Both red clover and white clover are edible. Clovers are high in protein, contain trace minerals, beta carotene, plus vitamins B and C. The leaves have a grassy taste, and the flowers are sweet if picked on a sunny day.
The flowers can be made into herb teas. They are lovely added fresh to a salad, especially potato salad. You can freeze the blossoms in ice cubes to jazz up drinks and cocktails. The flowers of red clover make a lovely wine. Clover flowers (red or white) can be dusted with flour and pan fried in oil to make a crispy snack.
The leaves can be added raw to salads or cooked in soups, stews and sauces.
The seeds can be soaked and sprouted. A flour can be made from the dried, ground up flowers and seed pods. Sprinkle this on cooked food.
4 to 6 clover flowers
250 ml/ 1 cup boiling water
Pour the boiling water onto the flowers. Infuse 10 to 15 minutes and strain. Drink hot, with a little honey if liked or try cooling, adding mint sprigs and ice cubes for an iced clover tea.
Red Clover Wine
2 litres/ 2 quarts red clover flowers
4.5 litres/1 gallon water
900 gm/2 lb. sugar
Put the flowers in a brewing bin and pour over the boiling water. Add the juice of the oranges and lemons. Cool to lukewarm (20 degrees centigrade/ 68 degrees Farenheit) and add the started yeast. Ferment for 5 days, strain into demijohn and fit an airlock.
Pick as many white clover flowers as you would like. Dry them thoroughly, preferably in a dehydrator. Grind them up in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar. You will be left with a gluten free flour that tastes like peas.
© Anna Franklin 2022, from the forthcoming Hearth Witch’s Garden Herbal, Llewellyn, 2023