Dandelion jelly perfectly captures the essence of spring. I think it tastes like honey & sunshine. It’s a sweet, delicate addition to your morning routine. So easy to whip up and makes a wonderful gift! I just can’t recommend it enough!
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Jerry and I have an ongoing battle about dandelions in the yard. He thinks they’re a pain, always walking around picking the little puffballs and carefully escorting them to the yard waste bin.
I, on the other hand, secretly walk around blowing the seeds out into the air, hoping the little golden beauties will multiply. That’s because dandelions are a wonderful, tasty, medicinal treat that has gotten a horrible wrap over the years.
Benefits of Dandelion
If you didn’t know, dandelions can be turned into a wide array of products that are nutritious and have great medical benefits. They’re an excellent source of vitamins C, A, and K when cooked or eaten raw.
They have anti-inflammatory properties, which I successfully tested out last year making a dandelion infused massage oil. Plus, they’re also full of antioxidants and are great for your skin.
All in all, they’re more helpful than harmful, depending upon how strongly you’re tied to having a pristine yard.
This year, I wanted to try something fun and different. Not too long ago, our yard was chocked full of dandelion blooms. Jerry was chomping at the bit to mow the lawn, so I darted outside and picked every bloom I could find.
Staring down the barrel of a FULL mixing bowl of blooms, I had to come up with a game plan. I scoured the internet and dandelion jelly was the top thing that piqued my interest, so I figured I’d give it a try.
Turns out, it’s simple to make and so delicious that it’s definitely something I’m going to make for years to come!
It tastes like sunshine…
If you have an abundance of dandelions available, I highly recommend giving it a try!
Dandelion jelly is light, floral, and sweet – I feel like a little bee every time I eat it.
It’s also so simple to make that it’s a great idea for beginner water bath canners. This jelly is fabulous on toast, waffles, scones – basically anywhere you can smear a little jelly.
Let’s Get Down to Business…
What You’ll Need
- Dandelion flowers
- Powdered pectin
- Measuring cups
- Large Pot
- Large Spoon
- Fine mesh strainer
- Water bath canner
- Canning jars
- Jar lifter, canning funnel, and spatula
Step 1: Harvest Your Dandelions
The first step in this process (as you might have guessed) is harvesting the dandelions. For this recipe, I ended up with about 4 cups of petals, which is a whole mess of flowers, so just try to grab as many as you can.
Honestly, the specific amount of petals isn’t of too much concern. You’ll see later that the petals get turned into a tea and ultimately, the amount of tea is the important part.
For a single batch (which makes about 6 half pints) you need a minimum of 2 cups of petals.
You can gather up to four cups of petals for the same amount of servings. More petals would mean a stronger tea – and stronger flavor – though I haven’t done any official taste test comparisons.
Make sure that the dandelions you’re harvesting are free from pesticides and I would avoid flowers that are roadside, with all that nasty exhaust.
You can cut them with scissors, but I found that just tugging the blooms off the plant worked great.
Step 2: Process the Blooms
Now we have to separate the yellow petals from the green base because the green part is very bitter.
There are a couple of different ways you can tackle this and I think it boils down to how badly you want to get every bit of the petal and how messy you want to get.
I preferred to get maximum blooms and get my hands dirty, so I pressed the base of the flower between my fingers and rolled. This kinda loosened the petals from the base, so I could pull them out much easier. You’ll get a few little green bits in there, but not enough to worry about.
The other way you can process the blooms is to take scissors and cut right at the base of the flower. Your hands will stay much cleaner, but I felt like I was leaving a lot of the petal behind, especially that base where all the pollen lives.
Step 3: Make Dandelion Tea
Now that we have our petals, we have to find a way to impart that flavor on the jelly. We do that by creating a dandelion tea.
It’s super simple to make. Take your minimum of 2 cups of dandelion petals and pour 4 cups of boiling water over the top. Store that in any sort of container and steep in the fridge for 24 hours.
After the tea is done steeping, strain out as much liquid as possible. I started with a fine mesh strainer, then took to just wringing it out with my bare hands. You should get about 3-4 cups of liquid.
Step 4: Making Your Dandelion Jelly
Now it’s time to make the dandelion jelly. It’s super simple to put together. Just combine your dandelion tea, in a large pot, with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 box of powdered pectin. Bring that to a boil.
At this point, you remove from heat, skim off the white foam floating on top, and put into jars. If you want to store your jelly in the fridge, just ladle it into jars and store. If you want to water bath can for stable shelf storage, continue to the next step.
Step 6: Water Bath Canning
Run a knife or your canning spatula around the edge to remove any air bubble.
Screw on the lid, finger tight, and process for 10 minutes (15 minutes if you are above 6000 ft elevation).
Leave undisturbed, in a draft free area, for 24 hours.
Step 7: Enjoy
There you have it! It’s that easy to make! This delicious treat makes a wonderful gift. It’s been very popular at our monthly bartering meetups. It goes great on toast and I love it on our sourdough waffles.
It’s Delicious on Homemade Bread…
What do you think? Are you ready to give dandelion jelly a try? It’s the perfect way to welcome spring and kick off the growing season.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it to spread the dandelion love.
Be sure to check out these helpful articles for more foraging ideas…
- Dandelion Cream Scone Recipe
- How to Make Lilac Blossom Jelly
- Foraging & Uses for Purple Dead Nettle
- Purple Dead Nettle Pesto Recipe
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How to Make Dandelion Jelly
- 2-4 cups dandelion petals
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 box powdered pectin (1.75 oz box or 6 tbsp)
- 4 cups sugar
- Remove the dandelion petals from the green flower base, resulting in 2+ cups of petals,, and put in bowl or quart container
- Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the petals and steep in the fridge for 24 hours
- Strain as much liquid out of the petals as you can (should get between 3 and 4 cups of dandelion tea)
- Combine your dandelion tea, lemon juice, and powdered pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add sugar and return to boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and skim off white film.
- If storing if fridge, then ladle into half-pint jars, label and store. Should keep for many months.
Water Bath Canning
- If canning, ladle your jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space.
- Run a knife or spatula around the edge of the jar to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe the rim with white vinegar (to remove any debris) and screw on lids, finger tight.
- Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes or according to your altitude.
- Remove from canner and let jars rest, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Label and store. Shelf stable and keeps for months after being opened.