Sunday, May 19, 2019

Wild Violet Lemonade (Water Kefir) Recipe & the Newest Additions to Our Flock

 The warm weather is finally here so I can start planning my mini-garden. I was told by the old-time farmers here to wait until Memorial Day before planting anything outdoors so I am still having to play the waiting game for just a bit longer. In the meantime the kids and I are busy foraging for chickweed, dandelions, ramps and violets. Endless amounts of violets!! They are one of Baby F's current favorite snacks straight out of the ground. I enjoy them a but more in salads, personally. As for the rest of my family, they love them fresh from the ground, too but their favorite way of having them is in Wild Violet Lemonade Water Kefir. I thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

 To make it you first need to make a Wild Violet Syrup:
Gather 2 cups of violets (flowers only) and bring them inside to rinse off. Heat 1 cup of water in a sauce pan just to a simmer. Turn off the heat and then add your violets. Stir well. Let sit for 24 hours.
Now strain the violets and feed them to your chickens or compost them. Pour the violet water back into the sauce pan. Add about 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the violet water. This is my children's favorite part - you get to see the color go from a muted blue/purple to a bright purple in seconds! Now add 2 cups of sugar to the sauce pan and stir constantly over a low heat. Do not boil! You'll lose that beautiful color. Store in your refrigerator. Ours lasts us about 2 -3 weeks but that is because we use it all up by then.

Now that you have your Wild Violet Syrup, it is time to make it into lemonade. We make ours using our water kefir grains for gut health. Just add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup Wild Violet Syrup to 1 quart of water kefir (grains removed - this will be your 2nd ferment). Stir to combine and store in your refrigerator. You can drink it right away but I would recommend waiting until it is chilled. The longer it its in the refrigerator, the more the flavor will develop. You could make wild violet lemonade without the kefir by just adding lemon juice and the syrup to water.


p.s. - I realized that I never shared photos from our latest flock. They arrived back in March and actually just graduated from brooders in my girls' room to living outside in the coop with the big chickens.

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