Turning flowers into food!
A fun and healthy activity you can do with the kids is to go for a walk around the neighbourhood to try and find Bottlebrush flowers, cut a few from the tree, take them home, use them to make a beautiful pink tea then turn that tea into LOLLIES!
The tall trees (from the Callistemon genus related to the paperbark family) with pink and red bottlebrush flowers in bloom at the moment are perfect. They're native, they create a lovely pink liquid when simply boiled in water for a couple of minutes then strained, and can be easily turned into pretty pink lollies that are obviously healthy for growing and active kids' muscles, joints and tummies.
- Place about 5 or so bottlebrush flowers into a saucepan on the stove with a little more than enough boiling water to cover the flowers
- Let simmer for a few minutes until the flowers seem to have lost some of their colour when you use tongs to lift them out, and also the colour of the water is a nice deep pinky red
- Strain so you keep the liquid and discard the rest
- Measure 2 cups liquid, return to the stove in the saucepan and slowly sprinkle in, bit by bit while whisking quickly, 4.5 tbsp pure grass-fed beef gelatin powder
- When the granules have dissolved add in about 2-3 tbsp raw honey to sweeten (or more depending on your taste). Whisk until stirred through properly
- Next pour the liquid into a jug with a lip and fill silicon moulds of choice (I used mini cupcake moulds) sitting on a firm and flat tray or board then transfer the board or tray to the fridge
- It'll take a couple of hours for the gelatin to set and the liquid to firm up
Then you have Bottlebrush Lollies!!
Remember to leave some flowers on each tree you find, as they're pretty important to birds and bees.
Happy foraging + cooking!