Dandelioney

It’s something I kept hearing about when I was a child but we never actually made it at home. Probably because we lived four doors up from a beekeeper who always supplied us with amazing local honey. I am talking about ‘dandelion honey’, another Spring treat that’s quite satisfying to make!

It’s a very simple, 4-ingredient recipe – water, lemons or oranges, sugar and dandelion flowers.

Recipe

  • 450 dandelion flowers
  • 1.5kg sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1.5 l water

Step 1 – Collecting

Since it’s best to collect the flowers and steep them without washing (the pollen strengthens the flavour), I picked them early in the morning after a night of rain and before the doggies could get to them. I guess since the extract is boiled afterwards, it’s pretty safe to use them without washing. A little piece of advice: the collected dandelion heads will stain your hands and your bag so use one that can get dirty and perhaps a pair of gloves.

Park meadow

There were enough dandelions for me and the bees…

 

Collecting

It was about half a bag of dandelion heads…

Step 2 – Steeping

Cover the dandelions and sliced lemons/oranges with 1.5l of cold water. Bring to the boil, simmer shortly, turn off the heat and leave to macerate for 24 hours.

Steeping

A pretty mix

After macerating

After 24 hours…

Step 3 – Cooking

Strain the mixture through a very fine sieve/muslin cloth/nut milk bag/tea towel or whatever you can find and squeeze out all the liquid.

Straining

Squeeeeeze!

Add 1.5kg of sugar and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 1.5 hours or more, if you think it’s too watery but the mixture will thicken when cooling so don’t be too stressed!

Cooking

Add sugar and simmer.

Step 4 – Preserving

Prepare the jars by washing in hot water and sterilising them. (Put them in a cold oven and set the temperature to 100C/212 F, when the temperature is reached, leave them in for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven but keep the jars warm until you need them.)

Jars

Ready to be sterilised.

The above recipe makes about 1.5l of syrup (5 smaller jars and 2 Bonne Maman jam jars :)).

Pour the syrup into warm jars, close tightly, turn upside down, cover with a blanket or towel and leave to cool. Done!

Ready

The colour!

The consistency and colour of the finished product are very much like that of proper honey and even the taste and smell are very similar.

This honey contains significant goodies – trace elements and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, silicon, vitamins A, B and C and the antioxidant lutein. Who knew…

Another good thing about this homemade sweetener is that the only waste I created was the paper bag from sugar.

As a bonus, even though I am not an expert, it looks like a valid vegan honey replacement if you happen to be looking for one.

I cannot wait for our Sunday pancakes and putting it to the test in some oaty flapjacks! What would you use it for?

7 thoughts on “Dandelioney

  1. Nadine says:

    I love dandelions! I went to a workshop a couple of years back and we made dandelion syrup, cake, fritters, tea, and took some roots home for more tea. It was awesome. And delicious. The only problem I have is that I can’t gather straight from my property because ALL of my neighbours have nuked their lawns to get rid of the dandelions, so the drift can settle on mine. Too bad. But I’m sure I can find a field somewhere… Great post!

    Like

    • ComingToZero says:

      Thanks Nadine! Yes, I heard about more things you can do with dandelions, even the young leaves are apparently good as a salad…who knew. And fritters sound yummy! I’m sorry to hear about your neighbours…it often feels like a battle against windmills when you can see how no one else seemingly care…but don’t give up – at least you have one more reason to get out, go for a walk and try to find a dandelion meadow! 🙂

      Like

      • Nadine says:

        Exactly! There has to be somewhere that is pesticide-less. Wish I knew my neighbours well enough to educate them…at least to tell them that dandelions are the first spring food for bees!

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        • ComingToZero says:

          That’s why we didn’t mow our lawn until the few we had seeded…we’re only renting and our neighbours are all for themselves so the same…I’m sure they would have scoffed at me if I said anything about not mowing their lawn :)) and I’m sure they think we are lazy or aren’t ‘aesthetically motivated’ but they have their priorities and I have mine!

          Liked by 1 person

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