Sage leaves are everywhere: in sausage, roasted with vegetables, and sprinkled atop soups. Sage flowers, on the other hand, are often left on the plant. In fact, leaving your sage blossoms to flourish is a great option for beautifying your garden.
About Sage Flowers
Bees love these dusty blue blooms, which give a soothing, diffused look to any herb bed. But if you’d like to enjoy a bit of variety in your sage harvest, then pick those flowers and bring them inside. Sage flowers are beautiful, deliciously scented, and absolutely edible!
So, what can you do with them? Soon you’ll be asking “what can’t you do with them?” But remember, there are many sages in the world, the recipes below apply specifically to Salvia officinalis. You should research the uses and side effects of other varieties thoroughly before substituting.
1. Sage Blossom Jelly
Yes, you can make sage blossom jelly! It’s delicious, with a savory, spicy sweetness that pairs as well with buttery toast as it does with pork roast. Furthermore, the blossoms make a gorgeous pink jelly to brighten up you preserve shelf. Pair it with goat cheese and a dry white wine or make sage-jelly and cream cheese crepes for a Sunday brunch!
2. Sugared Flowers
Have you ever eaten candied violets, or used them to decorate cakes? Well, violets aren’t the only flowers that candy well. Try sugaring some sage blossoms and sprinkling them on top of a summer flower cake. You can even use your homemade sage jelly between layers of the cake for a beautiful, complimentary flavor.
Sugaring flowers is easy, and the delicate blossoms give an old-fashioned sweetness to any dessert.
3. Herbed Vinegar
Herbal vinegars are one of the joys of summer preserving. They require minimal effort and no boiling water bath. To put by a jar of sage flower vinegar, simply fill a pint or quart sized jar at least 2/3 of the way up with sage blossoms. Then fill the jar with white vinegar (or champagne vinegar, if you’re feeling classy).
Let the vinegar sit for about two weeks, then strain out the blossoms. The result is a beautiful and flavorful brine that’s perfect on salads in place of dressing.
4. Garden Cocktails
It’s a summertime tradition at our house to mix up garden cocktails with the edible flowers of the season. Try building a conventional gin and tonic in a glass with sage and thyme blossoms, a few peach slices in place of lime, and a pretty, floral garnish.
If you’re looking to take those garden cocktails up a notch, check out Sage Liqueur. Use it as you would gin. It’s clear and herby and will underline the flavor of the sage blossoms.
5. Sage Blossom Salad
Summer flower salads are beautiful, delicious entrees, so don’t leave them in the background. I like pairing sage flowers with arugula, nasturtiums, goat cheese, and grill-seared butternut squash. But really, these blossoms can hold their own on any salad.
Use them to bring color and a deeper flavor to red-skin potato salad, or sprinkle them on top of a classic cobb. Mix them into an herby tarragon and thyme chicken salad then pile it onto a slice of ciabatta. Sage flowers are more at home in salads than the leaves. Their gentler, softly floral flavor never overwhelms.
You probably already know that pesto can thrive apart from the customary trappings of basil, pine nuts, parmesan, and garlic. Garlic scape, kale, and other novelty pestos have become delightfully popular recently. But have you even considered adding sage blossoms to the list?
Sage flower pesto is a full flavor accompaniment. Don’t drown pasta in it: scoop up a bit on toasted rye bread instead. This deeply satisfying spread can make a small bread and cheese platter feel like a filling meal.
7. Flower Tea
Try drying your sage flowers and mixing them with chamomile, mint, and lemon balm for a soothing evening tea. Sage teas are known for lowing blood pressure, improving oral health, and calming frazzled nerves. It can even help lower blood sugar. What a perfect addition to your after dinner cuppa!
Sage blossoms tend to give a greener, more earthy flavor to light, herbal teas. If the flavor seems overwhelming, tone it down by adding more chamomile or mint to the blend.
8. Sage Flower Syrup
You may be thinking, what am I going to do with sage flower syrup? Well, apart from adding it as a simple syrup replacement in some gorgeous cocktails (and mocktails, don’t forget the kids!) this syrup can be used in variety of ways.
Make it with honey and use it medicinally to lower blood pressure reduce stress. Or, make it with sugar and pour it on homemade elderflower ice cream. Stir it into steamers or drizzle it on sugar cookies. There are so many ways to use herbal syrups, and sage flowers have an interesting, yet accessible flavor. Everyone can enjoy them!
9. Ice Cream
Even if you don’t have your own ice cream maker, you can make ice cream at home. And sage blossom ice cream is a beautiful, delicious way to make a summertime sensation. Try adding some fresh blackberries or honey to the mix.
Homemade, herbal ice creams are usually a little less sweet, and a little richer than store bought ice creams. Don’t be afraid to increase or decrease the sugar a bit according to your tastes.
10. Sage Flower Butter (or Cream Cheese)
You can make the most beautiful, and delicious herbal butters by folding cut, edible flowers into room temperature butter. Spread the soft butter on a granite cutting board and sprinkle chopped sage blossoms all over it. Add a few thyme flowers or nasturtiums for variety.
First, sprinkle the whole expanse with a bit of sea salt and some freshly cracked pepper. Then, using a spatula, fold the butter in on itself again and again until the flowers are incorporated. They’ll appears as bursts of color in the creamy, yellow butter and delight your taste buds on homemade bread.
Use the same process with cream cheese for an exciting new take on the morning bagel. Additionally, try sage blossoms and red onion with smoked trout and pickle nasturtium seeds for a locavore breakfast lox and bagel. You’ll love it!
11. Smudge Sticks
I could stay in the kitchen forever, but let’s take a look at some of the other ways that you can use sage blossoms. One of the most popular uses is binding the flowers along with stems and leaves into a beautiful, space-clearing smudge stick.
These smudge sticks are both visually and spiritually delightful. Add a few lavender flowers and a thin stick of cedar as well.
12. Herbal Flower Soap
Many home soap makers add herbal blossoms to their products. The petals act as a gentle exfoliant, while infusing the soap with the plant’s scents and healing properties of the plant. Sage’s natural anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-aging properties make it an ideal addition to any herbal soap.
Mix sage flowers with calendula and plantain for a summertime soothing soap. Or, add it to cypress needles and juniper berries for a winter warming soap. Alternatively, just let it take center stage in a soothing, healing sage flower soap for all seasons.
13. Soaking Salt Blend
Try mixing up a jar of sage flower soaking salts for the bath. Add dried sage blooms, calendula, comfrey, and chamomile flowers to a jar of Epsom salts. Mix in a little baking soda to boost the healing properties. Stir everything together to mingle all the herbs with the salt and add up to a cup at a time to your bath water.
Soak in this blend when your limbs are achy, your skin is dry, or whenever you’re feeling stressed and in need of some indulgence.
14. Sage Sachet
Folklore links sage with sorrow, claiming that the flowers will help you mourn well after the loss of a loved one. If you’re in a period of grieving—whether because of a death, or the loss of a relationship—try tucking a sachet of sage flowers under your pillow. You can also wear the sachet around your neck where the scent of the blossoms will help your heart heal.
Mingle sage and yarrow blossoms for a bundle that will both heal your heart and help you move forward in life as you grieve.
15. Sage Flower Tincture
Tinctures are one of the oldest and strongest herbal preparations. Sage tinctures are common for a lot of complaints—from menopausal complaints to joint pain. But sage flower tinctures are especially useful in treating a few specific troubles.
Try making a tincture to use as a mouthwash. Sage flowers are often used to treat throat, mouth, and gum complaints. It is a deeply cleansing herb for the mouth and throat. This flower tincture is also ideal as a topical application on bug bites. It soothes and heals the bite, reducing all the itchiness and calms swelling quickly.
I know, it sounds so basic, but you don’t need fancy cut flowers for bouquets. Just pick some pretty herbal blossoms and a few humble ferns, and a bind them up with twine. Remember, sage flowers represent remembrance, just as rosemary does. Give a sweet, simple bouquet to a friend before they travel, or tuck it under a photo of your dearly departed.
Bouquets are one of the simplest ways to use all the wild-flowers in your garden. They’re also the easiest to enjoy. Bring a bit of beauty and joy into your home with a pretty little posy of sage flowers today.