Summer flowers are more than pretty to look at, they're good to eat! If you have the time and the energy — and maybe don’t even think about this until after your morning coffee — there’s nothing as nice as baking with your kids. It’s a sneaky way to teach patience and following directions, and you all get to spend time together away from everyone’s respective screens. Oh, and everybody gets rewarded by the treat at the end. It’s pure magic. Read more: How one Iowa city planted 1,000 acres of wildflowers to bring back the bees
The trick is to keep it simple and easy, but also exciting enough to keep everyone interested. So while you could whip up a batch of muffins or something, its the season of blooms, so why not take advantage of it? A lot of wildflowers and common perennials you may have in your backyard are not just edible, they’re actually seriously tasty. Even a toddler can help you pick them, and once you get inside, your littlest ones can mix, your older ones can measure and pour, and although you’ll still get stuck with the dishes, there should only be a few.
If you have nothing else, you’re sure to have d andelions in your yard : Remove all the green from the flower itself, and separate it into its individual tufts. The flowers are light and sweet, and full of vitamin A and B12. They’re especially nice when they’re young. This adaptation of The Splendid Table’s recipe for Dandelion Cookies is quick and easy, with a delightfully rustic result. You’ll need: 1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup honey 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup white flour 1 cup oatmeal 1 cup dandelion flowers Instructions: Grease a cookie sheet, and preheat oven to 375°F. Beat together oil and honey, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually add flour, oatmeal and dandelion flowers. Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. (As with any flower, give the blossoms a good rinse, and make sure not to pick anything that might have been sprayed with pesticides.) If you are lucky enough to have a Lilac bush, or know a neighbor who’ll let you have a few blossoms, try these Lilac Scones, adapted from Chindeep’s recipe. They’re as easy as biscuits, and freeze well, so you can make as many as you want while lilacs are still in season. You’ll need: 3 cups flour 1/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup cottage cheese 1 cup washed lilac blossoms, patted dry (plus more for garnish) Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and butter. Using a pastry blender, work butter into dry ingredients until coarse, uniform crumbs form. Add milk and cottage cheese. Using a spoon, gently combine until just mixed and moistened. Gently fold in lilac blossoms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently pat the dough till it’s about an inch thick. Cut out scones with a biscuit cutter. Place scones, 2 inches apart, on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until lightly golden. Makes 10 large scones. Serve these up with whipped cream or butter, and a big cup of tea, and don’t forget to take pictures. Pansies and violas aren’t wildflowers, but you might have a window box full of them anyway. If not, feel free to use wild violet petals in their place. They’re delicate and subtle, and they’ll make this breakfast look straight out of a fairy tale. This simplified version of Grateful Prayer, Thankful Heart’s recipe for Pansy Crepes is as easy to make as pancakes from a box, and if you serve it with whipped cream or fresh fruit, but you’d never realize how little sugar it actually has. For 6 crepes, you’ll need: 3/4 cup flour 3/4 cup milk 2 eggs 1 Tbs sugar 1 Tbs veg oilDash of ground cinnamon and nutmeg 1 cup of pansy or violet petals, rinsed and patted dry, with any green removed Instructions: Whisk all ingredients together, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Grease a small, medium hot pan, pour 3 Tbs of batter onto it, and quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers bottom in a thin film. Cook 1 minute. Working quickly, briefly remove pan from heat and gently press flower petals, flat side up, onto the crepe. Flip crepe and cook 30 seconds longer. Place on a clean dishtowel to cool.