Violets are a type of wild edible green that can be found in the springtime. They have heart-shaped leaves and small, five-petaled flowers that come in shades of purple, blue, and white. Violets are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron. They can be used in salads, soups, and teas.
When foraging for violets, it is important to be able to identify them correctly. Violets can be easily mistaken for other plants, so it is important to be sure you have the right plant before harvesting. The best way to identify violets is by their heart-shaped leaves and five-petaled flowers. Other plants that may look similar are wood sorrel and wild pansy, but these have three-petaled flowers and round leaves.
Once you have identified the violets, it is time to harvest them. The best time to harvest is in the morning when the leaves are still damp with dew. Make sure to only take what you need, as over-harvesting can damage the plant and its environment. When harvesting, it is best to use scissors or a knife to cut the leaves and flowers from the stem.
Now that you have your violets, it’s time to prepare them! Violets can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be added to salads, soups, teas, and even baked goods. The flowers can also be used as a garnish or decoration on cakes and cupcakes. To make a simple violet tea, steep a handful of fresh violet leaves and flowers in hot water for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Violets are a great way to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals this spring. With proper identification and harvesting techniques, you can enjoy these wild greens all season long!