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All About Elderflowers, Choosing and Picking
Flaming June, as usually promised weather-wise, brings with it many pleasures not least the abundance of creamy white Elderflower blossoms dripping from the trees. They are unmistakable with their heady scent, so no confusing them for other flowers. Picking becomes irresistible with the opportunity to pick them fresh so short.
There are rules and tips when picking Elderflowers and you will find all the guidance you need in the link below.
Here are just a few:
- Elderflowers are free, but that does... not mean you can trespass on other people's property.
- Pick away from traffic pollution as this can taint the flowers.
- Pick only on dry days.
Next Page: How to Use Elderflowers for DrinksContinue to 2 of 3 below.
02 of 03
What Can You Make with Elderflowers: Drinks
The flowers of the Elder are edible, but the leaves, twigs, and roots are toxic as are the black berries which appear later in the year and should never be consumed. The berries, when cooked, could be eaten, but best avoided, though what they can be used for is Elderberry Wine in the autumn.
But back to the flowers, though you can eat them it is preferable you make them into something and by far the most common recipe is that for Elderflower Cordial, which is also known as Elderflower Syrup. The... cordial/syrup diluted with water and with ice makes a refreshing drink on a hot summers day.
But cordial is not the only drink you can make.
Elderflower tea is also refreshing, a restorative and high in antioxidants. Drinking the tea in the short term is fine but should long-term safety has not been determined.
Elderflower Champagne is, in fact, light, sparkling wine with a relatively low alcohol content. It should always be served chilled. Making the Champagne is no more complicated than making the cordial, though you will need strong bottles and proper champagne stoppers and wires which can be ordered online.
Next Page: How to Use Elderflowers in cookingContinue to 3 of 3 below.
03 of 03
What Can You Make with Elderflowers: Sweet and Savoury Food
Having ascertained that eating the twigs and leaves of the Elderflower is toxic, and the flowers raw not advised, the best way to get the maximum benefit of this fragrant flower is by using the cordial-syrup in cooking. So heady is the scent that even with lemon and sugar added it is still there, and it is this delicious scent which is imparted into the food.
Use the cordial in recipes from jellies to ice cream, cakes, buns, dressings, added to whipped cream, even to scent berries and fruits for... savoury dishes. So endless are its uses, when you do make the cordial, makes lots of it.
The cordial does not like to encounter too much heat, so in most of the recipes, it is added towards the end of any cooking.