Carving vegetables can be a fun and nutritious way to pass the afternoon. But how do you get started? Here are some great tips and ideas to get you on your way to making your very own beautiful and edible bouquet!
Get your tools in order. When carving vegetables, it’s important that you have a vegetable peeler, toothpicks, and a paring knife at the ready. A well-prepared carver is a successful one and having the tools you need will get you off to a great start.
Once you have your tools in order, it’s time to learn from the best. There are a number of online tutorials, in-person courses, and printable lessons to show you everything from the basics to expert-level carvings and arrangements. Like any art, this takes practice so don’t overwhelm yourself early on. Start with some simple carvings to show yourself what you really can do.
Types of Veggies to Use for Flowers
When thinking of carving vegetables, one often pictures the finished product without thinking which vegetable the carving was made from. Some of the best vegetables to use for carving will be hardy and pulpy because they will hold their shape once carved.
One great vegetable to make carvings out of is the carrot. With carrots available in multiple colors and sizes, this root veggie is great to use in various flower carvings and leaf shapes. Another great root vegetable to carve from is the beet. With its rich color and tough composition, it can be used to make rounder flowers and can be carved precisely without worrying whether it will hold its shape.
Some carving vegetables aren’t as sturdy as roots, but do offer many possibilities for carving and presentation. Tomatoes, for instance, with their relatively squishy exterior may not be the first thought that springs to mind when thinking of a vegetable flower. But with the use of toothpicks and precision, this vibrant veggie is a versatile flower maker. From lotus flowers to roses, there are many ways to use tomatoes as accents or center pieces.
Peppers, like tomatoes, may not be the first thing to spring to a vegetable carver’s mind, however, these little gems can offer some exotic pieces. Toothpicks and spacing grant these colorful veggies a versatility that is tough to match, and their internal hollowness opens them up to many possibilities.
Varieties of Flowers That Can Be Made From Veggies
Now that we’ve gotten some ideas of which veggies are great for carving, let’s look into what can actually be made from our garden. Some of the most popular veggie carvings are roses. These can be created using many types of vegetables, from root to pepper to cucumber. The key to successful rose-making is carving the petals precisely and arranging them in a natural-looking and symmetric way.
Lotuses can also be fun to make. Similar to the rose, these flowers are comprised almost entirely of their petals so many vegetables are able to be used in their construction. When making these, use a similar method to that of making a rose but with additional and more tightly packed petals whose tips are pointed, rather than round. This is one of the beauties of vegetable carving: each type of flower you learn to carve builds on itself and opens doors to new styles.
A fun way to add variety to your carvings is using multiple colorful vegetables in one flower. For instance, using a tomato to create the outer flower, some pepper sprigs for the center, and a cucumber for the leaves and stem is a straightforward way to make an intricate looking piece with relative ease.
Keeping Veggies from Browning
Once you’ve made your carvings, you’ll want to keep them beautiful for as long as possible. Carving closer to the surface of the vegetable will keep it from browning, as will coating the carving in lemon juice, and storing it in a cool place wrapped in foil or plastic.
Vegetable carving is a fun way to turn your garden into creative decorations and gifts, and with so many methods and resources at a would-be carver’s disposal, it has never been easier to get started.
Photographer Crinklecrankle.com offered the photograph of Carrot under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Holger Langmaier offered the photograph of Beets under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer 218860 offered the photograph of Tomato under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Marge Nauer offered the photograph of Red Pepper under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Uncle Bob offered the photograph of Beautiful breakfast of vegetarian iStock