The redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a native tree to Kentucky and it’s a common flowering tree found in urban landscapes too. Likely you may have one in your own yard!
Bees love the flowers, and did you know the flowers are edible too?
The redbud is in the pea family, which you may recognize a resemblance in the flowers if you’ve seen pea flowers before.
You can eat the flowers outright, put them in baked goods, turn the unopened buds into capers, or make a simple syrup out of the flowers which you can use in drinks.
I love flavored lemonades and they’re quite easy to make. Strawberry lemonade can easily be made with mashed up strawberries blended into the lemonade. I love making lavender lemonade which is easily done by infusing lavender petals into a sugar syrup, which is then used to sweeten the lemonade.
This same simple syrup can also be made with redbud flowers. It adds a subtle floral flavor to the lemonade, which no doubt would make it a hit at a picnic.
- Make simple syrup with redbud flowers
- Juice lemons. Add water.
- Blend lemonade with redbud syrup
- 1 C redbud flowers (gently washed in a mesh strainer)
- 1 C Sugar
- 1C Water
- Bring water and sugar to a boil while whisking to blend sugar
- Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes
- Allow mixture to cool until it feels warm to the touch (100 degrees)
- Add redbud flowers
- Allow to steep for several hours or overnight
- Strain petals out of syrup
- Add syrup to lemonade
- 5 large lemons, juiced to make 1 C lemon juice
- Add up to half gallon water depending how strong you like the lemonade