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:
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.
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?