Frying Pansy Pancakes

Treehousehold series

Spring is chomping at the bit to be released from its dreary winter holding position, our frozen toes are starting their slow thaw, and the herald of spring, the pansy, is rearing its head from its soiled garden bed. As the groundhog is the tricky red flag fauna of the new season, the pansy is the counterpart flora, and its appearance speaks spring to all the world.

The pansy is not a traditional Valentine-y flower, but oh so refreshing as a surprising thoughtful face in a bouquet or bunched up with spring greens. Their faces resemble ours so uncannily that they are known to be a thoughtful flower, and in the days of the language of the flowers the presence of a pansy meant that your lover was thinking of you.

Heart-shaped pansy leaves have been known to cure a broken heart, represent the trinity, or symbolize generational relationships (one is the grandmother, one the mother, and one the daughter). Pansies are in the violet family, and so are also symbols of blossoming romance, love and spring fertility just like their sweetly scented kin.

Pansy Project by Paul Harfleet | Raw on $10 a Day by Lisa Viger | Pansy Fascinator by Cutie Dynamite | Pansy Ring by Periwinkle Paradise | Pansy Ice Cubes by Martha Stewart | Alice in Wonderland Wedding by Sarah Maren

We can give spring a bit of a kick by setting a spare place at the brunch table for it when it does arrive, and this edition of {Tree}HouseHold is proud to bring you the art of Frying Pansy Pancakes, spring’s first choice on the breakfast menu. The flower and stem of the plant are both edible, and a good source of Vitamins A and C. The blossom is easily candied with a light coating of sugar water, and petals can be tossed into a spring salad to add color to fresh greens.

Pansy Pancakes with Lemon Lavender Honey Syrup

A scrumptious and freshly festive morning delight:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat or buckwheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
1 1/4 cups milk (I used coconut milk)
1/2 tsp anise or vanilla extract
1 egg or egg substitute (I used flax seed meal)
1 tablespoon oil or butter, melted (I used coconut oil)
for flavor, add a handful of chopped nuts, currants, or seeds, or an overripe banana
handful of pansy blossoms

  1. Blend all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix well until batter is a little lumpy. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for every pancake, pour the batter onto a well oiled skillet.
  2. Rinse the pansy blossoms well and remove the stems (make sure you pick them from somewhere that you know does not spray their plants with pesticides). While one side of the pancake is browning, place the pansy blooms on the upside face of the pancake. When the batter starts to make tiny air bubble holes, flip the pancake so that the pansy is now facing the skillet, and let it cook for a minute or so.

Lemon Lavender Honey Syrup





1 tablespoon dried or fresh lavender
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
4 tablespoons honey, agave, or maple syrup
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup berries (optional)

  1. Saute the lavender on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, and then add the brown sugar and continue to saute. The lavender and sugar should caramelize a little and brown nicely. Stir in the milk and honey until it begins to bubble on medium heat. Add in the lemon juice and berries, and let bubble for about five minutes. Remove from heat, cool a little, and let thicken for a few minutes. Drizzle on the pansy pancakes.
  2. You may garnish the pancakes with mint, fruit, or candied pansies. Make sugar-coated pansy blossoms by dipping the blooms in a solution of sugar and water that has been boiled and cooled. Then, dip them in finely ground white sugar. Leave the pansies in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, and they will be nicely sugared and crispy.
  3. I made these pancakes vegan by using coconut milk and oil and flax seed meal as an egg replacement.

Spring is a marvelous time for weeding out the bad, pruning back the old and fostering new growth in skills, joys, and projects. As the chorus of pansies from Alice in Wonderland sang: “We don’t want weeds in our bed!”

Happy thoughts and pansy power from {Tree}HouseHold!

All recipe photos by Heather Buzzard.

About the contributor:

Heather Buzzard is a freshly hatched graduate of Emory University, where she studied creative writing, sociology, religion and environmental science. Her time is spent frolicking as a musician in two Atlanta bands, dressing up for silly photoshoots, inventing recipes, and drooling happily over her Indie Fixx work.

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