I love multi-functional items and finding ways to use rose petals has been one of the nicest projects I’ve done recently. I thought rose petals were restricted to perfumes, pot pourri and beauty products, but not so. Have a look at these ways to use rose petals and let me know which you are going to try.
I read about this while reading about the monastery on the island of San Lazzaro in Venice – I haven’t tried it yet but it’s one of my favorite sounding ways to use rose petals so I’m ready to give it a go. Apparently, the monks make a wicked rose petal jam. They make it every May when the roses are in full bloom and follow a recipe that dates back to 1891. It’s a special recipe but is a bit of an effort so I found an easier one. You need 1lb of white sugar and 4 handfuls of fresh rose petals. Put the petals in a mortar and gradually add the sugar, crushing the petals and the sugar together. If you have a smallish mortar, divide the batch into 4 and combine at the end. The petals will gradually break down and the juice will form a paste with the sugar. Pour the mix into sterilized jars and leave for at least 2 weeks before use. It’s best if you store in small jars because you won’t use it up quickly. It will keep up to two years unopened.
Roses have such a gorgeous perfume so it’s a bonus that when you use a rose scrub, you’re not only doing your skin good but you’ll smell delicious too. For a simple scrub you need 1 cup of white sugar, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of rose water and some rose petals – dried or fresh – torn into largish pieces. To make, put the sugar, rose water and petals into a bowl and mix well. Add the oil slowly, mixing gently to avoid smashing up the petals too much. Add oil until it’s the consistency you like – no rules! Store in a screw top jar and use when you want to pamper your skin.
I know that edible flowers is far from a new concept but I have never thought of it as one of the uses for rose petals because I always assumed they are too highly-perfumed. I found some salad recipes that are worth a try though. This Pea and Rose Petal Salad sounds like the ideal dish for summer barbecues: healthygreenkitchen.com. If you search Google you can find recipes with rose petals for all sorts of diets including vegan. You'll also find yummy combinations of rose petals and fruit.
You aren’t limited to salads when it comes to rose petal recipes. A simple search on Google will elicit thousands of interesting recipes. Take a particular look at Indian cookery as this cuisine really knows how to make the best of this gorgeous flower. This site, tarladalal.com, for example, lists 54 recipes from juices to mains to desserts.
It’s so easy to make your own rose water rather than buying it. Add 2 parts boiling water to 1 part rose petals. Muddle the petals a little. Leave to steep until cool and then strain. The rose water can be kept in a sterilized jar in the fridge for up to a month. Once you have the water you can use it for making perfume, soap, massage oils, beauty products and cooking.
Do you love the bath bombs/melts from Lush? It’s pretty easy to make your own version. I love the sound of this recipe: natureshomespa.blogspot.co.uk. Almond biscotti flavor oil sounds like it’s uncommon and might be difficult to source so there’s no reason why you can’t use a different essential oil of your preferred perfume. I would use vanilla or ylang ylang.
One of the most common uses for rose petals in the kitchen is as cake decorations. You can use fresh petals as a beautifully romantic touch or crystallize petals for an extra sweet touch. To crystallize your own petals, separate an egg, discarding the yolk. Lightly whip the white. Using a paintbrush, coat the petal on both sides, then dip into sugar. Put on a baking sheet and allow to dry for a few hours - overnight is best.
Do you think you will be trying any of these? I’ve got some earmarked as projects for over the summer.
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