Making jelly is as easy as picking a few weeds and cooking up the yellow blossoms – really! ~ by Serena Ball, MS, RD
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.
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??) 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!”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.