Dandelion Honey isn’t honey that made by bees – technically it’s syrup made with sugar and dandelion flowers. However, the consistency, beautiful amber colour, and taste do really resemble honey!
Hey everyone – happy almost Friday! Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Last time I shared a recipe for this Dandelion Pesto which uses dandelion greens. That’s time for flowers and this Dandelion Honey.
What is Dandelion Honey?
As I mentioned earlier, technically it’s not honey. It’s sugar syrup that is infused with dandelion heads. However, thanks to pollen, this really tastes like honey. The consistency and beautiful amber colour also resemble it. There are two ways to make this recipe. First way uses the whole dandelion heads, but you will need to soak them for about one day (changing the water few times), to get rid of the bitter taste from green parts of the flowers. Second way uses only the yellow petals, so you don’t need to soak them.
How to Collect Dandelions
- Collect dandelions growing far from the road (Fields and your backyard are some great options!)
- Collect flowers that are in full bloom (Half-open flowers mean less of that aromatic pollen)
- Collect flowers on a sunny dry day. Late morning (10-11 a.m.) would be the perfect time as the flowers are already open, and it’s not too hot yet!
- Collect large flowers. I am not sure if there’s any difference between flowers of different size – it’s just more convenient!
- When you’re collecting them, shake them off prior to placing to a container to get rid of ants and other insects.
How to Prepare Dandelions
The process is relatively simple yet time consuming. You will need to gather about 300 (Or up to 350) dandelion heads! That must sound insane, but indeed the process is fast (It took for me about 15 minutes.) Also, you can send your kids or the better half and just manage the process from your porch haha. I think I collected more than 350 flowers (The more, the better). Just don’t pick less than 300.
Once you’ve collected enough of the flowers, do not hesitate and proceed to the next step. You don’t want the flowers start wilting and closing. Get yourself comfortable outside (On the porch or balcony). Why? First of all, this step is time consuming, it will take about 30 minute, so enjoy the sun! Secondly, the petals might still hide some ants, so you would be able to shake them off. Unless you want to domesticate some of them :)
No need to rinse the flowers – we don’t want to loose any pollen, either.
So you will need to separate the yellow petals from the green parts. You can do this by pulling or using a pair of scissors. The goal is to get rid of the green parts as they contain the bitter juice. You won’t be able to do this fully, and that’s totally fine. Let’s say 5% of these green parts are acceptable!
How to Make Dandelion Honey
First add the water, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it steep for at least 4 hours (or even overnight). The water will turn light-yellow. Then you will need to strain the the water squeezing the flowers to get as much of their aromatic liquid as possible. Discard the flowers. Add the sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil allow the sugar to dissolve, then simmer for at least 30 minutes, mixing every few minutes, to thicken it up. The syrup will start changing the colour to amber.
The longer you cook it, the thicker and darker it gests. Between 40 and 60 minutes is the optional time. I will not recommend too much longer as it might turn too thick. Keep in mind that once cooled, it will thicken up even more! If you’re doubtful, you can always cook it 30-40 minutes, then completely cool, and see if you like the consistency. If it’s too thin, keep cooking for another 15 minutes or so!
Health Benefits and Side Effects
As I said in this post, dandelions have many benefits but also sides effects. Besides possible allergic reactions to the pollen, there are few health conditions when you should be careful or even avoid them. Please do your research prior to consuming!
How to Use Dandelion Honey
Options are endless! Basically, use it in place of honey. Drizzle over your ice cream or other desserts. Serve with pancakes or crepes. If it’s a thinner version (Like syrup), use it for making lemonade or as a cake soak. Personally, I love it with cheese like brie. So good!
I hope you like this recipe, and you will give it a try. Getting rid of these edible weeds from your backyard and making this delicious Dandelion Honey – that’s a win-win! Let me know in the comment section or on my Instagram if you’ve tried it.
Cheers for now.
Dandelion HoneyCourse: Dessert
Dandelion Honey isn’t honey that made by bees – technically it’s syrup made with sugar and dandelion flowers. However, the consistency, beautiful amber colour, and taste do really resemble honey! Yields about 2 cups.
about 300 – 350 dandelion heads (allow flowers) – see the post how to collect them
3 cups sugar (600 gr.)
2 cups water (500 ml.)
1-3 tbsp. lemon juice (to taste)
- Pick dandelion flowers during the daylight while in full bloom. Don’t rinse the heads.
- Separate the yellow petals from the green parts (Some green parts is ok, but too may might result in a bitter taste.) It’s easy to make it by pulling the petals or using a pair of scissors. You will get about 2 cups of petals, packed. If you are concerned about possible insects, soak the flowers in cold water for 5 minutes to allow any insects to exit, then drain.
- Place the petals in a heavy saucepan along with the water, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 4 hours or even overnight.
- Strain the dandelion tea through a sieve mesh squeezing the flowers to get as much of the aromatic liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
- Return to a heavy saucepan and bring it to a low boil. Add the sugar and lemon juice (It helps to preserve the colour) to the boiling liquid while stirring until the sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally.
- Lower the heat and let it simmer uncovered until it reaches the desired thickness, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (spatula) – it might start sticking to the bottom. This will take about between 30 minutes to one hour. The good indicator will be when it starts dripping slowly off a spoon. Keep in mind it will thicken significantly more as it cools. The honey from my photos was cooked for about 65 minutes, and it’s really thick and dark in colour.
- Once cooled, transfer to a container and keep refrigerated for about a week. If you intend to keep it longer, I’d recommend sterilized jars.