Dandelion Herbal Jelly

Close-up of dandelion jam
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Fresh dandelion jelly has a light, honey-like taste and it is easy to make at home. This unique herbal jelly is a delicious way to bring the taste of spring to your breakfast throughout the year and it also makes a wonderful and novel gift.

Ingredients and Supplies

You will need to gather just a few items to make homemade dandelion jelly. It's a very simple process and is just like making any other flavor of jam or jelly.

The key difference here is, of course, the dandelions. You will need to harvest approximately 10 full cups of blossoms in order to yield the 4 cups of petals after trimming off all the plant's green parts. It's a bit of a tedious task, but your first taste of dandelion jelly will prove that it's worth the effort.

Besides, trimming dandelions on the patio is a perfect way to spend a spring afternoon. It's also a chore the entire family can get involved in.

  • 4 cups dandelion petals
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 box powdered pectin or 2 pouches of liquid pectin
  • Water
  • Large saucepan or soup pot
  • Long spoon for stirring
  • Jelly jars (sterilized and hot)

How to Make Dandelion Jelly

Making dandelion jelly is very easy. First, you will make a tea infusion from the yellow flower petals, then use that to flavor your jelly. It should take less than an hour of hands-on time though it's best if you allow your tea to steep overnight to get the most flavorful jelly.

  1. Pick at least 10 cups of dandelion blossoms. Remove the milky stems to avoid a bitter taste.
  2. Snip off the base of each dandelion flower until you are left with only the yellow petals.
  3. Pour boiling water over the petals until they are fully immersed.
  4. Allow the tea to steep until it reaches room temperature. If possible, leave it overnight.
  5. Strain the dandelion tea through a coffee filter to remove the petals.
  6. Add more water until the tea measures 3 cups.
  7. Combine the tea, lemon juice, pectin, and sugar in a large saucepan.
  8. Boil until the jelly sheets on the back of a spoon.
  9. Pour into hot jelly jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace.
  10. Secure the lid and ring to seal the jar.

4 Tips for Making Great Dandelion Jelly

  1. Harvest smart. Dandelions are considered to be annoying weeds by many people and it is very common for home and landowners to spray them with herbicides. This should make every dandelion eater very wary and the flowers should only be harvested from a fresh, unsprayed area. If you are ever in doubt about chemicals in a dandelion patch, don't pick the flowers. Also, you can always ask if the area has been sprayed.
  2. Keep the petals in the freezer. This will allow you to harvest dandelions as they bloom and store them until you have the proper amount for a good batch of jelly.
  3. Add food coloring if you like. Many dandelion jelly recipes include 2 drops of annatto coloring to enhance the yellow color. This can be found in any cheesemaking supply shop, specialized spices markets, and some upscale supermarkets in the international aisle.
  4. The jelly didn't set. If your jelly does not set up properly, open the jar and reboil it to thicken it up. Remember that you must use new lids to reseal the jar.