For the Love of Lilacs
“O were my love yon Lilac fair,
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring,
And I a bird to shelter there,
When wearied on my little wing!
How I wad mourn when it was torn,
By Autumn wild and winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing,
When youthfu’ May its blooms renew’d.”
~Robert Burns, “O Were My Love You Lilac Fair”
Lilacs are in full bloom now in our area and I couldn’t be happier!
From my earliest memories as a little girl, I distinctly remember the fragrance of sweet lilacs filling the air with such a sweet fragrance. I remember playing in my grandmother’s yard full of flowers and her lovely gardens and always loving the huge old-fashioned lilac bush that grew behind an old wooden outhouse. What a glorious sight and memory!
We would pick a few bunches and hand the lovely bouquets to our dear mother. She would bury her nose deep into the scent and smile..as she was entranced by the fragrance.
Every time I see and smell lilacs now, the intoxicating
scent takes me back to that place…a happy, safe, and magical place that I will
cherish forever. Lilacs will always hold a very special place in my heart.
We are blessed to have 3 different lilac bushes growing now on our property and every year they bloom, I am like that little girl running out to the gorgeous bush of sweetness and enchantment. When I am outside around those fresh blooming bushes, I am taken to another place…like a dream of floral heaven. I’m always sad when their season is over, it doesn’t last but a couple short weeks but in those special weeks, they are getting plenty of love and filling our home with their loveliness and sweet scent!
This year, I wanted to have you join in on the magical beauty and delight of lilacs too! I’m going to give you several yummy recipes to create using this heavenly flower…because, yes, you guessed it…they’re edible and delicious!
In The Secret Language of Flowers, lilacs represent first emotions of love, youthful innocence, purity, modesty, and beauty. In Russian folklore, holding a newborn beneath a lilac bush would bring the child wisdom.
Lilacs …latin name: Syringa vulgaris (most common) were introduced to Britain during the time of Henry VIII and were mentioned in an inventory taken at Norwich by Oliver Cromwell.
M. Grieve in A Modern Herbal explains how lilacs are used as a vermifuge (expelling worms from the body) and as a tonic anti-periodic and febrifuge, and may be used as a substitute in the treatment of malaria. An anti-periodic is an herb or medication that is used to prevent the periodic return of attacks of diseases, as of certain fevers and malaria. The medicinal parts of lilac are the fruit and leaves.
Today, I will be showing you 4 easy recipes using these lovely lilacs, the first recipe is so simple but so pretty and elegant.
*Always make sure your lilacs have not been treated with pesticides before using in recipes!
Lilac ice cubes
You will need about 4-5 lilac flowers (green part removed) per cube
Place 4-5 lilac flowers in each ice cube holder and fill with water or juice. Freeze and use as decorative, floral, and magical ice cubes to chill your…
Lilac infused water
Place a few lilac blossoms into purified water, let sit for a few hours, chill and serve. This is a simple but lovely way to infuse the fragrance of lilac into your water…very refreshing and sweetly aromatic
Lilac Honey Jam
*Do not wash your lilacs before making this honey, best to collect them in the late morning or early afternoon when the sun is shining...they are much more fragrant at this time and the morning dew will have dried off the blossoms...too much water from washing the flowers could introduce mold into the honey
You will need 2 cups of lilac flowers (remove all the green from the back of each floweret (see picture). Place flowers in a quart glass jar and pour 2 cups of raw honey on top. You will need a raw honey that is runny and not thick or crystalized for this.
Stir well with a spoon and put lid on jar. The flowers will rise to the top, just turn your jar upside down once in a while so that the honey can incorporate all through the jar and flowers (see pictures). You may need to add more honey as the flowers saturate themselves with it.
This honey is so delicious and with a sweet aromatic lilac fragrance and taste. The honey is very thick and rich and it is the consistency of a jam if you leave the flowers in the honey. This is personally what I love to do. I love to eat the flowers with the honey and it gives the honey a chewy consistency (like a jam). It also makes anything you spread it on look magical and gorgeous!
If you prefer a honey consistency, you may remove the flowers after 1 week-10 days. It is delicious whichever way you choose!
Petite Loaves of Sweet Lilac and Blackberry
*This recipe would be a lovely gift for Mother’s Day and
given with a jar of homemade Lilac Honey Jam :)
I developed this recipe to go along with the Lilac Honey Jam and let me just say….both of them together are so yummy, moist, gooey (with the honey jam) and delightful that I ate 2 loaves in several hours…and surely wanted a third! All of my self-control went out the window when I took my first bite.
If you do not have a mini loaf pan, just use the batter to make muffins instead…both will work well for this recipe.
You will need:
½ cup butter, ghee, or coconut oil (room temperature)
* (if you have an egg intolerance, substitute a chia or flax egg- 1 TBSP of chia or ground flax to 2 ½ TBSP of water substitutes 1 egg in a recipe)
¾ cup of Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 TBSP of lemon or orange zest
2 cups of Tiger Nut Flour (you can use any gluten free or flour you prefer -my favorite is Tiger Nut)
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup coconut, almond, or milk of your choice (I used coconut)
1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup lilac blossoms (green part removed behind the flowers)
If you are using mini loaf pans, grease each loaf pan and place parchment paper on bottom of loaf baking pan.
First cream together butter and monk fruit sweetener (using a mixer). Then add eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly add flour, salt, baking powder, and milk. Then slowly fold in blackberries and then lastly, stir in lilac flowers gently.
Fill mini loaf pans or muffin tins ¾ full and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and set in middle. Let cool and remove from pan.
Serve with a generous helping of Lilac Honey Jam on top of each loaf or muffin and garnish with lilac blossoms.