Rose Petal Smoothie – Or, More Eating From the Yard

by Chance on June 19, 2014

I know you probably think it’s weird, and I’m OK with that. The thing is, there are lots of edible plants all around us, but we have been convinced that it’s better to buy food than to grow food or eat what is available. Think about it for a moment. Who benefits from this? Food companies and grocery stores, but not necessarily your body. You may even be afraid to eat from your yard. And if you use herbicides or pesticides, that is a good impulse. If, however, your yard exists in a state of benign neglect like mine, you can probably find some tasty, healthful and perhaps even medicinal plants. In the spring, we first notice the violets, which I showed you how to candy here. Next, we see the dandelions. Dandelions, while most often thought of as a pesky weed to be eliminated at all costs, were imported by immigrating Europeans because they are such a medicinal panacea. Free, medicinal panacea. Free, easy to grow, medicinal panacea. You get the point. I missed the blossoms this year, which we make into fritters, but we did harvest a good quantity of leaves that I made into Indian-inspired pakora (fritters). The root can be dried and roasted and used as a liver cleanse and/or coffee substitute. But I digress. Today’s post is about roses.

I have a lovely rose bush in my yard that we inherited with the house. For the first few years we were here, it was pathetic and scraggly and had only a few blossoms each year. I even offered to dig it up and give it to a friend. Luckily, she never came for it because in the interim years, it has decided to flourish. It is extremely fragrant and smells like only pure roses can. I literally require my family to stop and smell the roses when they are blooming, because there is absolutely nothing like it. It’s funny how in my post on candied violets, I mentioned that my grandmother used to eat violet pastilles. Here I am going to mention her again. Growing up when I would visit my grandparents in the summer, there were rose bushes at their house. Sometime, my grandmother suggested that I eat the rose petals. I do not know why. But I did. With peanut butter. That was my suggestion, but I’m not suggesting it now, because that is clearly a child’s palate. Probably I thought the peanut butter would cover up the taste of the rose!

Last year, in an effort to hold onto the fragrance and beauty of those pink roses, I came up with a few recipes. The first was a rose petal “jam” based on some traditional Eastern European recipes. It involves only filling your food processor with fresh, “organic” rose petals, lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and sugar to taste. The petals puree down to a thick, heavenly scented paste that can be saved in the fridge for quite some time. It is amazing on toast. I also used it to make Rose Smoothies, which was just a passing idea but the kids quite liked. This year, the rain beat my roses badly, so I only had a few perfect roses to use, so I tossed them into a smoothie without making the jam.

The taste is light and fresh, but creamy like a milkshake. The color of your roses will influence the final color of the smoothie.

Put all the following ingredients into a blender or smoothie jar, scaling the ingredients for your portions:

    • Just picked rose petals to equal 2 roses (or more) for each smoothie, shaken to remove insects
    • Ice cubes
    •  Vanilla extract or paste 1/4 tsp for each serving
    • 1-2 Tablespoons raw honey for each serving
    • Coconut milk or milk of choice to fill the cup

Puree your smoothie and drink it up! Rose petals are a good source of vitamin C, which helps to cool the body in the summertime. So if you needed another reason to try it – there you go!

**It might go without saying, but absolutely do not use conventionally grown commercial roses or roses that have been sprayed with pesticides, or any roses you are not 100% sure are not chemically treated for this smoothie.

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