Did you know you can make wildflower sugar cubes? You Can! Any edible flower can be used, but this time I used Cercis canadensis- Eastern Red Bud. This is an eastern, south of the great lakes tree or shrub that has purple pea like flowers. It is high in vitamin C and the blossoms are edible. I like to use them in pancakes, waffles, and muffins. The flowers can be used fresh or dried, and the dried seed pods can be used to make tea.
Much like the violets, they can also be used to flavor sugar, make syrup, and jelly. I have plenty of syrup and jelly, so decided to make more sugar cubes. My daughter said the violet sugar skulls are more like 4 cubes each, so at my daughter’s request, I gave cubes a shot.
We picked the blossoms clean of sticks and debris, then put them in a food processor with a couple cups of sugar (I play fast and loose with measurements) and turned it on until the flowers were obliterated.
Then I dumped it on a silicone pan liner and patted it more or less into a rectangle.
I used a ceramic knife to cut them into cube like shapes, which wasn’t at all easy. I could have made my life a whole lot easier had I thought to use a pizza cutter.
Once I got them more or less formed, I put them in the oven at 200° for 20 minutes. Then I made the mistake of trying to move them while hot. Hot sugar=ouch. For the record.
Let them cool completely, then I strongly recommend that you either dehydrate them, or put the entire baking sheet in the freezer and freeze them before storing them in an air tight container in the freezer. If they are frozen as cubes first, they should stay loose cubes when put in the freezer. I totally know what you are thinking. Why keep them in the freezer after baking and dehydrating…??? Valid question.
Bacteria, mold and fungi need food, moisture and humidity. No matter how much you dry the cubes out, it is organic matter suspended in a glucose matrix. So… basically a petri dish. Everytime you open the container you let things in, including humidity. Just keep them in the freezer and it keeps the nasties at bay. If you don’t, one shouldn’t be surprised to find fuzzy cubes. They are a delightful addition to tea.
This pandemic is taking a toll on everyone. Being inside too much may protect you from the virus but you still need air, sun and exercise. Foraging allows the perfect opportunity to be productive, get outside, move around and still socialdistance.
Get online and learn about wild edibles, then hit nature to suppliment your meals as well as get some exercise and air.