Can you dry and use basil flowers?
Dry Your Basil Flowers
Drying is one of the best ways to store and “safeguard” your fresh basil. You can use the dried flowers for brewing tea or add to your salad just as you usually would with fresh flowers.
Just pinch the flowers off! Pinching off these flowers helps keep the plant growing. I pinch them off at their base and put them in tiny bud vases in the kitchen, where they both look and smell beautiful. While pinching off the flower buds will help, it's even better to harvest half the plant and make pesto.
Don't allow the blooms to turn to seed, as this will produce a bitter flavor. Basil is most flavorful when harvested early in the morning.
You can expect the blooms to taste similar to the leaves, but with a milder flavor. If, however, your intent when cultivating basil is for a big batch of pesto, you'll want to pinch back the herb to encourage leaf growth. Pinch off the flower buds as soon as they emerge.
Basil flowers, like the rest of the plant, are considered to be non-toxic to domesticated animals such as dogs, cats and horses under normal circumstances. Basil flowers and leaves do contain plant compounds that can be harmful to their digestive systems when consumed in mass quantities, though.
Tips for picking basil
Rinse the basil with cool water, but make sure to remove excess water. I typically just pat them dry with a clean towel. Any moisture leftover will cook your basil, instead of drying it.
All parts of the basil plant are edible, including the flowers, leaves and stems. Moreover, all parts of the plant remain edible even after the basil plant flowers. Once the basil flowers, the taste typically becomes more bitter. Gardener Report says after basil flowers, its leaves also may have a milder flavor.
After flowering, the basil plant produces fewer leaves and the leaves develop a bitter taste.
Regrowing Basil Plant From Cuttings: Beginning To Flower - YouTube
How To Harvest Basil So It Keeps Growing BIG! - YouTube
Does basil keep growing after you pick it?
When you clip basil stems back to a fresh set of leaves, you force those leaves to grow, doubling the basil produced on that stem. And as those stems grow, you can pinch them back and double their production – it's exponential! To remove flowers. Eventually most basil plants produce flowers.
Basil Plants Do Not Come Back Every Year
Then they're done as soon as the first frost arrives! The lifespan of a basil plant is less than one year in any climate that experiences frost. Annual garden herbs like basil die with the first frost, roots and all. It won't perk back up in spring after the winter freeze.
Simply chop leaves, stuff them into ice cube trays, cover with cold water, and freeze. The frozen basil bits will turn black as soon as they thaw, but they will still taste like basil. Frozen basil cigars are a great way to store basil with large leaves that can hold up to brief blanching.
Water your Basil plant thoroughly to help revive it. Place it in bright, indirect light rather than in full sun and water your plant every time the surface of the soil feels dry to touch. Once the plant has perked up and new foliage is growing, you can place your plant back in direct sunlight and resume normal care.
Fight the Flowers
Basil's maximum oil content, and best taste, happens right before the plant flowers. Once basil blooms, older leaves begin to deteriorate. Leaf production stops or slows, new leaves are small and flavors turn bitter. Frequent harvests prevent flowers and help retain taste.
Check your basil plants frequently for flowers, and if you see any, pinch them off right away. If the flower stems are too woody to pinch (often the case with Thai basil), cut them off with shears. A plant allowed to flower will soon go to seed, stop growing, and die, so be vigilant about removing flowers.
1. Add it to salads. Add a few basil flowers to salads, especially tomato salad and fruit salad for a blast of added flavor, and a beautiful look. Basil blooms make a great addition to most salads.
This fantastic pesto combines the complex flavors of various herb flowers—use whatever you have on hand. After the herbs bloom but before they set seed, grab some blossoms and grind them up. You can use this pesto on pasta or bruschetta, but it also makes a great topping for fish or marinade for poultry, beef, or pork.
Microwave on High in three bursts: Place the basil leaves on a plate between two towels. Cook for 45 seconds, then 30 seconds, then 30 seconds again. The basil leaves should look shriveled and be mostly dry. All microwaves are different, so do a few more 10 second bursts as necessary to dry it out.
Dried ground herbs like basil, parsley, and oregano last for 2-3 years. If they are dried and stored in their natural, whole form (e.g., basil or bay leaves), then they should last a little longer, about 3-4 years.
Why is my basil flowering?
Basil produces flowers if they are not pruned regularly. The flowers and leaves are edible and safe to eat. The flowers heads produce seeds which can be collected and grown next years.
Use a fine colander for basil seed collecting, as the black seeds are very tiny. Cut off the brown and spent flower heads and let them dry for a few days in a warm, dry location. Crush the heads over the colander and pick out the old petals and any chaff. Basil seed collecting is that simple.
Home gardeners growing basil as an annual should put off letting it set seed for as long as possible. Allowing basil to set seed at the end of the growing season will ensure gardeners a supply of viable seeds for their spring basil crop.
Potential Health Benefits of Holy Basil Tea
It is a common herb in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, known to help skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and joint conditions. Holy basil contains bioactive compounds like eugenol, camphene, cineole, and camphor that may help to open your airways and improve breathing.
The basil plant's lifespan differs depending on how you take care of it. If it is grown inside where there is less threat from cold winters, it may survive for six months. However, if grown in the ground, basil lives for about four to five months in warm, sunny conditions.