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Foraging ūüĆł Magnolia Blossoms + 10 Edible Recipes

    
It's the second week of March in Louisville Kentucky. Do you know what that means? A short but thrilling week long window to forage Magnolia Blossoms and make as many recipes that time will allow.
   
Normally, I'd say pin this blog for a later date, but you just don't have that type of time, now do you?
 
Locate Magnolia Blossoms in your area that may be foraged responsibly. Unsure of where to find them? Phone a friend and post on social media. As you mustn't miss out on the ginger, camphor, black pepper, and cardamom undertones with a bitter, floral bite!
    
(C) Harriet Gendall
    
Magnolia is a magical tree medicine, with fossils dating back 100 million years. A favorite to forage due its medicinal purposes. Some of the medicinal benefits include reduction of stress and anxiety, weight loss, constipation, digestion, asthma, and headaches. You are what you eat, so it’s worth pointing out that magnolia flowers are used in over 200 Chinese medicine remedies.
   
When discussing Magnolia as a wild food, IT IS NOT A GIVEN THAT ALL MAGNOLIAS are edible. List of known edible species. The most common edible magnolias are Magnolia coco, grandiflora, denudata, hypoleuca, kobus, liliflora, mexicana, pterocarpa, and oulangeana. 
   
How to use Magnolias as food
  • Herbal tea
  • Libation of any sort
  • Salad
  • Pickled (and with sushi)
  • Stir-fry
  • Dried as a spice
  • Cordial (syrup)
  • Ricotta dip
  • Cookies
  • Infused Cakes and icing
  • Infused sugar
  • Dipped in chocolate¬† ¬†
    
         
    Always utilize caution when foraging for wild edible foods and gather responsibly. Please make sure that your edible flowers have not been treated with pesticides. Only forage from clean areas (stay away from roads) that you have permission to gather from. Take no more than 10% of the plant.
       
    Without further ado, endless edible Magnolia recipes! 
       
       
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Pickles
       
    INGREDIENTS: 
    2 cups distilled vinegar 
    1/2 cup sugar 
    2 tbs salt
    1 1/2 cup whole Magnolia buds (as pictured) or chopped
       
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Add ingredients to a saucepan on medium heat. Gently heat, stirring sugar until disolved. Set aside to cool, then store in refrigerator. Pickles taste best when consumed within one month. Can for stable shelf life and to last until next Spring!
        
    PRO TIP: Play with your Pickled ingredients. While I always can pickled Magnolia buds, it doesn't hurt to can a second. My second jars consists of the Magnolia petals, sunchokes, Dandelion buds (take on capers), and other in season vegetables and herbs. Additionally, you could add carrots, cauliflower, and other more accessible ingredients to your area.
        
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Tea
       
    INGREDIENTS: 
    2 cups h20
    1 cup chopped Magnolia Blossoms
       
    PREPARATIONS: Add flowers to tea pot. Heat h20 to 210¬į (boiling) and pour in tea pot. Allow steeping to last at least 20 minutes, but preferably 24 hours. Strain blossoms and squeeze excess liquid into tea pot. Add strained flowers to your salads or reuse into the recipes below. Drink tea at room temperature or re-heat on stove top.
       
    PRO TIP: I beg you, do not reheat tea in microwave. You WILL offend every Brit I know and most importantly, shall ruin a divine cup of medicinal tea.
      
    ūüĆł Infused Magnolia Blossom Vinegar¬†
       
    INGREDIENTS: 
    2 cups distilled vinegar 
    1 1/4 cup chopped Magnolia Blossoms
      
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Add ingredients to a saucepan on medium heat. Gently heat. Set aside to cool. Add to bottle and allow 14 days for infusion. Once the infusion is complete, add to salads, proteins, and any delectable dish your heart desires.
       
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Cordial
       
    INGREDIENTS: 
    1 cup chopped Magnolia Blossoms
    3 cup h20
    3 cup sugar of choice (Monkfruit and Coconut sugar work well)
       
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Add ingredients (minus Magnolia) to a saucepan on medium heat. Gently heat, stirring sugar until disolved. Add the magnolia petals and leave uncovered to barely simmer for twenty minutes. Strain blossoms and squeeze excess liquid into your sterilized bottle. Seal and leave to cool. When refrigerated, your Cordial will last up to one year.
       
    PRO TIP: Save blossoms for a sweet treat (or to add into the middle of your Magnolia Snap Cookies + Magnolia Cake - recipes below)!
       
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Slow Infused Sugar (multiple week method - for epic potency)
       
    INGREDIENTS:
    1 part chopped Magnolia Blossoms (1 cup)
    1 part Organic Sugar (Monkfruit or coconut sugar)
       
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Mix 1 part Magnolia Blossoms to
    1 part sugar inside of a sterilized jar. After 2 weeks, your infused sugar should be completely mixed. I prefer a four week wait. So this just depends on your patience level! Run through a food processor or mortar and pestle once your two to four week infusion is complete. Store floral sugars in sterilized sealed jars, away from heat and direct sunlight.
          
    PRO TIP: There are recipes online to make hard candy out if your
      
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Infused Sugar (same day method)
       
    INGREDIENTS:  
    1 part chopped Magnolia Blossoms (1 cup)
    1 part Organic Sugar (Monkfruit and coconut sugar work well)
      
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Use a food processor or mortar and pestle to grind 1 part Magnolia Blossoms to 1 part sugar. Grind into a uniform, sandy mixture. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the floral sugar evenly in the pan. Magnolia sugar will look a bit chunky/sandy and be slightly damp ‚Äď this is normal. Allow the mix to dry out on the baking sheet, over a several hour period or day. Check on it periodically to break up large chunks that may be stuck together. After 8 hours, your Infused sugar should be completely dry. Store your floral sugars in sterilized sealed jars, away from heat and direct sunlight.
       
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Snap Cookies (inspired by the Black Forager)
       
    INGREDIENTS:
    3/4 to 1 cup infused Magnolia Cordial
    3 1/4 cup flour
    1 tbs vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
    1 cup butter
    1 1/2 cup coconut sugar (Monkfruit works well)
    1 tbs grated Magnolia (freeze before adding to mixing bowl)
    1 tbs grated ginger
    Toppings:
    Magnolia infused sugar
       
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Make Magnolia Cordial and infused sugar. Whip brown sugar and butter. Add in vanilla extract/paste. Sift flour and fold into mixing bowl. Mix on low with hand mixer. Roll mixture into 1.5 inch dough balls. Roll dough balls in infused sugar or normal sugar (if you do not have the time or ingredients to make infused Magnolia sugar) and sprinkle on Nature's Sprinkles aka Edible Flower Confetti Bake in the oven at 350¬į for nine minutes. Pull out when soft and cooked through the middle. Add to cooling rack. Once cool, pop into yo' mouth!
       
    ūüĆł Magnolia Blossom Whipped Ricotta Honey Dip
       
    When I dip, you dip, we dip! Short on time but wish to deliver on an impressive appetizer? Let alone, an appetizer that takes only five minutes and one bowl to make? Read below!
       
    INGREDIENTS:
    1 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk recommended, Kite Hill Vegan Ricotta, or my favorite way to Ricotta)
    1 cup finely chopped Magnolia Blossoms
    1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons Himalayan Salt
    2 tablespoon Raw Honey
    2 tablespoon fresh Oregano leaves - (or Thyme)
    Black pepper (to taste)
    Optional 
    In season citrus zest (from about ¬Ĺ lemon, squeeze a few drops for extra potency)
       
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Add all of your ingredients into one bowl. Whip with your Vitamix blender until fluffy (check notes below for other mixing methods). It's garnish time. I told you it took five minutes (or less)! Spoon the whipped ricotta into your favorite Spring inspired bowl. Drizzle with raw honey, and top with Oregano (in season) or Thyme (not in season when Magnolias bloom).
    Make one day ahead of your event for epically potent flavor. & finally, don't be a silly willy - warm that bread! Brush slices of homemade (or locally made) baguette or sourdough with olive oil, bake in the oven until warm and lightly toasted.
       
    TO NOTE: If you don't have a Vitamix, use a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, use an electric hand mixer. If you don't have an electric mixer, whip by hand until it's completely smooth and fluffy.
        
    PRO TIP: Use this Ricotta recipe for your other foraged goods. Simply omit the Magnolia blooms and sub (insert foraged magick here). Sprinkle on Nature's Sprinkles aka Edible Flower Confetti!
           
        
    ūüĆł Chocolate Covered Magnolia Buds
       
    INGREDIENTS:
    2 cups Chocolate of choice
    15 - 20 Magnolia buds
        
    PREPARATIONS: Remove the furry depal on your Magnolia buds. Wash buds gently and set aside to dry. Melt chocolate in a bain marie, double boiler, or similar. Once melted, hold the Magnolia bud by the stamen end and dip your petal end into the chocolate. Set aside on a cooling rack and leave to dry.
    When serving, cut off the stamen end or leave it as something to 'hold' when eating your chocolate covered Magnolia buds.
        
    PRO TIP: Decorate with Natures Sprinkles aka edible flowers & your Infused Magnolia sugar.
        
    ūüĆł Cardamom¬†Olive Oil Cake with Magnolia Blossom Buttercream
        
    INGREDIENTS: 
    Cake
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 cups organic sugar (Monkfruit and Coconut sugar work well)
    2 tbs in season citrus zest
    4 large eggs room temperature
    3 tbs unsalted butter of choice 
    1 cup whole milk (non-dairy milk, soy milk is the best for baking)
    1 tbs vanilla bean paste or extract
    2 tbs in season citrus juice
    4 tsp olive oil
    3 tbs raw honey
    Magnolia Buttercream
    1/2 cup Magnolia Blossoms
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    12 oz whole milk (or non-dairy)
    1/2 cup flour 
    1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks) room temperature
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract 
    3/4 teaspoon sea salt

    Garnish with Flower Confetti ~ Nature's Sprinkles

    PREPARATIONS: Preheat oven to 350¬į. Beat butter of choice and sugar until disolved in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining wet ingredients. In a seperate bowl, sift¬†dry ingredients and whisk. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Beat on low until combined. Grease cake pan(s) of choice and pour cake batter evenly. Bake cake for 15 - 25 minutes. Test the center with a knife or toothpick. Do NOT overcook. Allow cake to cool completely on rack before applying buttercream.

    Make the frosting 

    (And slap it on if you would prefer an organic look - a personal preference & saves oodles of time)

    Crush the magnolia blossoms into half of the sugar using your hands or a muddler.

    Add the Magnolia Blossom sugar mixture to a medium saucepan with the milk. Cook over medium heat until simmering. Let steep for 20 minutes before straining and discarding the blossoms.

    Combine flour and sugar in another medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk and cook for about 2 minutes to toast the flour.

    Slowly add the magnolia blossom milk, whisking to combine, and turn heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking continuously until it is thick and pudding-like. Once simmering, cook for an additional minute. Add pink food coloring, if desired.

    Transfer the Magnolia Blossom pudding to a heat-proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that it is touching the surface without any air bubbles in between to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Alternatively, Spread the mixture thin onto a sheet pan (covered with plastic) and chill for 30 minutes to cool it down faster. Ensure the mixture is cool, otherwise it will melt the butter.

    Add the room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on high until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

    Add the cooled magnolia blossom pudding gradually, by the spoonful, while still beating. Incorporating the mixture slowly ensures a smoother consistency.

    Add vanilla and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. Mix on low for a few minutes to remove large air bubbles. Transfer the buttercream to a large piping bag.

    Assemble the cake

    Put a small dollop of buttercream on a serving plate or cake board (this will help the cake stick and not slide around). Place the first layer of cake on top.

    Cover the top of the first layer with a thin layer of buttercream with an offset spatula. Then pipe a border around the edge.

    Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream to create a crumb coat to seal in any crumbs. Freeze for 5-10 minutes to seal this coating.

    When the crumb coat is set, pipe or dollop more frosting around the outside and on top. Spread evenly with an offset spatula before scraping down the outside with a bench scraper. You may need to do this several times to get a smooth look.

    I found that keeping the bench scraper in a bowl of warm water before using it (drying it off in between) helped remove air bubbles on the outside and made smoothing even easier.

        

    PRO TIP: Decorate with Natures Sprinkles aka edible flowers, infused Magnolia sugar and Magnolia Blossoms 

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