You’re making jelly with Dandelions? Those “obnoxious weeds” that pop up all over your yard?
Before you mow them all down, they actually have some healthy benefits! Dandelions are rich in minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C (whew, that’s a LOT!) They contain more carotene than carrots… say what?!?!?
So, why not make a delicious jelly out of it to enjoy as a healthy topping for our multigrain toast or add a scoop to our tea?
Only pick dandelions that you are CERTAIN haven’t been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. If you’re uncertain it’s better to err on the safe side and avoid picking.
Dandelions are best picked between mid-morning ‘til noon or 1:00 in the afternoon. They close up at night, and you need good open blooms to work with.
You will need to process them quickly, if you allow the blooms sit around too long, they will close up and become very difficult to work with.
Once you have the petals separated, put them in a jar and add a quart of boiling water. Let the “tea” steep for about an hour, then strain out the petals and you are ready to make jelly! If you don’t have time to make jelly at this point, don’t worry, just put the tea in the refrigerator and save until later.
2 cups separated dandelions
3 cups sugar
1 lime juice and zest
1 mandarin orange pressed
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups Boiled Water
1-2 tsp Powdered pectin or gelatin (add 1/2 tsp at a time until you get jell texture you prefer)
1 – Separate the petals from the green parts of the flowers.
2 – Pour 1 quart of boiling water over the petals and let steep for overnight to make dandelion tea.
3 – Strain the flowers away from the tea into a stovetop pot, being sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible (I like to use a spatula to really press the dandelions theough the strainer)
4 – Add to the pot the pressed orange, lime juice and zest and give it a stir
5 – Mix 1/2 cup of sugar to a small bowl and mix in 1/2 tsp of the powdered pectin.
6 – Add the sugar-pectin mixture to the pot.
7 – Bring to a boil and then add the remaining sugar and vanilla.
8 – Return to a boil stir for about a minute and a half.
9 – Remove from burner, check for “jell” by scooping up a small amount with an ice-cold spoon. If needed add more pectin or gelatin and stir and check again. Allow to cool just a little and make sure the jelly is setting up. (If not, return to a boil for another 30 seconds or so and try again.)
10 – If the mixture jells to your liking, proceed to filling your jars.
11 – Process jar for 10 minutes in a canning water bath.
*You can also make this a syrup by omitting the pectin and adding 1-2 chopped green apples to soak overnight. Strain and boil until syrupy thickness. Great to pour on yogurt or oatmeal.