Today’s simple post is a follow-up to yesterday’s story about foraging in my own backyard. I identified 18 edible plants in my yard, available now or that will reappear next spring. Today I was eager to pick something from the yard to eat or brew into a tea. White clover blossoms dotted the lawn. I decided to pick the flowers and brew a tea.
White clover is a very common North American plant, found most often in yards and along roads. The plant originated from Europe and Central Asia and was introduced here as a yard crop. The flowers are white with a pinkish tint and slightly sweet aroma, making them a favorite of bees.
Clover contains protein, minerals and vitamins A, B and C.
Medicinally, white clover has many uses. It can be made into an eyewash, into a tonic for treating fevers, coughs and colds, and it makes a great expectorant. A tincture of the clover leaves is used to treat gout. A tea made from the flowers has analgesic properties, making it helpful for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatism. White clover is also considered a good tonic for the blood and cleansing for all the systems of the body.
As a culinary treat, the entire plant is edible although the flowers are used most frequently. The shamrock shaped leaves can be added to salads and soups. The are most flavorful when picked before the plant blooms.
The freshly plucked white blossoms can be added to salads or dried and ground up to make a flour. The flowers, fresh or dried, can be used to make tea. The tiny seeds can be ground up as well, making a flour.
I gathered a handful of white clover blossoms, dropped them into a 16 ounce mason jar, and filled the jar with boiling water. I covered the jar and let the tea steep for 15 minutes.
The finished tea was a delicate green color. I strained the tea, because bugs are always a possibility with foraged food, and returned the tea to the mason jar. It was hot outside today, with the heat lingering well into the evening. I opted for iced white clover tea.
I let the tea chill while I prepared dinner. By the time my veggie bowl was ready, my tea was cooled down. I added ice and enjoyed sipping on my foraged tea as I ate dinner. The taste was light, slightly sweet and refreshing. I like teas unsweetened, however raw organic honey could be added.
Creating tea from the clover in my backyard was fun for me. Trying anything new has become a creative form of play…discovery play because I learn things I did not know before, about the world and about myself.