Happy Food: More Edible Flowers

Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

We’ve recently been talking about edible flowers on the blog, specifically dandelions. Today I wanted to share about my new obsession, lilacs! I’ve had it in mind to try baking with lilacs for a few years, but our lilac blossoms come & go so quickly. This year, I was able to catch them just in time!

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Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

Our lilac bush is a bit of an unruly mess in the backyard, right along the fence line. There’s plenty of winter-killed branches & I’m sure there’s something I should be doing to help prune it up and give it a boost. So if you’ve got any good tips on lilac plant health, I’d love to hear them! I’m hoping to plant a big row of lilacs on the farm as wind break in the market garden {a project for next year}.

 

Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

This week though, my main focus was just on harvesting blooms so I could FINALLY try the lilacs out as an edible flower. Oh sure, you can just walk right up to a lilac bush, pull off some flowers & pop them in your mouth. My floral curiosity is greater than that though.

 

Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

First I tried just sprinkling them on top of dishes. Cottage cheese, yogurt, salads. Even our chicks got a sprinkle of them on their nightly veggie dinner. The lilacs just make everything more pretty, more special & more delicate. I like that they root you in the here & now, because their season is so short. Take notice & appreciate what is before you.

 

Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

Next up, I decided to make a simply syrup from lilac blossoms. Shauna recently turned me on to gin & tonics {thanks for that, girl!} and once I saw this recipe I knew it would be delightful in home cocktails. The recipe is from Holly & Flora, a beautiful & inspiring blog. She has a wonderful cocktail recipe for using the lilac syrup too. The syrup is easy to make. The most time consuming part is harvesting the flowers off the stems.

Lilac Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lilac blossoms
  • 5 blueberries (optional, they’re just to boost colour)

Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat. Add lilacs and blueberries. Stir. Simmer for 10 minutes or so. Strain through cheesecloth and then refrigerate. I made two batches and got three 250 ml mason jars worth. One for me, two for friends. I drizzled a bit in my next gin & tonic and it was so relaxing. A gentle lilac scent that will bring you back to warm spring days every time.

 

Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

I had seen some lovely inspiration for lilac scones, but each recipe called for buttermilk, not something I keep readily on hand. I know you can simply sour regular milk with lemon in place of it, but decided to stick with my mom’s cranberry scone recipe. Actually her recipe was from her best friend Cia. I can still remember the first time we tasted them at Cia’s house in Jasper. We were spending a rare Thanksgiving with Cia & her husband Ben and it sticks out as one of the most thankful holidays we’ve actually had.

I did a *bit* of editing on the recipe and here’s how it really went:

Lilac, Lavender & Lemon Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal flakes
  • 5 -7 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 5-7 drops of Lemon essential oil
  • 2 tbsp of butter (be generous)
  • 1 cup Lilac blossoms
  • 1 cup of milk

Mix first 4 dry ingredients together. Add essential oils and stir. Cut in softened butter. Add lilac blossoms and milk. Mix together quickly using your hands. Don’t over mix. Form two rounds. Place on baking sheet. I like to brush the top of each round with butter and syrup {in this case, agave syrup}. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Serve with your favourite local honey and you’re in for a treat!

*Next time, I will add less Lavender oil & more Lemon oil and add lemon zest*

 

Happy Food: Edible Flowers ~ Using lilacs in the kitchen

 

Happy Harvesting!

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