One of my favorite things is learning how to use what's in my environment for sustainable living. A huge part of that is fermentation and pickling of edible flowers and plants from the veggie patch. One of my goals is to have a use for the majority of what I grow, whether it's as human/bug/pet/ plant food or to make those plants happier. I've often wondered if magnolias had any use other than being pretty. Turns out, they do!
Both the bark and the petals are highly medicinal and have been used in some Chinese cultures for generations to reduce anxiety, and stress to maintaining a healthy liver, and provides relief from menstrual cramps. Chinese medicine has used magnolia bark and flowers for thousands of years providing powerful health benefits to humans, while other benefits have been revealed through modern research into the precise chemical components. They are also said to improve respiratory health, detoxify the body, stimulate appetite even improve cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
As an edible flower the taste is ok, but nothing spectacular, but pickled....wow!
Vegan | Gluten-free
Makes 1x300ml jar
Sterilise jar/s in the oven at 150°C, leave it in the oven to keep warm while you make the recipe.
4 c (lightly packed) magnolia petals
Bring a large pot of water to the boil add:
1 tsp salt
Add the petals to the pot and blanche for 30 seconds. Drain through a colander and cool quickly under a cold running tap. Gently squeeze out the excess water. Add the following ingredients into a pot:
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c unrefined cane sugar
1 tsp salt
2cm piece fresh ginger, sliced thinly (optional)
Bring to the boil then simmer until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the leaves into the warm jar and top with the hot pickling liquid and seal with the lid. Sealed this pickle will last for a long time, once opened store in the fridge.
NOTE - Magnolia Flowers are unsafe to consume while you are pregnant.
Ingredients 25 g magnolia flowers - unsprayed petals alone weigh 20g 150 g golden granulated or golden caster sugar 150 ml water
Instructions Strip the petals from the ovaries at the base. Place sugar and water in a pan and place over a low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the magnolia petals and leave uncovered to barely simmer for twenty minutes. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a sterilised bottle. Seal and leave to cool. Notes This recipe can be scaled up according to how many magnolia petals you have and how much syrup you want to make. But try this small amount first, just in case you don't like it. Can keep in the fridge for up to a year. Freezes well.