 1-2 days.
Flavor/Texture Results of Dehydrating By Variety
While we sell many more types of edible flowers, here are the results for dehydrating the specific varieties we’ve tested:
Calendula – Citrusy, grassy flavor. They’re rather leathery whole…we recommend grinding or non-culinary decorative use.
Chive Blossoms – We don’t recommend drying chive blossoms because they really lose the look and flavor that made them special. Once dried they have a very oniony flavor – much more harsh than fresh blossoms. Their texture was crisp but a little scratchy. They could probably be ground.
Marigolds – citrusy, grassy with a bitter finish. Their texture is unpleasant when eaten whole – so we recommend grinding or non-culinary decorative use.
Orchids – petals crisp up like potato chips…they’re actually pretty nice, but something in the base of the flower gets extremely crunchy (almost unpleasantly so).
Pansies – could be eaten whole, but the blossoms have a leathery yet brittle texture that makes them a tad chewy. Slightly grassy & minty. Try grinding them for use in butter, rimming cocktail glasses, etc.
Roses – Stiff & tough with a soapy flavor. They could be used decoratively, but we do not recommend serving them to be eaten. Dehydrated crimson roses make a beautiful colored sugar, but its flavor can be soapy.
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