It’s the time of year to take advantage of the warm weather, and we’re doing that by foraging for wildflowers and making a delicious Fireweed Simple Syrup! We’ve waxed poetic before about our love for roses in food, and elderflower too. Well folks, we’ve got a new addition to the edible floral fanclub, and it’s the humble fireweed!
We’ve been trying to get out and enjoy the nice weather while it’s still here and this simple recipe allowed us to do just that. Fireweed grows all around Mom’s and Dad’s place, and all over rural Canada in fact. It’s a beautiful, spindly, tall wildflower that honeybees and bumblebees love (BEE careful when picking them! Lol). But until last year, we had no clue that it was edible. Berry picking is a very common Newfoundland tradition. Fireweed picking…not so much. However, we’re always up for trying something new, so we put on our sunscreen and headed for the old ball field. The bees have been having a hard time as of late, so we were careful to only take what we needed as well.
Apparently foraging for fireweed is a very common practice in Canada’s more Northern provinces and territories (and Alaska), but since it’s brand new to us, we figured we would experiment with something straight-forward, a Fireweed Simple Syrup. During the first shot at making the simple syrup, we followed the same rules we would for an herb infusion, by allowing the syrup to come to a boil, adding the flowers and letting steep overnight. It…didn’t work. As it turns out, the flavour and colour of the fireweed is a bit more shy, and requires a full rolling boil for about 10 minutes to extract the beautiful pinkish colour and delicate floral profile from the petals.
Guys, this Fireweed Simple Syrup is so easy to make, and it is so versatile. I’m in love. We plan on adding it to gin cocktails, making lemonade (recipe below!), and drizzling it over fresh fruit. But you could also boil it down further and add pectin to make jelly! Whatever your heart desires 🙂 We hope you give it a try, and let us know your favourite way to use it in the comments below, or on our Instagram or Facebook pages. Happy Foraging!
Fireweed Simple Syrup
A delightful floral simple syrup that is excellent in lemonade & cocktails, stirred with powdered sugar to make a light floral icing for cakes or just drizzled over fresh fruit! Makes roughly 1 1/4 cups.
- 1.5 cups fireweed flowers, packed tightly and stems removed
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
First you'll need to clean your flowers well. Place them in a medium sized bowl and cover with water. Gently swirl the flowers around with your hands, to shake loose any dirt or critters (these are wild flowers after all). Leave the flowers to sit in the water for a few minutes. Any bugs will find their way to the top, so just pick them out. Drain your flowers, and set aside.
Add the water and sugar to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil on the stove top. Once boiling, add the flowers and lemon juice, and boilfor 10-15 minutes, until all the colour has drained from the flowers. Strain the syrup into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer. Transfer the strained syrup to a sealable container and place in the fridge. Will last for a few months.
A small batch of delicious lemonade that highlights the humble fireweed! Makes 2 1/2 cups, or enough for 3 servings.
- 1/2 cup fireweed simple syrup
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1.5 cups water
In a pitcher, add all the ingredients and stir well to combine. Chill and serve with ice!