One of my favorite flowers have always been the purple violets that pop up this time of year. As a child I would pic the delicate flowers from the lawn and pastures and carefully place in bud vases to enjoy for the very short time the petals would last. When I moved into the Hippie Homestead, I was excited to see a small patch along the driveway. Over the few years I've been here the patch has grown to quite a lush carpet of purple.
I couldn't let these wild beauties go to waste so I looked up how best they flowers could be used. Violets are edible and make a great addition to a salad or any dish that could use a pop of color. Medicinally, syrup made from the flowers can be used to cool a sore throat and relieve congestion. The leaves can be steeped into a mineral rich tea that is calming and soothing. However, this time of year the winter flu season is well in the past. The syrup doesn't keep exceptionally well so we use it for something a bit more fun!
- 1 cup tightly packed sweet violet flowers
- 1.5 cups water
- 4 cups sugar (2.25 cups for every 1 cup of retained liquid)
Boil water and pour over flowers. Let the flowers stand at room temperature for about 24 hours. Run through a cheese cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You may also want to run the liquid through a coffee filter. Measure the liquid and add appropriate amount of sugar. Slowly bring to a simmer or slow boil and stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Make sure not to let liquid come to a full boil. Take off of heat, let rest for five minutes and then return to heat. Bring back to simmer/slow boil then take off of heat and allow to cool. Store syrup in glass containers in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.
Now for the fun part - pink lemonade!
Fresh squeezed lemonade is simple to make and so rewarding. Just juice a few lemons, enough to get about 1 cup of juice. Mix with 2-3 cups of water (to taste). Then add about 1 cup of your violet syrup and watch the magic. As the liquids combine the purple syrup will turn fuchsia. Little ones will love to help and watch the tasty science experiment.
Try it out and send me a message letting me know how it turned out!