Spring in the Northern Hemisphere never disappoints. It all begins with the spring ephemerals and then leads into my family’s favorite, edible flowers. So it is no surprise that in one of our recent walks my children were noticing all the violets and dandelions popping up all over the yard and in some of their favorite spots in the forest.
This prompted us to make some sketches in our nature journals and discuss if there were opportunities to share these flowers with others. We came up with lots of creative ideas, but all came to the conclusion that adding them to a recipe we could share with each other and grandma would be the best option.
While I am a fan of edible flowers throughout the seasons, I especially love to incorporate blooms during the Flower Moon lunar cycle. I focus on any opportunity big or small to help my family sync up to the seasons and connect to our nearby nature.The lunar cycles are simply a shorter cycle we can align with throughout the year, and the lunar cycles have so much to teach us.When I am foraging, I follow The Honorable Harvest. Each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce the interconnected relationship we have with Mother Nature and bring intention and gratitude to our foraging practice. I also ask that you be just as mindful foraging for flowers as you would for mushrooms. There are so many flowers that can be harmful or deadly when foraging, so it is important that you know what you are harvesting when gathering edible flowers.
Here you can find one of my favorite references: Foraging with Kids by Adele Nozedar. My copy is well worn, and one of the books I return to over and over again each season.
I also included a beautiful cookbook for those of you who would like to try more cooking that includes edible flowers. Eat Your Flowers: A Cookbook by Loria Stern
With all these beautiful flowers collected, we needed something sweet to add them to. We decided to whip up one of my go-tos, dutch babies! They are essentially a giant pancake that you can dress up any way you like. I used this recipe from the New York Times Cooking and it honestly takes me no more than 15 min to prep and 20 minutes or less to bake. We spent more time foraging for violets and dandelions than we did cooking! And I think we could all use more time in the forest than in the kitchen.
(Hint: using the eggs and milk at room temperature is best.)
3 large eggs
½ cup flour (substitute gluten free option should you choose)
½cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Dash of nutmeg
Edible flowers of choice
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Add all ingredients EXCEPT butter to a blender and blend.
Add butter to a pan and put in the oven. As soon as the butter has melted, remove the pan.
Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Pour the batter into your hot pan that already contains the melted butter.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and artfully sprinkle your beautiful edible flowers over your dutch baby.
Enjoy with the whole family!