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NO BAKE LILAC BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE (6-inch)

Korean Radish shidonna raven

Source: Culture Eatz

Ingredients

  • Lilac flowers (pesticide free)
  • egg white
  • fine granular sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup crushed granola
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lilac flowers, stems removed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lilac vodka (see notes)
  • 1 cup blueberries + extra for decoration

Instructions

  1. Candied Lilacs: thin an egg white with a bit of water and beat well. Dip flowers in and shake excess off. Pour the sugar over the flowers with a spoon to cover completely. Leave to dry on a parchment paper for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Crust: add butter, brown sugar, granola and salt to a food processor. Pulse until combined. Pour into a 6 inch springform pan, press down evenly with a spoon and refrigerate.
  3. Add gelatin to boiling water to soften and set aside.
  4. In the a food processor, mix condensed milk and lemon juice and pulse until a bit thickened.
  5. Add in the cream cheese, gelatin, lilac flowers and vodka, and the ricotta. Pulse until combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Pour half of the filling evenly over the crust in the cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of blueberries over the filling. Set aside.
  7. To the remaining filling add 1/2 cup of blueberries and pulse until blended.
  8. Pour the filling gently over the blueberries and spread evenly on the top.
  9. Refrigerate overnight and decorate with extra blueberries and candied lilacs if desired.

Notes

Lilac Vodka: in a small jar pack some lilac flowers and cover with vodka. Shake the jar once a day for 2 weeks. Strain out the flowers.

Flowers often go under used when it comes to cooking and baking? How can you incorporate edible flowers into your recipes? How do you use edible flowers now? Which flowers will you grow?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Spring Salad with Edible Flowers

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: The View from Great Island

Ingredients

  • 5 ounce clamshell pack of baby spring greens mix
  • 1 small sweet onion such as Vidalia Maui, or any generic sweet onion
  • assorted edible flowers
  • 1/4 cup dressing of your choice

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the onion into paper thin rounds. The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline slicer. if you don’t have one, just get them as thin as you can. Separate the rings.
  • Put the dressing at the bottom of a very large salad bowl.
  • Put the greens and onions into the bowl, but don’t mix with the dressing.
  • Scatter the edible flowers across the top of the salad.
  • Bring the salad to the table and toss with the dressing just before serving.
  • Alternately you can serve the dressing on the side.

Notes:

  • Be careful to only use the blossoms of these edible flowers…other parts of the plant, such as the leaves, etc.,  may be inedible.
  • To store edible flowers for a short time, either put them in water, if they still have their stems, and put that in the refrigerator, or line a plastic storage container with a damp paper towel and lay them out in a single layer, cover, and put in the refrigerator.  Plan to use them asap.

What a quick and easy salad. This is such an easy way to incorporate flowers into ones plate. Which flowers will you use? Which flowers will you grow? Try the recipe and let us know what you think.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Edible petals pack nutrients

echinacea plant shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: The Seattle Times
By Barbara Quinn /The Monterey County Herald

No, I wasn’t attracted to this wine promotion just because it is the same name as my nephew, Josh. I was curious with this company’s idea that the scent of a spring flower is much like the aroma of a favorite glass of wine.

We can do more than just smell flowers this spring. Many of these pretties are edible, say plant experts. Add flower petals to salads, cheese spreads or salad dressings. Freeze them in ice cubes to dress up cold beverages. Some flowers can even be used to make wine.

The scientific name for people who eat flowers for food is floriphagia (flori-FA-gea). And it’s not a particularly new practice, say food historians. Native Americans for example, have long enjoyed eating blossoms from pumpkin and squash plants.

Edible flowers can also contribute to our nutritional health, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Although nutritional analyses of edible flowers is limited, researchers have identified several nutrients in the petals of flowers including vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron and potassium.

Colorful flowers also signal the presence of phytochemicals (natural substances in plants) found to be beneficial to human health. Pigments that make roses red and nasturtiums orange for example, are rich in substances called polyphenols. These compounds are rich in antioxidant properties, which may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Be cautious before imbibing on any flower in the garden, however. Some plants and their flowers are poisonous, caution experts at the Oregon Poison Center: ohsu.edu/xd/outreach/oregon-poison-center/you-and-your-family/plantsafety.cfm

Further, do not eat flowers purchased at a nursery or roadside stand unless it is labeled as edible. And avoid any flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides not approved for edible plants or grown in soil fertilized with untreated manure (that which has not been composted).

And if you suffer with allergies or hay fever this time of year, flower pollen might not be the best idea.

Here are a few edible flower offerings:

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is dark burgundy colored and has the aroma of dark chocolate … yum. Add the petals or young leaves to salads, say culinary experts. Enjoy with a glass of Cabernet Savignon, say experts at Josh Cellars.

Rose petals: Rose hips — the round part of the flower just below the petals — have been found to contain vitamin C, a potent antioxidant nutrient. And if roses smell good, they will probably taste good, say food experts. Use rose petals to garnish summer beverages and fruit dishes. Rose petals also make attractive cake decorations.

Lavender: Use lavender flowers in sweet as well as savory dishes, say garden experts Thompson & Morgan. Or check out the Lavender Harvest Celebration this summer at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, Calif., with a sumptuous lunch buffet infused with lavender delicacies. (My favorite in years past was lavender lemonade.)

Nasturtium: If you can learn to spell these delightful garden climbers, you deserve to eat them. Nasturtiums are related to the cruciferous vegetable family known for their cancer-fighting abilities. Similar in taste to its close family member watercress, Nasturtium leaves and flowers have a peppery flavor that can spice up salads or sandwiches. Use the flowers to garnish steaks or casseroles, suggests Thompson & Morgan.

By the way Dandelion — the flower I love to hate — is also edible if it’s not soaked in pesticide. Some folks even make wine from it. I think I’ll stick to a nice chardonnay.Barbara Quinn /

Which flowers do you like best? What are the nutritional and dietary benefits? Which flowers will you grow?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Edible Flower Garden

There are many types of gardens from vegetable, to kitchen to the flower garden. Your flower gardens can be for more than making beautiful arrangements, creating a rain garden or gracing your yard. Flower gardens can also be edible. Edible gardens can include flowers used to make teas, tinctures, salads, fried garnishes, cups, deserts, ice cubes and more. The possibilities seem as endless as your culinary imagination. Indeed many chefs world-wide enjoy using these delicate edibles.

Which type of garden will you grow? Where will your garden be located: on a kitchen sill, a porch or in your yard? What purposes will your garden serve: managing flood waters or gracing your plates with fruits from your garden? How many seasons will you have your garden?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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For the Love of Lavender

Lavender Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We started most of our seedling early in the season inside our mini greenhouse, which is actually a garage with several windows. Lavender was one of the plants we started in our mini greenhouse. We started our seedlings in February just before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. Since the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for a host of reasons. Since our growing season for the seeds we planted did not began until March we planted inside in February and then transplanted them into the outside garden when the season began. There are several benefits to growing in greenhouses. Many gardeners and farmers use greenhouses or some type of greenhouse system to lengthen the growing season. Indeed I have seen some gardeners and farmers growing in snow season. Our homes are a sort of greenhouse for the plants we keep indoors. The plants needs are not the same when they are inside or in some type of greenhouse structure. Richard Bray gives an excellent brake down of the greenhouse in their many forms in “Greenhouse Gardening” . What was most helpful about “Greenhouse Gardening” was understanding how to create an environment in which plants can grow indoors. Bray reminds us that plants have different needs than we do when indoors and that their needs change when they are indoors as oppose to outdoors. Read our review of “Greenhouse Gardening” to learn more. “Greenhouse Gardening” can be found here.

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greenhouse shidonna raven garden and cook
Mini Greenhouse
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Lavender was one of those plants we struggled with until we had a better understanding of how to care for our plants inside our mini greenhouse. She grew from a simple shoot into a shoot with several leaves. We re-potted her and brought her outdoors once the growing season began here in Norfolk, VA, USA. We were not certain if she would make it. But, these plants will surprise you. Just when you think they will not make it they come back in big and powerful ways. As you can see lavender has gown into a host of shoots with leaves and what we believe will grow into stems of lavender blossoms. We know a few people who like lavender so we kept sowing her until she grew into the large plant picture above. For gardeners and farmers alike the growing process can be one of trail and error even for the masters. Many have great difficulty growing lavender, so we were pleasantly surprise to see her flourishing. One thing to remember about lavender is to keep her well drained and sparsely watered. She does not like much water and her seeds must be properly prepared.

Did you know that besides smelling amazing lavender is an edible flower? Which edible flowers do you like? Many of us enjoy these flowers for their medicinal purposes (such as echinacea). Which edible flowers are your favorite? How do you eat them? We also know several tea drinkers. Share your comments with the community below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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MiMi’s Response

Cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

We are surrounded by nature and God’s wonders constantly. But, when one slows down or stops to take a closer look, things begin to look a little different. One can see how the small and simple things are connected to the big and profound things. Indeed when you observe nature and all its wonders the discoveries are endless. Scientist have only begun to scratch the surface in some areas. So, when MiMi saw her Cynoglossum Amabile blossom, she had a sense of awww that I have heard many adults echo as the garden grew one sprout at a time. It is easy to stand in aww of God when you see how a little water, soil, seed and sunlight can transform a tiny seed into trees and if we are lucky a delicious watermelon.

How have you observed the wonder of God? Many people have simply said “wow” in response to the progress of the garden. What were your “wow” moments? MiMi and Mom decided to start growing their own edible flowers and purchased a growing kit. How can you start your own “wow” moments? Share your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvest & Cook

Harvesting has been slow but sure. So, we decided to cook up what we had since it was ripe and ready. We had one sole bean pod that was ready to harvest. Although there are a few more on the plant. And we harvested a few leaves from our kitchen parsley plant leaving some leaves to continue the growth process. We encrusted the chicken with the kitchen garden fresh parsley and garnished a salad with cooked garden fresh beans from the outside garden. We finished this meal off with an Organic lemon squeezed into a cup of water. We are looking forward to the harvest increasing so we can cook fuller meals with more garden vegetables, fruits, herbs and beans included. Stay tuned for what we cook up next.

We are so curious. What are your favorite recipes? We know a couple of you out there with kitchen gardens with edible vegetables and flowers. What have you been cooking up? Send us an email with photos. We love photos as you can tell. We hope you do too. What should we cook up next? Did you know that you can make the same fresh squeezed Organic Lemon drink also for under $2? How much do you spend on soft drinks?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvesting Edible Flowers

How to harvest edible flowers

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Harvesting Edible Flowers
Source: DC
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Again, we know a few of you have edible flowers in your garden, so we wanted to talk a little bit about how you harvest them to eat. We also wanted to explore the range of options for preparing and cooking edible flowers. What did you learn? What will you make? Which edible flowers do you have. Send us a photo and we will share it with the community.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Squash Flowers

SQUASH Garden BLOSSOMS, All WHAT you NEED to KNOW - Identify, Hand Pollinating, Harvesting, Edible.

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Edible Squash Flowers
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Since pumpkin is a winter squash we decided to share this video with you. As you know we have several flowers in bloom on our Pumpkin plant. Come by our neighborhood garden and pick up a few and try some of the recipes mentioned in this article! We plan on adding them to a salad soon. Do you have some edible flower recipes? Share them with the community in a post! What are some of your favorite edible flower? Never had one? Are you sure? What is your favorite tea? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Garden in Bloom

Korean Radish Plant

The Garden is in full bloom all over with many plants sporting flowers. Pictured below you can see Cilantro on the front porch in plenty of shade from the sweltering heat. The Korean Radishes in the garden have grown up tall from little sprouts peeking out from the dirt to full blown foliage and blossoms at the top. It seems like every set of tendrils the Pumpkin plant brings there is a beautiful big yellow flower that follows. This plant is interesting indeed. As you know these plants can grow very big, so we are looking for big things from this plant. It should fill the backyard with plenty of warm hues. What are your favorite blooms / flowers? Are they associated with a fruit bearing plant? Are they edible? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.