Violets are certainly a springtime favorite! The beauty, food, and medicine they provide for all is a gift. Violets can be found growing in damp, shady areas. The flowers and leaves are edible and offer both cooling and moistening properties. Nibble on each and see for yourself how they taste and feel in your mouth. The leaves and flowers are often used for dry coughs, sore throats, fevers, and even stuck and stagnant lymph. The greens and flowers can be eaten raw, infused in vinegar, or prepared as a syrup. The fresh plant material can be made into a tincture or dried as a tea for later use. Today we play around with the flowers and make deliciously sweet jelly!
Violet Flower Jelly
2 cups fresh violet flowers (lightly packed)
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 box of powdered pectin
- Gather the flowers, being mindful not to gather in areas where plants have been sprayed and taking only 10% of what’s available.
- Place the 2 cups of flowers in a quart sized canning jar
- Did you know that violets grow flowers in both the spring and fall? The colorful, insect-pollinated, blossoms that we see in the spring are the most familiar. Later in the season, small, closed flowers emerge and remain hidden under the leaves. These flowers never open and are self-pollinating, producing seeds without the help of insects!
- Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the gathered flower, cover, allow to cool, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Be sure to watch as the colors from the violets infuse into the water, it’s beautiful! It reminds me of dipping a paintbrush in water.
- Strain the flowers well, squeezing out as much tea as possible. Compost them. Check out that blue hue!
- Take a moment to add the lemon juice to the blue violet tea. Watch as the colors make a dramatic change from blue to magenta. The acidity from the lemon juice changes the liquid’s chemistry in such an amazing way.
- Place the 3 1/2 – 4 cups of blue violet tea, lemon juice, and pectin in a large pot. Bring it to a boil.
- Add the sugar and return to a boil while stirring. Boil the jelly for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour into canning jars. Continue with water bath canning process for 10 minutes.
You may also want to try Yellow Petal Jelly using dandelion petals & forsythia!