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Organic micro greens are the small shoots of plants that people can eat. In other words, they are edible. They are basically a specialty produce that has, in fact, been around for a good 20 to 30 years. They are crunchy and flavorful, and many people enjoy adding microgreens to salads at home as well as when eating out. Microgreens, whether at home or in a restaurant kitchen, are best when they are kept at a temperature of about 39 degrees Farenheit. In a typical garden there are at least 100 different types of common flowers that are edible and pleasant tasting.
There are many different uses for organic micro greens in food. Some people, as was already mentioned, add them to a salad because of the many different flavors they add to the mix. They can also be used as an addition to sandwiches and burgers, and even pizza. As a garnish, they not only add an attractive appeal, they also add their own unique taste. In addition, they can be used as a garnish to certain kinds of soups.
Organic micro greens are grown in soil and, when they are ready to be picked, they are cut at the stem immediately above the surface of the soil. The stem is typically one to two inches tall sometimes with one pair of true leaves. Microgreens are usually sold in stores as a mix, and, depending upon the season, the greens in the mix will change. Some of the greens included in one of these mixes are broccoli, red cabbage, collard, beet tops, and more.
Edible blossoms and flowers are also a unique idea for cooking and consuming. There are many types of flowers whose petals are completely safe for human consumption. In addition to adding beauty and color to a dish, they also add flavor. Many restaurants have begun using edible flowers for salads, and even serve edible flowers used as teas. Edible blossoms can safely and beautifully be added to any course throughout a meal, the main dish, the salad, even the dessert. They are an excellent addition to spreads; for instance, dressings, marinades, and fruit preserves. Edible flowers make a beautiful, and delicious, garnish for any dish. Some examples of varieties of edible flowers are broccoli, thyme, basil, rose, pineapple sage, okra, lavender, dandelion, and cornflower. These are only a few of the edible flowers people actually consume on a regular basis. The list goes on and on.
Crystallized edible flowers have become something often used by chefs and bakers. Crystallized, or candied, flowers are a beautiful and edible garnish on cakes, cupcakes, and even cookies. By knowing which flowers are edible and which are not, these professionals will actually choose the one or ones that will best correspond with the dish being prepared and they will follow some simple, but delicate, steps to enhance the flower’s flavor and beauty. After carefully washing and drying the chosen flowers, they are skillfully painted with egg white that has been beaten until it is slightly foamy. It is suggested that the flower or petal be gently held with tweezers while the covering is being performed.
After covering the flowers with a thin coat of egg whites, the chef or baker will hold it above a dish of superfine sugar and sprinkle the sugar all over the flower, on both sides. After a few minutes the flower is examined to see if the sugar has been absorbed. If it has, another coat of the same sugar is sprinkled all over the flower. The petals or flowers that have been coated are then laid on top of wax paper to dry, which will usually take anywhere between 12 to 36 hours. The flowers will be completely dry when they feel totally brittle and stiff. If they will not be used right away, the flowers can be stored in layers, separated by tissue paper in any airtight container at room temperature until they are needed. They can be stored up to one year in this way.
Edible flowers and organic micro greens have certainly carved out their own special place in culinary America!