Wild About - Red Clover

I can remember eating red clover flowers as a kid, delighting in their sweetness. The other day, I filled my bike's panniers with clover (Trifolium pratense) flowers because of that sweet memory.

But the flowers aren't as sweet as I remember, and I found them rather unspectacular in a salad (there are better foraged foods to put in salad). So, I stuck the whole lot of flower heads out in the sun for two days to dry for tea. Clover tea is supposed to be good for all sorts of ailments, but it's reputed to be particularly supportive of women's health. I can remember buying clover tea from a store a few years ago, and thinking that it just tasted like grass. Not so with the tea made from foraged flowers. It still has a grassy taste, but accompanied by a floral note and a faint nectar sweetness.

I don't know about you, but with only a few days remaining until the start of summer, the last thing I want is a steaming mug of tea. Fortunately, clover tea is light and refreshing when served iced. To save energy, and the heat of boiling water in the kitchen, try brewing red clover sun tea. Fill a quart jar (or larger, if you prefer), with water and a loose handful of the clover flower heads (dry or fresh). Place the jar outside in a spot where it will catch plenty of the hottest sun, and let it brew all day. Then all you have to do is strain out the flowers, chill, and enjoy. I like the taste of clover tea on it's own, but you can also brew it with other herbs to change it's flavor; lemon balm is particularly nice.

I've tried quite a few foraged foods this year, some old favorites like asparagus and mushrooms, but also some new plants like cattail shoots and milkweed buds. It's been a a culinary adventure. If you'd like to read more, click here.

This post appears as a part of Foodie Friday and Vegetarian Foodie Friday. Go, play, explore, have fun.

Comments

  1. My post is up now if you want to come by and link up. I love pickign clover with my girls. I haven't made tea with the petals for quite some time as we've been too busy lying on the grass and chewing them lately. Gorgeous post though!

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  2. Melodie- I'd choose bliss over tea, any day!

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  3. I remember learning to make red clover tea at camp when I was a kid. I have not tried it since then, but if I can find some red clover perhaps I will!

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  4. April - I was settling for dried up little clumps of it here and there. Then one day I was out riding my bike, not searching for clover, and I came upon an enormous carpet of it by the creek, every flower perfectly ripe and purple. I thought I picked a lot, but now I'm wishing I had picked more. It might be nice to have deep in winter.

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