How to Make Dandelion Jelly (Cooking With Weeds)

Dandelion Jelly

Making jelly is as easy as picking a few weeds and cooking up the yellow blossoms – really! ~ 

Here are the reasons you MUST make Dandelion Jelly:

  • Fun: The funnest (I know it’s not a word) recipe I’ve ever made!
  • Green thumb not needed: Even urban dwellers can find dandelions growing…somewhere.
  • Forage then feast: No need to fear getting a deadly dose of poisonous plant.Dandelions are hard to misidentify.
  • Farm to table: Taking a product from farm (or lawn) to table is so rewarding to do with your kids.
  • Surprisingly easy: Almost as easy as finding dandelions.
  • Absolutely, positively delicious: This Dandelion Jelly tastes EXACTLY like honey. After all, bees take nectar from dandelions to make honey – in this recipe, you just steep out nectar, add sugar, a little lemon and you’ve got Dandelion Jelly.

Dandelion Jelly Each spring, as the first dandelions pop up on lawn, I’m somewhat enchanted by this lovely recipe header from the cookbook Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly by Joan E. Aller  (a gift from Deanna.) “Dandelions are not weeds…According to the USDA, dandelions are more nutritious than broccoli or spinach…They have a delicate flavor and are still enjoyed in southern Appalachian dishes today…from wine to jellies to greens.” This year I finally made the jelly – and really, it was as easy as picking a few blossoms, steeping them, adding sugar and cooking for 5 minutes. I actually used the recipe in the book only as a starting point and changed all parts of the recipe including the ingredient amounts and instructions (my recipe below.) I shared it with several friends, including a 75-year old neighbor who brought over his rototiller to plow up a  garden patch for me. (I’m beyond excited to finally have an official 5-foot x 12-foot garden. Now CAN I keep it weeded??) Dandelion Jelly All my tasters (including six of my 9-year-old’s little friends who helped me pick dandelions) had the same response: “It tastes just like honey – with a little bit of lemon!” Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

Makes About 5 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 cups packed very fresh dandelion blossoms (from unsprayed plants!)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar (don't use less or jelly won't gel)
  • 1 box powdered pectin for less sugar recipes
  • 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice (fresh lemons have varying acidity - so us bottled)
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring if desired (without this coloring is a bit more greenish)

Directions

  1. Using your thumb fingernail, cut and pluck the yellow blossom out of the tiny green leaves holding it. (Your thumb will get sticky and the flower will separate into petals.) Remove as much of the green as possible because green is bitter and turns the jelly green; I had just a tiny bit of green on almost each blossom.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cup blossoms; turn down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off water and steep for about 15-20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out and gently push on blossoms to remove some of the water. Add water back to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add remaining blossoms; simmer for 10 minutes and strain out blossoms, pressing to remove water.
  3. Measure steeping liquid to 3 cups; add sugar, pectin, lemon juice and food coloring and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil for 1 minute, then skim off foam with a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour into hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace and store in the refrigerator - or process according to canner manufacturer's instructions.

Notes

This great idea is from the cookbook "Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly." If you can't collect enough dandelion blossoms at one time, freeze your collection until you have enough.

Use the jelly on lemon scones, crackers with goat cheese or cream cheese, warmed to glaze BBQ chicken, in salad vinaigrette or almost any way you use honey.

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Have you ever foraged for your food? What about dandelion greens – might you eat them in a salad? I ate these below – when small and tender they have only a slightly bitter bite. dandelion jelly

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Comments

  1. Mmm I’m going to have to try this!
    Gemma Critchley recently posted..Reviewing the Clean 9 dietMy Profile

  2. I’m so impressed!

    I will never likely be this brave, but impressed nonetheless! Serena… you never stop amazing me :)

  3. How fun is this?! Love it! I never knew you could make dandelion jelly, but I have made dandelion greens pizza before :-) This would definitely be a fun project to do with the kids. Have fun with your garden!!!
    EA Stewart recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday, RD Edition at The Spicy RD #WIAWRDMy Profile

    • Thanks EA! One thing I didn’t put in the post was how excited my daughters’ dandelion ‘harvesting’ friends were to try the jelly…they were jump-up-and-down excited.

  4. What a fun and neat idea! Today I learned that “dandelions are more nutritious than broccoli or spinach” – wow!
    Shashi recently posted..Healthy Chocolate Scones!My Profile

  5. i’m totally fascinated! i love making jelly but would have never thought of dandelions…. i wonder what other “weeds” would make a nice jelly!!?
    gretchen | kumquat recently posted..Grilled BCT SandwichMy Profile

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