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Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness

Timely news, information, and innovative ideas to promote health and influence change.
redbuds and red lentils

Redbuds and Red Lentils

Spring is a great time of year and gives us the opportunity to enjoy its aesthetics- through sight AND taste. Many plants, herbs, shrubs and trees have edible flowers. One of the prettiest trees currently in bloom is the Redbud. I can't tell you how many of them I pass on my way to work every morning. Their attractive hue not only attracts pollinators but also the human eye. These bright purple petals contain a flavonoid known as quercetin which is also found in apples, citrus fruits, herbs and wine. Quercetin is a type of phytochemical that may have heart protective benefits.

Take advantage of this gift and try some redbud flowers at your next meal! They are slightly sweet and can be enjoyed cooked or raw.

Here is one of my go-to recipes for a quick and healthy week-night meal. Yesterday I added some redbud flowers as a special treat. It was delicious!

Curried Red Lentils (Printable PDF Version)


  • 2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbs curry powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Redbud flowers (optional)


Sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until soft, ~5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add ginger and spices, stir and cook 1 minute more. Add lentils, broth and water then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils have completely broken down. Add additional water if necessary. It should be soft and creamy. Serve with rice or naan and garnish with cilantro and redbud flowers if available.

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