Red Clover Infusion

I drink tonic infusions cold, only rarely warming or heating them.  I try to drink  tea whenever I am thirsty rather than plain water.

1.  Put ½-1 cup dried red clover into a quart mason jar.  {Fresh herbs need to be simmered gently right in the water for a few minutes to break down cell walls.  Dried herbs have brittle cell walls}
2.  Bring 1 quart water to boiling.
3.  Pour water over herbs and fill to top of jar.
4.  Cover or put a lid on the jar.  {Some herbs have volatile oils that easily evaporate into thin air if not covered}
5.  Let steep at least 8 hours or overnight.  {Long steeping allows the water time to dissolve and do its work, much increasing the potency of the tea}
6.  Strain and drink.  {I tend to strain as needed, leaving the herbs in the infusion to continue steeping until the tea is gone}
7.  Store in refrigerator.
I don’t usually sweeten tonic infusions, but you could add 1 Tbsp honey while it’s still hot if you prefer to drink yours sweet.

Red Clover Sap Tea

Remember that Maple Sap that you froze in March?  It’s time to thaw some out and make some Sap Iced Tea!
8 cups Maple Sap
2 cups fresh Red clover blossoms
¼ cup lemon juice

1. Gently simmer Maple Sap and Red Clover blossoms together for 10-15 minutes. 
2.  Turn off and let steep for several hours or overnight.  {Long-steeping dramatically increases the nutritional content of the tea}.
3.  Add lemon juice and chill thoroughly in refrigerator.
4.  Drink in a tall glass with ice.

Red Clover Lemonade

Herbal lemonades are a refreshing summer drink, and a wonderful way to sneak some nutritious herbs into the family’s diet.
4 cups fresh Red Clover blossoms
1 gallon water
2 cups honey (1 lb) (you can use sugar, as honey is pretty pricey these days)
1 ½ cups lemon juice

1. Gently simmer Clover blossoms in a covered pot for 10 minutes. 
2. Add honey, stirring until it dissolves.
3. Cover and let steep and cool for several hours or overnight.  (This makes a strong, potent tea, maximizing the calcium and other nutrients in the Clover.)
4.  Add lemon juice and chill in the fridge.

 Red Clover Raspberry Juice

Another way to sneak nourishing herbal infusions into your children’s diet is to use tea instead of water when you make frozen juice concentrates.
6 cups Red Clover infusion
1 can frozen Raspberry juice concentrate

1.  Make Red Clover infusion, steeping overnight for maximum nutritional value.
2.  Add 1 can frozen juice concentrate to the tea.
3.  Chill in refrigerator for several hours or serve in a tall glass with lots of ice.
Note: This recipe takes about 24 hours of long-steeping and chilling to make, so do plan ahead. You can use any flavor of juice concentrate to mix with tonic infusions, so feel free to improvise! 

Red Clover Rice

2 cups rice, brown or wild
2 cups Red Clover flowerettes, plucked out of the flowerheads
½ cup butter
1 tsp salt

1.  Cook rice in 6 cups water until done.
2.  While the rice is still hot, mix in Clover flowers, butter and salt.
3.  Serve hot.
You could add a ½ cup honey and some chopped nuts to make this a sweet dish.  You can also try quinoa or other grains instead of rice for this recipe.

Red Clover Salad

2 cups rice
3 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp lemon juice
1½ tsp salt
6 scallions, minced
1 cup Hickory or Black Walnuts (use any nuts if you don’t have these)
1 cup chopped dried fruit (try raisins, craisins, dates, or apricots)
2 cups Red Clover flowers, plucked out of the flowerheads.

1.  Cook rice in 6 cups of water until done.
2.  Do not stir while cooking or cooling.  Let cool completely before mixing salad to avoid rice becoming sticky or gummy.
3.  Add all the above ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4.  Chill and serve, or serve at room temperature.

Note:  You can make this extra special by using wild rice.  Or you can mix wild rice and brown or white rice half and half.  Because they have different cooking times, I boil the wild rice separately from the brown or white rice and mix them together after they are cooked. 

Red Clover Blossom Syrup

1 quart Red Clover blossoms
1 quart (4 cups) water
4 cups sugar
½ lemon or orange (organic if possible) chopped, peel and all

Note: The citrus is optional, it will give the syrup an orangey or lemony flavor.  If you want the pure Red Clover flavor, you can skip the citrus.  I make it both ways each year.
I also like to add a Tbsp of beet juice or berry juice to help color the syrup as it has a rather brownish tone to it, like a light maple syrup.

1. Put blossoms and water in a pot.
2. Simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, turn off heat, cover, and let sit overnight.
3. The next day, strain and press liquid out of spent flowers. 
4. Add sugar and sliced citrus and heat slowly, stirring now and again, for several hours or until reduced to a thick, honey-like syrup.
5. Can in ½-pint or 1 pint jars. 
This recipe makes a little more than 1 pint.  I usually triple or quadruple this, and I make more than one batch when they are in season to have enough for the year.  The syrup makes great Christmas presents, so make plenty!

Red Clover Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
¼ cup oil
½ cup honey or Red Clover Blossom syrup
2 cups milk
1 cup Red Clover flowers, pulled out of the flowerhead

1. Mix dry ingredients first.
2. Add wet ingredients and mix together thoroughly  (Note: the secret of keeping pancake batter from getting lumpy is to be sure to add all the wet ingredients before mixing.) 
3.  Adjust consistency by adding a little more milk or a little more flour if it’s too thick or thin.  Pancake batter should be thin enough to pour, but not runny.
4.  Cook on oiled grill.
5.  Top with butter and Red Clover Blossom syrup.

r Red Clover Almond Biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
¼ cup butter
½ cup almonds
½  cup buttermilk
2 eggs
¼ tsp almond extract
1½ cups Red Clover flowers, plucked out of the flowerhead

1.  Put flour, baking powder, and almonds in a food processor.  Whiz almonds are chopped fine.
2.  Add butter and whiz again until it forms a crumbly mixture.
3.  Adds eggs, buttermilk, almond extract and Red Clover flowers and whiz just until dough forms a lump.
4.  Shape into biscuits and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
5.  Serve hot with butter and jam.
Note:  These are a sort of sweet, dessert-like biscuit and don’t go well with gravy or meats.

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