Pansies and violas are often some of the first flowers of spring. In mild winters you may have some varieties of pansies that make it though the winter. These beautiful flowers are easy to press for a multi-tude of floral crafts including book marks, candles, natural decorated lamp shades and potpourri. Besides being a popular craft flower, they make lovely garnishes on food, can be candied, added to salads and eaten in a variety of other ways. Be sure, as with all edibles, that you have properly identified the plant before consuming it. African violets are not edible and are not considered viola. Here are a few ways that you can use pansies in violas to add that extra flair or dash of color to food. These lovely edible foods also make great – and somewhat unusual – in season gifts.
If you make homemade popsicles add a few pansy or viola flowers to them. For a real treat, add a flower or two to each ice cube tray when you freeze ice cubes.
Make a tea out of violets. Use 2 teaspoons of the dried leaf and 1 teaspoon dried violet flowers. Put this mixture in a tea bag or strainer, pour boiling water on it, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. This will make one cup of tea.
To crystallize either pansy or viola flowers, get a small paintbrush, one made for use on edibles which you can find in the candy making section of more stores. Whip an egg white until it is frothy. Paint the flowers with the egg white, then dip them into the sugar. Lay the flowers out to dry. These can be used to decorate cakes, cookies, etc.
Try dipping these edible flowers in chocolate or add them to a bowl of sugar. In a few days you can remove the flowers from the sugar and set them aside to use like crystallized flowers. The remaining sugar will have a violet scent to it and can be used however you wish.
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