The flower buds are a high source of vitamin C. Without natural citrus growing in Kansas this is important. TEOTWAWKI happens, and we have a population suffering from scurvy, argh!
You can eat them raw, adding to your salad or pickle them for later use. (good replacement for capers)
Pickled Redbud Buds
2 cups flower buds (remove stem)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tbl. sugar
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. canning salt
1-one inch long cinnamon stick
1 whole clove
Combine all. Bring to just boiling. Add to your sterilized jar. Refrigerate until ready for use. Or can as you would your cucumber pickles.
The pods are edible as well. Finding the right time to harvest the pods is a trial and error attempt, you want them young, but not so young that seeds have yet to develop. Eat and can like green beans.