The idea sparked from extra squash blooms that had overgrown in our fields after a few days of heavy rain. While taking photographs of the giant star-shaped blossoms, Chef’s Garden photographer Michelle Demuth-Bibb asked if anyone had ever dehydrated squash blossoms to preserve them. We thought this was a great idea! The blossoms were set in the dehydrator overnight at a low temperature. The blooms shrunk a bit and the stems became crisp and rigid.
Next we shook the blooms into a tamis and ran them along the screen into a bowl. The blooms gave way easily and created a brilliant ochre-colored powder, with bits of the green veins adding rustic color. The powder is bitter on the tongue at first but gives way to a pleasing toasted squash blossom flavor somewhere between roasted pumpkin seeds and fried potato.
The remaining stems and stamens when dehydrated take on the consistency of potato chips and popcorn but with a pure squash flavor that is concentrated and delicious! We also think that these could be steeped in water to make a uniquely flavored tea or broth.
More than likely this will be a technique used for excess blossoms. Dehydrating 50 blooms into powder only yielded 13 grams of product. The stems weighed in at just over 17 grams. Squash Blossom powder might be the next saffron!