Updated: Apr 20
Spring is in full force here in Virginia and I can’t help but be in awe of all the blooming flowers. I have to admit that before this year, I haven’t really thought much about truly learning flora and fauna. But I spend most of my free time wandering trails and photographing any and every plant I’m drawn to. I later come home and thoroughly research the plant and decide if it’s worth eating. So far, so good!
There are two flowers I want to tell y’all about today. First up are Spring Beauty, Claytonia Virginica, and they are the first forest flower I saw bloom this season. They are so cute and are seemingly everywhere. These you can actually eat raw and enjoy the sweetness of the center immediately (unless you want to wash it first haha). I only wanted them as a garnish for my sweeter foods just to add some whimsical flair. As you can see here, I topped them on my pancakes!
Next up are Wild Violets, Viola Sororia, and these are sometimes lining the edges of trails or people’s front yards. I had seen a few people online using them in a variety of ways. I was most interested in creating Violet Syrup for my drinks. I really liked how it turned out because it wasn’t overpowering like how a lavender syrup can be. I used it in our iced lattes and love love loved it.
(after 12 hours it was blue and with a few drops of lemon, it turned pink!)
A bunch of fresh picked, washed violets
1. In a small jar, add hot (not boiling) water and the flowers.
2. Let it sit for 12 hours (I did overnight)
3. Strain the mixture with a fine cheesecloth.
4. Pour your now violet colored liquid into a pot on low heat.
5. Stir in as much sugar as your heart desires but if you need a ratio 1:1 liquid to sugar so if you made 4oz of violet water add in 4oz of sugar
6. Remove from heat after sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool and transfer to a jar of choice.
7. Use it for adding to a coffee drink, cocktail or drizzled over a baked goodie
*I would not suggest substituting the sugar with maple syrup or honey because the flavor of those will overpower the flower flavor. I think cane or coconut sugar could work.
Small tip for y’all: always start with a small quantity of anything you forage. You might not like it, you could be allergic, you could have a tummy ache, or overall might be taking too much for the forest to handle. Oh and be 100% sure of what you pick up. I really like my method of see it, take a photo, research it and get a second opinion from an expert if you can. You’ll save your life that way.
Anyways, wishing y’all a beautiful spring foraging season. Write back to me! I love talking to y’all in the comments, via email, or DMs on IG/Twitter.