Did you know hollyhocks are edible? Yes, the whole plant can be used for food purposes. Hollyhocks are members of the Malvaceae family with beautiful, showy flowers. They bloom from July to September and seeds appear towards August. If you intend to pick the flowers for floral arrangement, medicinal or culinary purposes, harvest them in July and August when they are in full bloom.
While hollyhock was a popular culinary delight centuries ago, not many people know about the culinary value of alcea rosea today. In fact, most people are only familiar with the plant’s showy flowers.
Hollyhock is closely related to marshmallow and can be substituted for it. However, when using hollyhock rather than marshmallow, you need to know that hollyhock has tougher, woodier roots which are less palatable compared to marshmallow’s delicate roots.
Hollyhock’s delicate flavor and nutritive value usually get destroyed when exposed to high temperatures or alcohol, so it is important to keep that in mind when preparing it.
Here are some hollyhock recipes:
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Hollyhock infusion, commonly known as tea, is not only refreshing on hot days but also great for soothing sore throats. The tea has been consumed in the US since colonial times to date.
4-5 hollyhock flowers
Canning jar with a lid
1 cup of boiled water
Process: Remove petals from the blossoms and place them in the canning jar. Pour hot water over the petals and place the lid on the jar.
Allow to steep for about 15 minutes.
Strain and stir in some honey if and as desired. Serve warm to relieve a sore throat or place in the refrigerator and serve chilled for summertime drink.
Hollyhock salad dressing
2 hollyhock blossoms
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
A pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 minced garlic (optional)
Process: Wash hollyhock blossoms, rinse and place into a bowl of water and put them in the refrigerator until later.
Put water, soy sauce, oil, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and kosher salt into the food processor. Blend until creamy with no lumps.
Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar
Remove the flowers from the refrigerator; dry them with a paper towel. Chop the blossoms into small pieces and sprinkle them over the mixture. Sit back and enjoy.
Note that the flowers may not keep well for long, so use them within 12 hours.
Ultimately, hollyhocks are multipurpose flowers that not only look great in floral arrangements but also give dishes a great flavor while also adding to their appeal. Try them today!