I adore dandelion clocks but have had a love/hate relationship with the plants themselves for years due to their pesky roots, until I discovered how beneficial they are for honey bees. We can also make a delicious dandelion honey using their vibrant, yellow flowers, a recipe that I’m sharing now.
As ‘weeds’ go, dandelions, are hugely beneficial as they attract pollinating insects at a time when most other flowers are yet to share their delicious nectar. Dandelions 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 the roots 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.
If 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 its name from the gorgeous colour.
Have you ever tried food or drink made from dandelions? Did you enjoy it?
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.
That’s a great tip Peter, thanks will try it 🙂
thanks peter.. i must give this a try.
I’ve had the leaves. Deep fried dandilion blooms are also pretty tasty. How did you like the honey ?
That sounds intresting, will have to give that a go next time!
Every spring my Mother collected young tinder dandelion leaves and we had ‘Endive’ & bacon gravy over mashed potatoes or over toast.
Her spring tonic.
Something similar developed last year but with limes rather than lemon.
Can be set as a syrup/honey type or as a jam/jelly
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!!
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!
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 🙂
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?
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.
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!
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 😉
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.
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.
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!
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.
I’m half way through making it now Marie, just have to strain and cook for a few hours. Will post an update!
I must try this – we have so many dandelions! Great photos, Catherine is amazing too.
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!
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?
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!
[…] ‘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 […]
[…] 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 […]
Thank you for the link. Enjoy the honey!
Just completed mine. But I must have used a large cup, as I got 5 small jars of honey! Thanks for the inspiration!
You’re welcome Pat and yes, must have been a huge cup!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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 🙂
it tastes more like honey without the lemon…….perhaps the marmalade flavor comes from so many lemons?
Yes, I think you could be right Esther 🙂
[…] 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. […]
Do you can this in a water bath? Thanks, Deb
Hi Deborah, I’m not sure what you mean?
[…] How to Make Dandelion Honey […]
[…] kitchen. Hairy Bittercress and chickweed can be added to salads, as can dandelion leaves or their flowers made into honey. Red clover can be steeped in water for a hot tea, plantain can be sautéed with garlic and sorrel […]
My father used to make dandelion wine, and I’ve made dandelion jelly – a pain since only the petals are used and you need 4-6 cups pressed down; the honey looks much more do-able. I think I’ll also try making dandelion syrup. I already make a syrup out of roses, lavender and orange blossom, time to try something new!
Your syrup sounds delicious, drizzled over desserts yum! We keep planning to make dandelion wine too but haven’t quite managed it yet.
This post is back circulating and I’m delighted. I have a pot sitting for overnight. The smell is such a surprise & delight: it’s smells of warm sweet honey! I’m amazed.
And I read a comment on fried flower heads! That’s a try for tomorrow too I’m my mother’s daughter because I too pick young tinder leaves in the spring and add to salads or I make an endive&bacon dressing for over mashed potatoes or toast. Spring tonic my mother always said.
Cheers and thank you.
Ah delighted to read that Paige, did it work? Did you enjoy it?