This Mother’s Day may be a little different than most and maybe the perfect time to get creative, be healthy, and start a new tradition! If you are looking for a fun activity for you and your children, making an edible bouquet may be just the answer!
Many of us have enjoyed an edible arrangement at one time or another, now you can learn how to make your own below. Nourishing your body with a healthy treat may be one of the best gifts you could give yourself this Mother’s Day!
This is also a great example of using the skill of meal planning; You will need to Plan, Prep, Provision, and Protect to make sure your fruit is ripe and tasty for Mother’s day. If you are willing, think about it this way. You will have to plan for what you need, prepare, get everything ready, provision, purchase what you need, and protect the time you have set aside to make this fun, healthy and delicious gift that is filled with love. The ripe fruit is important for this one!
Keep in mind you do not need everything listed below. There are multiple ways of creating your very own edible arrangement. The method you choose to use will simply be determined by the tools you have available and personal preference!
What you will need:
– Bamboo Skewers
– Vase (you can also use a planter with foam board)
– Cutting board
– Knife (smaller paring knife and large cutting knife)
– Flower Cookie Cutters and Melon Baller (optional)
– Rubberbands (optional)
Suggested Fruit – be creative!
– Pineapple, Strawberries, Kiwi, Red Apples, Orange, Banana
Suggested Fruit Centers
– Cantaloupe, Honeydew, or Watermelon – if using a melon baller
– Blueberries, Blackberries, Grapes, Raspberries
– Kale or Parsley (optional leafy greenery accent)
– 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (optional)
– 3 oz white chocolate chopped (optional)
1. Planning: Buy and gather what you need. Put your plan into place: Plan, Prep, Provision, and Protect
– How to know a pineapple is ripe: pull out one of the leaves from the top middle. If it pulls out easily, it’s a good sign that it is ready to be eaten. Use your senses too, the pineapple should have a tiny bit of “give” when pressing it and using your nose, see if you can detect a sweet smell. You may need to wait a day or two so planning will help assure it will be ready when you want to make your bouquet.
– How to find a ripe cantaloupe: again, you may need to plan a couple of days ahead as cantaloupes are often picked at different stages of ripeness and are chilled in cold storage which both affect the optimal taste and texture of the fruit. To find the best one, you should be able to gently press your thumb in slightly on the bottom of the fruit, where it was separated from the stem. In between all the cracks and crevasses of the outer skin, the color should have a yellow tint versus a pale whitish coloration. Take a minute and smell the melon and look for a sweet musky scent. You may discover that you have a melon that needs to sit out on the counter for a day or two to become riper.
– Honeydew, another fruit that is helpful to plan a couple of days ahead. When ripe, the color of the rind should be a creamy yellow rather than green. The color of the rind will become smooth and waxy rather than dusky. A ripe honeydew, when pressed on the bottom, should feel slightly soft or at least a little springy.
– Watermelons – There is a method here too. Look for a pale yellow spot on the rind, indicating that it was left on the ground to ripen in the sun. If there’s no yellowish marking, be wary. If the coloring looks good, it’s time to “thump” the watermelon and listen, a hollow sound that makes a “plunk” rather than a “thwack” sound. The final test is when lifting the melon, you want it to feel heavy in your hands.
– Kiwi’s are a little easier to test for ripeness. Start by looking for a firm, unblemished fruit, and don’t worry about the size. Small or larger, they taste the same. Gently press the outside of the fruit with your thumb. If it gives to slight pressure, the kiwi is ripe.
2. Start by cutting skewers in varying lengths so when taped together they will create an array of heights, allowing your arrangement to have dimension. Be sure to leave some skewers uncut at their original length.
3. Optional: For your vase or plastic planter, cut the foam so that it fits into the bottom of your vessel. The foam will act as an anchor when putting the flower fruit skewers into place. Again, using the foam board is optional. Your flower bouquet will turn out just as delicious without it!
4. Fruit can be cut in any order.
– If you are going to use the cookie-cutter method, simply cut each fruit into ¼ – ¾ ” slices (depending on how sturdy each fruit is), center your cookie-cutter on top of a slice, and press down. You will not have to worry about peeling the fruit beforehand as you will be able to peel off the skin or rinds once you have pushed the cookie-cutter down.
– At some point, you may find your fruit to be sliding down your skewers. You can prevent this from happening by wrapping a rubber band around the skewer a few times right below the fruit.
– The following images show how to create your edible fruit bouquet without cookiecutters!
Kiwi – Peel the skin off and then cut into slices. You can then use a paring knife to cut them into shapes of your choosing for stacking or use a small flower cookie cutter.
Orange – Cut your orange in half (side to side, not top to bottom).
Apple – Learn from my mistake! Be sure to cut your apple in half first (sided to side, not top to bottom)! I first made the cut-outs below, then cut the apple in half and it broke to pieces 🙁
Strawberry – Hold the strawberry pointy part up. Start cutting thin slices around the top, making sure you leave a little space in between each cut. Once you have finished cutting the first row of “petals” move to the second row. Begin your first cut directly below the space you left in between each petal above so they make an alternating pattern. Once you finish slicing your last row, you can then gently bend the petals outward to create the look of a rose.
Pineapple – Cut into ½ – ¾ ” slices – leaving the core and the skin, (aka the crown) on the pineapple. Using your flower, circle or other shaped cookie cutters, cut your pineapple into the desired shapes. You can also use a knife to freehand it!
If you want the leafy greens added in, now would be the time! The final touch of kale or parsley at the base will make your flowers come to life!
Other Helpful Tips:
– If using cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon as a center for flowers, cut the melon in half and remove seeds (if applicable). Using a melon baller, scoop out the flesh to create the centers for your pineapple flowers
– If you would like to dip some of the fruit into chocolate
Melt chocolate in the microwave in increments of 30 seconds at a time at 50% power and stir. Continue until chocolate is melted and smooth. Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the microwave. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set the dipped pieces of fruit on the parchment paper. Let the dark chocolate set before drizzling with white chocolate
Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries. Set the fruit aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.
This is YOUR creation, there are no rules!
Be sure to share your bouquets, take pictures of you and your children, and most importantly enjoy the process.
Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day!