He loves me, he loves me not. A rose has always been regarded as a symbol of pure love and adoration with the earliest known cultivations from 500 BC in Persia. Aside from their allegorical traditions, there are also a number of beauty and culinary benefits to the coveted flower petals. This summer turn the love toward yourself and incorporate the lavish merits of roses into your own DIY beauty and gastronomy routines.
Rose water was first made during the Islamic Golden Age as a perfume and beverage with a very distinct flavor that is heavily used in Persian and Mesopotamian cuisine. Most commonly rose water is used to tighten pores as a toner or refreshing body spray for the skin but it can also be added to lemonade for a delicious summer beverage.
1. Pluck the petals from the roses – the fresher, the better. Be sure to rinse the petals in some cool water to get rid of any chemicals or pesticides if they are not from your own garden.
2. Put 1 cup rose petals in a large pot. Pour in distilled or bottled water, using just enough so the petals are covered. Too much water will dilute the rose water. Put the pot over low fire and heat (do not boil) until the rose petals lose their color. Rose oil will start skimming over the water surface. This takes about 1 hour.
3. Allow the water to cool, then strain water using a fine kitchen strainer, and pour the pure rose water into a spray bottle. Discard the rose petals.
Rose Infused Honey:
1. Wash and dry petals from about six roses in a quart-size canning jar or purchase a half-pound bag of organic Red Rose Petals ($15.95), from Bulk Herb Store.
2. Take your rose petals and pack a layer of them gently down into a jar. Spoon your organic honey over the layer. Add more rose petals and then more honey.
3. Cover the jar and let sit for at least 24 hours. The honey will pull out the moisture from the rose petals and should become more liquid. The rose petals will rise to the top. Invert your jar at least twice a day to remix the petals and honey. Do this for another 24-48 hours.
4. All roses are safe to eat but some people don’t like the texture and astringency of the petals. You can strain out the honey with a wire mesh strainer.
The moisturizing properties of roses make it especially refreshing. You can also apply the honey to burns or use it as a moisturizing face mask.
Rose Ice Cubes:
Nothing can be a finer touch than rose petal ice cubes floating in a punch bowl or in cold drinks at a summer dinner party.
1. Collect some colorful pesticide free rose petals or rose buds. Rinse well and pat dry. Simply place petals or tiny rose buds in each compartment and fill up with water.
2. Place trays back in the freezer until frozen.
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place rose petals on an ungreased cookie sheet and place them into the oven leaving the door ajar just a bit. Stir the rose petals lightly while drying, the petals should be dried in 3 or 4 hours or buy from Bulk Herb Store.
2. Mix the dried rose petals with a cup of bulk tea leaves of your choice (i.e. green or black tea), into a mixing bowl.
3. To brew the rose petal tea, place approximately one teaspoon of the mix per eight ounces of water into a tea infuser ball/teapot or french press, and let steep for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
Rose Petal Honey Jam:
This recipe is for all you real foodies out there. Nothing sounds more luxurious than some rose petal jam on morning toast or stirred in some breakfest yogurt.INGREDIENTS 3 cups Rose Petals, tightly packed (about 40 roses) 3 cups filtered Water 3 cups Organic Cane Sugar 4 Tablespoons Organic local Honey 2 drops pure Rose Essential Oil 3-4 Tablespoons organic Meyer Lemon Juice (for pectin to jell the jam)
1. Cut the rose petal into strips with clean scissors, discarding the white base.
2. Put the petals in a pan with water; cook for 10 minutes, then lift out and drain – reserving the liquid.
3. Add the sugar and honey and cook over medium high heat until syrupy (about 20-30 minutes). Skim off & discard any foam that forms with a spoon, which will cloud the finished jam if you leave it in.
4. Return the rose petals to the syrup and continue to cook gently for about 10-20 minutes more. At this stage, the rose petals become beautifully transparent infused with color.
5. Add the rose essential oil and lemon juice. Simmer until set, another 10-15 minutes. The sugar syrup will set once its reached a temperature of 220-222F. Test for set by tipping a spoonful of syrup to see if it coats the surface and runs off in a ‘sheet’ or in a couple of blobs. If still a single stream, it’s not ready…continue to cook and test again in 5 minutes.
6. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean with a dampened paper towel or clean cloth, put the lids in place and tighten down. Invert the jars for a few minutes, turn upright and let cool completely.
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