- Food and Cooking
The Edible Marigold
You Can Eat a Marigold?
Absolutely you can eat a marigold. Well, actually, the petals. The petals of all varieties of Marigolds are edible. They have a citrus-like flavor, so they work well for anything that you would use lemon for, except juicing. So skip the "marigold-ade." Enjoy marigold petals in many recipes and as citrus-flavored garnish.
According to the Flower Expert.com: Marigolds are hardy, annual plants and are great plants for cheering up any garden. Broadly, there are two genuses which are referred to by the common name, Marigolds viz., Tagetes and Celandula. Tagetes includes African Marigolds and French Marigolds. Celandula includes Pot Marigolds.
The French Marigolds make wonderful insect protection in the vegetable garden. Plus, moles think the roots of marigolds are distasteful. So planted around the perimeter of any garden they will deter moles from ruining flowers and vegetables.
Have your beautiful flowers and eat 'em, too.
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Blossom Ice Cubes
Making Blossom Ice Cubes:
Gently rinse your pesticide-free flower blossoms.
Boil water for 2 minutes for all the air trapped in the water to escape. Remove from heat and let the water cool until room temperature. NOTE: This will ensure that the ice cubes are crystal clear.
Place each blossom at the base of each individual compartment within an ice tray. Fill each compartment half full with the cooled boiled water and freeze.
After the water is frozen solid, fill each ice cube compartment the rest of the way to the top with the remaining boiled water. Freeze until ready to use.
Making Flower-Infused Syrup:
1 cup water (or rosewater)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 cup edible flower petals (whole or crushed)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water or rosewater, sugar, and edible flower petals; bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 10 minutes or until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat.
Strain through cheesecloth into a clean glass jar.
Keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Can be added to sparkling water or champagne for a delicious beverage. Or, it may be poured over fruit, pound cake or pancakes.
Makes about 2 to 3 cups syrup.
Marigold Flower Petals - Also known as calendula or pot marigolds
Perfect to use for making your own marigold delights or using in your calendula herbal mixes.
How to make Flower Butter:
1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals
1 pound sweet unsalted butter, room temperature
Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse.
Chill for a couple of weeks or freeze for several months.
Edible Marigolds to Decorate Your Salads
Add a few marigold petals to your favorite salad.
Makes a beautiful yellow/orange accent.
Marigold Vinegarette Salad
Here's a summery salad courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.
1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. Signet marigold petals
2 Tbsp. snipped Signet marigold leaves
1 tsp. sugar
Iceberg lettuce wedges or mesclun
Signet marigold leaves and blossoms (optional)
1. In a screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar, Signet marigold petals, marigold leaves, and sugar. Cover and shake well.
2. Drizzle vinaigrette on lettuce wedges or mesclun. Top salads with additional Signet blossoms and leaves. Makes about 1 cup dressing.
Marigold Spinach Salad
Another salad option from Edible Flowers.com:
A green salad medley with lambsquarter, red spinach and chives. Marigold petals are sprinkled on top with a light vinaigrette dressing, using vinegar, oil and herbs. Add walnuts or sunflower seeds to add a nutty deeper flavor.
Some Fun Facts About Marigolds
Marigold (Calendula) is an extremely effective herb for the treatment of skin problems and can be used wherever there is inflammation of the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage; for example, crural ulceration, varicose veins, anal fissures, mastitis, sebaceous cysts, impetigo or other inflamed cutaneous lesions.
As an ointment, Marigold (Calendula) is an excellent cosmetic remedy for repairing minor damage to the skin such as subdermal broken capillaries or sunburn. The sap from the stem is reputed to remove warts, corns and calluses.
In the 12th century Macer wrote that merely looking at the Marigold plant would improve the eyesight and lighten the mood.
In South Asia bright yellow and orange Marigold flowers are used in their thousands in garlands and to decorate religious statues and buildings. They are also used as offerings and decoration at funerals, weddings and other ceremonies.
Pigments in Marigolds are sometimes extracted and used as a food colouring for humans and livestock.
Making Marigold Tea
A Few Notes About Edible Marigolds
Just to prepare you
Just a few words, some warning, some prep notes.
- Never use flowers that have pesticides on them. That means flowers from florists or stores. They are designed to be pretty only. They usually have lots of chemicals to help look lovely. You don't want to eat pesticides and chemicals, do you? I certainly don't.
- Don't pick flowers growing where you don't know they are clean of pesticides, like those growing wild, or in someone else's garden. Unless you have permission, of course.
- Marigolds have a bitter white section to their petals located at the base. It's best to cut this off.
- Add edible flowers gradually to your diet. Too much of a good thing can upset your stomach and disrupt your digestion.
Grow Your Own Edible Marigolds - It's easier than you think
Just to be sure you get safe petals, why not grow your own?
It's not hard at all. Basically, just put the seeds in the ground. Water well and watch 'em grow!
OK, it's not quite that easy, but almost. Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can still grow marigolds. Loosen the soil where you want to plant them. Mix a little fertilizer in the soil, either the packaged variety or humus (the finished product of composting). Marigold seeds have a little feathery look to them, so make sure you cover the whole seed with soil. Then water with a gentle shower. You don't want to wash the soil off the top of the seed or compact the soil around the seed. Keep the seed moist and in about 5 days you'll have the start of your little seedling.
See, it is pretty easy. This picture is my own marigolds growing in a pot on my back deck.