Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved picking flowers. Luckily I’ve found ways to make flower-picking useful! There are so many backyard herbs and “weeds” that are medicinal, edible, and helpful! This is a topic I’ve been very interested and curious about in recent years and I love to learn about different ways I can use plants growing right outside fo free! In this post I’ll be teaching you how to make homemade wild violet syrup from flowers you can pick from your yard.
Before I get to that though- funny story from my childhood: My sister and I always used to play “house” outside and my favorite activity was to make “soup”. We had old pots and pans to play with outside and we would fill them with water and make “soup” from different ingredients we’d find around the yard, such as pebbles, leaves, flowers, berries, pinecones, dirt, anything we could find. The more it resembled actual food, the cooler we felt.. One day we actually went around our yard and started trying different leaves and grass. Literally. We were such picky eaters, I have no idea why we thought it would be a good idea to go around tasting all the different leaves. Hahaha..I crack up just thinking about it. Not surprisingly, most of them were totally disgusting. I do not recommend doing this by the way…Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it can’t still be toxic. Luckily we lived and never did that again. There ARE however so many plants that you can eat from your yard, just as long as you don’t spray any chemicals on your grass or weeds. I think this is where my interest in foraging for wild edibles comes from; it somehow connects me to my childhood memories of collecting ingredients for my soup. 🙂
Here are a few medicinal benefits and others uses for violets, if you’re curious!
- Violets are great for stimulating your lymphatic system to help flush out toxins from your body.
- They’re also high in vitamins A and C, so you’re getting a mini boost of health when you eat violets!
- The leaves are also edible and are good for salads or dried, crushed, and drank as a tea.
- The blossoms make beautiful edible garnishes. (Tip: Add some to an ice cube tray for pretty ice cubes for a summer drink!)Have a yard full of violets? Grab a jar, and go picking. The amount of violets you’ll need is dependent on how much syrup you’ll want. I just picked about a cup. When you have your violet blossoms all picked you’ll probably notice creepy bugs in your jar as well and be slightly terrified that you actually touched them! Don’t worry about getting all of the bugs out though. You’ll be pouring boiling water over your blooms which will kill any bugs that you may have accidentally picked with your flowers, however rinsing the blooms is a good idea to get rid of dirt or other debris. You’ll need just enough boiling water to cover up your blooms, I used about a cup.
Stir it up and watch the water turn the most gorgeous blue color you’ve ever seen! Let it sit and steep awhile. I waited a couple hours, but you can wait just as long as it takes for your water to cool off.When your flowers have finished steeping, strain the flowers out from the water. I used a regular strainer with a coffee filter in there to make sure not to let anything extra in there! I also squeezed the flowers in the filter after to get all the liquid out. A thin cloth or cheesecloth would work well too.
Add equal parts of sugar to violet water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil! I didn’t have any regular sugar so I used powdered sugar and it worked out fine. Reduce the heat and let it simmer awhile until you have reached your desired consistency. I left mine pretty watery since I wasn’t making much of it and didn’t want it to reduce away to nothing.. In hindsight I probably would’ve cooked it down a little more though! When you’ve reached your desired consistency, add some lemon juice and watch closely because the color change happens quickly! If you like the blue color of the syrup, don’t add any lemon juice. The lemon juice turns the liquid purple. Its so awesome to watch! I have no idea how or why it works…its science. 🙂 I just added a couple drops of lemon juice because I still wanted it to be slightly blueish. Add more if you want it more purple-y.
After the color changes you’re all done! Bottle it up and keep it in the refrigerator until its all gone. Wondering what the heck to do with this once you’ve made it? Good question! Here are a few ideas:
- Use it in place of simple syrup in any recipe.
- Put it in your tea to sweeten it and add an extra floral flavor.
- Use it in mixed drinks for a pretty cocktail without fake colors! I actually invented a drink (for kids, or an adult cocktail version) using this and will post the recipe soon. There will be a slight delay because I bought the wrong ingredient at the store.. Haha oops.
- Make violet lemonade popsicles! I just made this up too. I’m thinking lemon juice, violet syrup, and maybe water? Depending on how sweet your syrup tastes! These would probably be really pretty too!
Have a genius idea for how to use violet syrup!? Let me know in the comments! I need more ideas! To stay updated with my recipe using this syrup make sure to subscribe here so you won’t miss it. 🙂