This time of year, most of our yards are abloom with pretty yellow flowers. While some may hate to see the “dreaded” dandelion, others embrace them. If your yard is littered with these dainty flowers, why not make something useful from them? It’s so easy to make dandelion jelly from the dandelions in your yard, and store it for use whenever you want a sweet addition to your biscuits!
I love foraging, and for a long time I’ve wanted to make dandelion jelly. But I had never made it! So, for this week’s edition of the Self Reliant Skill of the Week, that’s exactly what I did.
I was surprised at how easy it was. And the results – simply delicious!
Dandelion jelly tastes a LOT like honey, with a subtle hint of lemon. And it’s also easy to can. You don’t even need to stress over using a pressure canner! This means you can make a lot while the dandelions are in full bloom, to use the whole year. And trust me, this jelly would be outstanding in the middle of the winter!
Supplies needed to make dandelion jelly
- Dandelion flowers
- Lemon juice
- Pint or half-pint jars, with rings and new lids
- Waterbath canner
- 2 cups dandelion flowers (green parts removed)
- 4 cups water
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 envelope pectin (or 6 tablespoons of bulk pectin)
- 4 cups sugar
Making dandelion jelly
You’ll first want to gather lots of dandelion flowers. Make sure you don’t pick them from an area that has been sprayed. The kids usually love to help with this!
Cut or pull out the yellow part of the dandelion flowers, removing as much of the green petals as possible. The green parts will make your jelly bitter, and we don’t want that! You need to start with 2 cups of dandelion flower heads.
Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the flowers, and let cool slightly. Then put in the fridge for 24 hours. We’re first making a dandelion tea!
After 24 hours, remove the dandelion tea and strain it. Press out as much water as you can from the flowers. Discard or compost the flowers.
Add the juice of one lemon, and 1 envelope powdered pectin (or 6 Tablespoons if you have a bulk container). Bring this mixture to a boil, then add in 4 cups of sugar. Return to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour the jelly (it will be VERY thin) into pint or half-pint jars, and put the lids on finger-tight. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, or longer if you live in a higher altitude. If any jars don’t seal, place them in the fridge and use up first.
Makes approximately 2 pints.
Here is a video of me making dandelion jelly for the very first time.
Using dandelion jelly
Since dandelion jelly tastes like honey, you can use it in almost any way you would use honey. It would be delicious on toast, biscuits, or pancakes. I would even use it as peanut butter and jelly!
Use dandelion jelly as a topping for ice cream, to add a subtle sweetness to plain yogurt, or in a smoothie. You can also use it in place of honey to sweeten tea.
Other uses for dandelions
Many consider dandelions “weeds”. But what is a “weed”? According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” People need to know the benefits of dandelions before they spray to get rid of them.
Dandelions are a valuable first springtime food for the bees.
Dandelions are actually medicinal. They help cleanse the liver, and improve kidney function. Drinking dandelion root tea is a very effective liver detox that should be taken on a regular basis.
This pretty little “weed” also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, and strong antioxidants. It may even help control blood sugar levels (not in the form of this dandelion jelly, though!).
Studies have indicated that dandelions may also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Overall, this is a very healthy plant!
If you want more recipes to help you enjoy these dainty yellow flowers, you can find 16 dandelion recipes here.
Are you going to use your dandelions instead of spraying them?
So, tell me, are you going to use this valuable little “weed”? What are you most excited about doing with them? Please share in the comments!