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  • Writer's pictureDawn Hames

Lilac Tea

Its lilac season right now. They smell so amazing and are truly beautiful. Did you know that lilac flowers are eatable, plus they have lots of health benefits. They are full of aromatic flavor and are slightly astringent. Lilac blossoms contain carotenoids, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only two carotenoids found in the eyes and are beneficial to help prevent cataracts, and macular degeneration in the eyes, giving lilac blossoms a very specific health benefit for our eyes. Lilac florets, also contain quercetin and rutin, both are beneficial antioxidants.

Lilac blossoms can be added to cakes, cookies, squares, tea scones, pudding, and pancakes. Lilac blossoms can be used to make lilac wine and lilac ice cream. You can even make a lilac syrup to put on pancakes and waffles. The blossoms can be coated with frothy egg white and then dipped in sugar and left to dry and the crystalized blossoms can be used to decorate cupcakes, and cakes. The blossoms can be used uncrystallized for pretty decorating of baked goods. Honey or sugar can be infused with the lilac scent and flavor simply by adding in the blossoms and allowing some time for the exchange to take place, six weeks for the honey and several hours for the sugar.

Lilacs can be picked, washed, and stored for several weeks in the refrigerator. It is remarkable how well they keep in the refrigerator. Lilac blossoms can be added to green salads or decorate cakes which are not only pretty to the eye but they also benefit eye health. Lilacs will brown in a few days, so be sure to add them on the icing just before serving, or store refrigerated. To have your lilac tree produce more lilacs, remember to dead head the ones that have withered.

You can steep fresh or dried lilac blossoms in hot water for a flavorful cup of herbal tea. Lilac tea can be served hot or iced with a bit of your favorite sweetener. You can make just one cup of tea for yourself to enjoy or larger amounts. You can also use the blossoms to infuse flavor to create unique cocktails and mocktails. To dry the lilac flowers, simply separate the small florets, and spread out on a surface like a cookie sheet to dry for several days, until they are crispy. You can them store them to be used for tea anytime. At this time when the lilacs are in bloom, you can also make lilac ice cubes, with the little florets, frozen into the ice cubes, and then bag them up for use during your summer entertaining.

Cup of Lilac Tea

1/4 - 1/2 cup lilac blossoms

1 cup hot water

Pour the hot water over the lilac blossoms, and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Sip as is or sweeten with a bit of honey.

Cold Brewed Lilac Tea

2 cups of lilac florets

4 cups water

Natural honey to sweeten

1 lemon sliced

In a quart mason jar, add 2 cups of lilac florets (half full), and pour fill with fresh cold water. Refrigerate for 12 hours or a little longer. Strain, add lemon slices and serve with honey to desired sweetness.

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