How to Make Dandelion HoneyGreenside Up
Food & Drink

How to Make Dandelion Honey

April 18, 2012

Dandelion Clock

I adore dandelion clocks but have had a love/hate relationship with the plants themselves for years due to their pesky roots.

However, as ‘weeds’ go, they are beneficial as they attract pollinating insects (and in particular bees), they can be eaten, made into drinks of all descriptions and are loaded with vitamins and minerals, namely A, C and K as well as iron, potassium, calcium and manganese. They’ve also been around for over 30 million years – it’s no wonder their roots are so deep and strong!

Almost every child I know has heard the tale that they make you wet the bed (indeed I was taught the very same) which stems from the plant’s use as a strong diuretic, though it’s the roots that are used for this purpose, not the flowers.

It wasn’t until @zwartblesIE mentioned Dandelion Honey on twitter that I’d seriously considered using the flowers in the kitchen. Suzanna generously shared her recipe and if you’d like to try this intriguing sounding dish, here it is:

4 cups dandelion flowers
3 cups water
3 whole thick cut lemons
2 1/8 cups sugar

Place the flowers, water and lemons into a saucepan and simmer for 30 mins, leave to cool and stew overnight. In the morning strain through cheesecloth (or coffee filter paper) then bring the liquid to a slow boil, stirring in the sugar until dissolved, then slowly simmer for about one and a half hours and you have your honey.

dandelion honeyIf you start to notice the mixture turn darker, whip it off the heat quickly or it can develop a burnt caramel flavour.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could  try adding a few drops of vanilla essence as @NiamhMaher on twitter did or a few drops of alcohol as @Justcallmelet suggested!

Honey is perhaps a misleading name as the resulting flavour is more like marmalade – guess it got it’s name from the gorgeous colour.

Have you ever tried food or drink made from dandelions? Did you enjoy it?

Image courtesy of www.foxglovelane.com

 

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34 Comments

  • Reply Peter Brooks. April 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    years ago working shifts and exhausted i chewed a dandelion leaf with instinct and felt energy flow back into my body and still chew on them as well as milk thistle for a quick energy hit and never pull them out but encourage them to grow for a leaf or two occasionally . kind regards peter.

    • Reply greensideupveg April 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      That’s a great tip Peter, thanks will try it :)

    • Reply Seamus Ward October 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      thanks peter.. i must give this a try.

  • Reply Miss M April 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I’ve had the leaves. Deep fried dandilion blooms are also pretty tasty. How did you like the honey ?

    • Reply greensideupveg April 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      That sounds intresting, will have to give that a go next time!

  • Reply Simon Jennings April 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Something similar developed last year but with limes rather than lemon.

    Can be set as a syrup/honey type or as a jam/jelly

    http://connemaracroft.blogspot.com/2011/05/first-preserve-of-2011-dandelime-jam.html

    • Reply greensideupveg April 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Cool thanks. Have been getting lots of tips for recipes on facebook and twitter – from fritters to pancakes – could almost write a dandelion recipe book! For once leaving my dandelions to flower!!

  • Reply La Vie en Rose April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Hey Dee, love the sound of this! What did you think of it? Would be interested in any other recipes that come your way. Dandelion recipe book – good idea! Also, are you up for the Green Awards tonight? I recall your up for 2 upcoming awards!

    Sharon

    • Reply greensideupveg April 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Haven’t managed to collect enough flower heads yet Sharon! It’s top of my list of dishes to make though as have the lemons & sugar waiting :)

  • Reply earthm0ther April 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    A dandelion recipe book would be absolutely fabulous but what does the honey taste like? Is the end product similar to a rose hip kind of jelly? Or is it really like honey?

    • Reply greensideupveg April 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      Ah Claire, that’s the first and last time I post a recipe before I’ve tried it… I have all the ingredients bar the flowers! I could only find enough to fill one cup and know that the neighbouring farmer sprays so am not going to forage in the laneways. I’m assured by Zwartbles that it’s delicious but as for flavour…. I’m planning to make the honey within the next few days once the flowers have stopped hiding from the rain and a few more have grown and will update the post with how we find the taste and our use of it then. I hope you’ll check back.

      • Reply earthm0ther April 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

        Hello! Thanks so much for the update. I like your description of the flavour, sounds both tasty and interesting. Wondering whether to go for a couple of jars in one go. You should see how many of these things I have!

        • Reply greensideupveg April 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm

          Ah well if that’s the case… as long as your jars are steralised I’d go for it! Though like the idea of the dandelion wine …. if I had that many in the garden ;)

  • Reply Doctor_E April 20, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Hi there! It would be great to visit my site where you could find organic seeds gathered in the wild or from small local growths (heirloom).

    Maybe there is not big variety, but this is because all seeds are checked one by one, in order to be real, natural with good germination. This is the real deal. Tested and packed for 2012.

    http://www.allgreektome.net/7-organic-seeds

  • Reply Pamela V April 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Dee, once you find those flower heads, also try making dandelion wine. You need to watch how long the heads steep or it goes bitter but if you get it right it is a lovely, pale yellow, medium dry “white” wine.

    • Reply greensideupveg April 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

      That sounds lovely! Zwartbles have lots of flowers so will be taking a trip up there soon. Was planning to make some wine this year so maybe that’s the one!

  • Reply Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC) April 21, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I am very tempted to try this – it sounds so simple..but wondering what the taste is like? Did Garrai Sile do something similar on her Garrai Glas recently? I have a vague recollection that she did.

    • Reply greensideupveg April 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

      I’m half way through making it now Marie, just have to strain and cook for a few hours. Will post an update!

  • Reply Lorna April 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I must try this – we have so many dandelions! Great photos, Catherine is amazing too.

    • Reply greensideupveg April 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      It tastes like sweet molasses Lorna with a lemony hint. Our youngest ‘kindof’ liked it but had the bed wetting stories at the back of her mind I think when she tried it!

  • Reply Alison May 4, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Years ago I made some delicious dandelion wine and remember having to remove all the green from the flowers, ie use only the petals. Is that what you do for the honey?

    • Reply greensideupveg May 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

      The recipe I was given was to use the whole flower head but not the stem which is what I did, though will carry out an investigation to see if there’s a reason why we shouldn’t Alison. Am liking the sound of the dandelion wine as several people have mentioned it, yum!

  • Reply Honey, rain and May: week 17 and 18 on Plot 44 | Plot 44 August 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    [...] ‘honey’ that I made from, well dandelions, collected at my last update – recipe here – has turned out to be a big hit. So much so that I’ve had to make another batch to [...]

  • Reply Bluebells and dandelions: week 16 on Plot 44 « Plot 44 February 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    [...] The bluebells are all out now, and I end the week on Sunday evening collecting dandelion flowers to make dandelion honey – thanks to Greenside Up for the recipe, and whose site contains lots of gardening help and [...]

  • Reply patmcmmc April 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Just completed mine. But I must have used a large cup, as I got 5 small jars of honey! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply greensideupveg May 1, 2013 at 7:41 am

      You’re welcome Pat and yes, must have been a huge cup!

  • Reply Deborah Groom April 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I have it simmering right now. I was very excited to find this recipe as I moved into a new place in the fall and when I looked outside yesterday I saw the wilderness space behind me covered in dandelions. I found it took approx. 55 dandelions for 1 cup of bloom. I was wondering about the lemon. I first squeezed the lemon and then read about it being large slices. Does that matter? Right now the strongest taste is of the lemon but it is nice.

    • Reply greensideupveg April 27, 2014 at 8:14 am

      I’m not sure if it matters Deborah, how did it turn out ? Your new home sounds lovely and it’s handy to know how many flowers fill the cup, thanks :-)

      • Reply Deborah Groom April 28, 2014 at 5:10 am

        The honey turned out very nicely. It tastes mainly of lemon with that something extra from the dandelions. I added the few drops of vanilla and it is like a mix between a lemon curd and marmalade. I only made 1/4 of the recipe to start so today I went out and picked 220 blooms to make up a full amount. I even picked an extra 20 to make fried dandelion blossoms. They were wonderful. I made a honey mustard dip for them and they vanished off the plate.

        • Reply greensideupveg April 28, 2014 at 9:50 am

          Oh I like the sound of the curd Deborah, sounds delicious and I’m now going to have to try your blossom and dip recipe, sounds too good not to. Thanks for sharing that :-)

  • Reply esther May 31, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    it tastes more like honey without the lemon…….perhaps the marmalade flavor comes from so many lemons?

  • Reply Sunday Snap ~ Yellow September 12, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    […] If you’ve enough dandelion flowers in your lawn and don’t want to add to them, pick the heads off, which will prevent them going to seed, and make some dandelion honey. Here’s the recipe. […]

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