Sometimes my husband tells people that I’m, “a little bit hippy.” It’s true. I have some “crunchy” ways. Growing up I don’t think I ever imagined I’d do some of the things I do now. I love trying and learning new things though! Sometimes the old way really is the best way. 🤷🏼♀️
I knew dandelions had long been used for medicinal purposes, but I’ve enjoyed learning more about the different uses of the plant. One of those uses is as a jelly. I love jelly. (Doesn’t everyone?) Everything I read said dandelion jelly had a similar taste and consistency to honey (which we use a LOT of), so I started researching recipes as soon as the first buds popped up in our yard this year. I wanted to try it last year, but I waited too late in the summer and wasn’t able to find enough flowers. That was disappointing, but I was determined to be better prepared this year. This year the kids and I finally got our chance, and we made our first batch of dandelion jelly! It was a fun experience, and was surprisingly easy. This is definitely a project we will repeat.
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- 3 cups packed dandelion blossoms (We used fresh, but I’ve been told that if you don’t have enough, you can freeze them until you are able to pick more.)
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 – 2 boxes of powdered pectin (I used 1 1/2)
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
Several recipes I found called for food coloring to give it a pretty yellow hue, but we try very hard to avoid artificial dyes, so I left that out of ours. The jelly didn’t end up green at all like some people said it would, but it isn’t a super bright yellow either.
It’s a pretty simple process, just a bit time consuming. When you take that first bite of a warm, homemade biscuit with your very own dandelion jelly spread on it, you’ll be glad you took the time to try this out.
When harvesting dandelions, be sure to pick from areas that aren’t treated with chemicals or near heavily traveled roadways. You don’t want all that yucky stuff in your food.
- Pull the yellow blossoms out of the green leaves that hold them together. I found the best way to do this was to use my thumb fingernail to split the leaves and rake the petals off. Be sure to remove as much of the green at the bottom of the petals as possible and pick out leaves that fall in. The green is bitter, not exactly what you’re going for when making jelly.
- In a saucepan, boil 4 cups of water. Add half the blossom, and stir until it is boiling. Turn off the water, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.
- Use a mesh strainer to strain out the blossoms. Gently push on the petals to remove excess water.
- Add the dandelion water back to your saucepan and bring to a boil again and then add the rest of the blossoms. Cover and steep again for about 15 minutes.
- Again, strain out the dandelion blossoms, gently pushing on them to remove the extra water.
- Measure out 3 cups of the steeping water. Add sugar, pectin and lemon juice. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring it until the sugar dissolves.
- Boil for 1 minute.
- Skim off the foam.
Ta-da! You have dandelion jelly!
Then pour the mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. You can then store in the fridge or process by the instructions of your canner manufacturer. I actually chose to freeze some of mine, and we will see how that turns out.