I am a crazy lover of flowers - not much of a confession as you already know that! January isn't the most colourful of months and whilst there is the odd hint of 'Winter come early Spring' nature to admire, I do miss the bright and beautiful variety of flowers during the warmer months.
So, I was extraordinarily happy to receive a colourful wheel of edible flowers from Nurtured in Norfolk through the post. If you've read my previous blogs in years gone by you will know how much I enjoy using edible flowers in cooking, having made cakes, ice cubes and cocktails and decorating them with gorgeously beautiful flowers from Nurtured in Norfolk.
If you haven't heard of Nurtured in Norfolk, they are based in Toftwood and with acres of space they provide both flowers and micro herbs to airlines and Michelin Star restaurants around the world. All started by a husband and wife team of chefs who started growing in their greenhouse and expanded from there. It's a really inspirational story which you can find out more about by watching my visit to their site HERE.
If you came to #NoFearLive you will have seen Alex talking about edible flowers with Michael Perry - Mr Plant Geek during our live streamed No Fear Gardening show and some of our audience even got to try some. Its a real family business as Alex is the very knowledgable son of the owners.
I deliberated for a day or so about what to do with my mix of flowers. Should I bake a delectable cake or make an ice bowl or something else very fancy? No time! So, I just started popping them in my usual food. Well, that was a pleasant surprise! My breakfast smoothie and granola looked stunning and a bowl of porridge looked far more appetising with some bright petals scattered on top. When friends came over for lunch, the addition of edible flowers into the salad was a fun talking point - not least because if you are unsure about it, perhaps it seems just a bit odd to eat a flower! But its not odd at all, just pick the colours and flavours to suit the dish.
Nasturtiums in salads add a fantastic peppery flavour and even Dahlias can provide a wide range of different flavours depending on the variety and soil they have been grown in. The Viola's tasted like lettuce but I could pass on the Alyssum!
If you'd like to find out more about Nurtured in Norfolk, come along to No Fear Gardening on 28th February at The Library Restaurant in Norwich where Alex will be talking about how we can use flowers in our dishes and more importantly in cocktails! Ghost vodka will be giving us some mixology tips as well. More info HERE
So find your flavour and colour up your dishes with edible flowers. Great for all year but superb to brighten up a grey day.