Getting your daily bread can be tricky if you’re out foraging. There are a number of wild plants that can be used as a wild foraged flour substitute, which will help stretch your food stores in times of need. They’ll also add flavor, nutrition and just plain fun.
Clover blossoms can be ground into a flour substitute that can substitute for up to 1/4 of the total flour in a recipe. While it’s not really “flour” in the proper sense, the ground blossoms add flavor and nutrition to plain white flour.
How to Make Clover Blossom Flour
Start by harvesting of red or white clover blossoms. As you harvest, there will inevitably be leaves, stems and other green material. While you can keep this in the flour, it’ll have a stronger taste than the blossoms alone.
Lay the blossoms out to dry. If they’re in the sun, it’ll only take a few hours and you can go right to work. The sun isn’t the best place to dry herbs in general because it can cause them to lose nutrients. Try to be patient and lay them out on a screen in a well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight.
Since the leaves have a much stronger taste, I separated the blossoms from the green material before processing the blossoms into flour. The leaves smell like hay, because well, that’s pretty much what they are.
I started with 4 cups of blossoms and stems but with upper leaves and stems removed I had lost half the volume. I now have 2 cups of blossoms to process into flour.
At this point, a small blade coffee grinder is the best method. You’ll have to work in batches but each batch will go quickly. Alternately, a food processor also works. All the blossoms can go in at once, but it’ll take about 5 minutes on high to pulverize the clover blossoms into flour.
Or if you’re feeling old school, try using a mortar and pestle. It’ll take a while, but you’re doing this for fun, right? Grab a glass of lemonade and a spot in the shade and get to work.
Four cups of blossoms and stems became 2 cups of blossoms. Then after processing, the 2 cups of blossoms became about 1/2 a cup of clover flower flour. Needless to say, they take up a lot of space in a basket, so make sure you harvest about 8 times the volume of finished flour you want.
Once you have red clover flour, using it is a bit trickier. It’s not exactly “flour” and it won’t hold together in baked goods. It gives baked goods a mildly sweet, green flavor like spring peas. It also adds a spongy texture, which works well in biscuits and softer baked goods.
The same flour can be made with either red or white clover. Here are a few recipes using clover flour:
If you’re not up for making flour, the whole blossoms can be used in baking. Or, you can tear them apart and use the petals. That might result in a better texture. Here are a few recipes for baking with whole clover flowers:
- Red Clover Oatmeal Cookies
- Clover Blossom Soda Bread
- Red Clover Biscuits
- White Clover Cinnamon Strawberry Banana Cookies
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