Last updated on February 21st, 2024 at 06:26 pm
This bright and mesmerizing dandelion jelly is so simple to make. Hold the jar up to the light and see all the goodness shining through! A great foraging activity for the family, and a wonderful and nutritious jelly to share. Learn how to make dandelion jelly, and you will smile when you look at those dandelions growing on your lawn.
Dandelion jelly is easy to make. Harvest the dandelion flowers when they are in full bloom, from a safe and organic area. Pull the petals from the blooms, add boiling water, and steep to make a tea. After steeping, cook with sugar, lemon juice and pectin for a delightful sunny dandelion jelly.
We have always loved to leave the dandelions on the lawn, while our neighbours waged the war on these common spring flowers.
The main reason for our joy as the lawn glowed in it’s yellow profusion, was the knowledge that the dandelions provided important spring food for the bees.
Making dandelion jelly was never on my radar until I also learned about the benefits of this nutritional spring bloom for people as well. You see, dandelions are nutritional herbs, with edible flowers.
Once learning all about the beneficial properties of dandelions, I absolutely had to give dandelion jelly a try.
In fact it’s not only the bloom that can be used. All aspects of the plant can be used for varied purposes.
The Benefits Of Dandelion
Dandelion, also known as Taraxacum officinale, is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the Family Asteraceae. Yes, those weeds are perennials, but they are also edible herbs!
All parts of the plant are edible, from the deep fibrous roots, to the leaves and bright yellow blooms.
The name “officinale” is a reference to the plants use as a medicinal herb, which dates back to ancient times.
The dandelion contains all sorts of nutritional qualities, and is high in fibre, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids as well.
There are many phytochemicals found in the plant parts, some of which include carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acid, just to name a few.
An excellent resource discussing dandelion plant benefits can be found in this review from Springer Open, The Bulletin of the National Research Centre, titled: The Benefits of Taraxacum officinale on Human Health.
The article is a review of scientific literature from the PubMed database.
Some of the most frequently reported beneficial effects include antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities. Other properties reported included antiviral, anti fungal, antibacterial, anti-arthritic, and immunoprotective activities.
What Is Dandelion Jelly Made Of?
The parts of the dandelion used to make dandelion jelly are the bright yellow petals from mature dandelion blooms.
Only the petals are used rather than the whole flowers, because the base of the flowers can add a bitter flavor to the jelly.
Dandelion jelly is made from:
- Dandelion petals- 4 cups of petals, pressed down to 2 cups
- Water- 4 cups of water
- Sugar- 7.5 cups of sugar
- Lemon juice- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Pectin- 2 envelopes of liquid pectin
- Butter- 1 tablespoon of butter (to help eliminate foaming)
Pectin is a natural thickener for jams and jellies. We will be using Certo liquid pectin, and the directions for quantity of ingredients is inside the package on the insert.
A couple of comments about the pectin:
- We used liquid pectin because we could not find the powdered pectin at our local grocery store, and needed the pectin for the jelly, since the dandelion tea was all ready and freshly brewed.
- Powdered pectin would have required almost half the amount of sugar than we used for this recipe, so this is definitely an important consideration.
- There were other powdered pectins available, however they were for freezer jam and sugar free freezer jam. Nice to know for future reference, for a batch with less sugar.
- We therefore chose to stick with the liquid pectin. The jelly is still delicious, just be aware of the sugar content!
How To Make Dandelion Jelly
1. Harvest The Blossoms
- Pop the heads off the dandelion blossoms by reaching underneath each blossom and pushing the flower upwards. It should easily snap off the stem.
- If you happen to get a stem attached, just snap it off.
- Check your blooms for ants or other bugs, and just knock them off as you pick. They are certainly part of the package in the great outdoors.
How Do You Harvest Dandelions For Jelly?
- Harvest by hand. Pick the blooms when they are open and dry.
- Pick enough dandelions to make 4 cups of dandelion petals.
- If you have a couple of little helpers with you, you can make this a fun activity to do together. It won’t take long to harvest a small basket full of dandelion blooms.
Harvest From A Safe Location
There are some considerations for safety however with harvesting locations.
Avoid Locations With Herbicides, Pesticides, And Animal Waste
- Make sure that the dandelions that you harvest are not in an area that can have runoff from higher ground which may have herbicides and pesticides.
- If you are harvesting in town, take a good look around. Do your neighbours treat their lawn, and are you lower than their property? If so, you may have some drainage from your neighbour’s lawn.
- I initially started out harvesting the dandelions on our wonderful lawn, which has never received an ounce of herbicide application, as we love to stay organic.
- I then realized that my neighbour was slightly higher, and a regular user of Weed Man for weed control. So instead, we harvested our dandelions in the country, were we were sure of the herbicide free location.
- Also, make sure to choose an area that is free from pet waste, as found on many pet owner lawns.
2. Process The Dandelion Petals
- Once you have picked the dandelion blooms, it is time to remove the yellow petals from the base of the bloom. The green base and leaves will contribute a bitter taste to the jelly if left in place.
- Pick the petals off the flowers while they are still fresh. They are much easier to separate when fresh and open.
- For this recipe we want 4 cups of loose dandelion petals, which is equivalent to 2 cups of packed petals.
A helpful tip to separate the petals from the base is to hold the green flower base in one hand and the yellow petals in the other.
- Slightly pull the green base downwards in small increments as you work your way around the flower.
- The base will separate from the yellow petals easily using this method.
3. Now It’s Time To Soak The Petals
This next step is called making dandelion tea. The tea will be the base for the jelly.
Making Dandelion Tea
- In a measuring cup, measure out 4 cups of dandelion petals, which is equivalent to 2 cups of compressed petals.
- Soak the petals by pouring 4 cups of boiling water over the petals that you have prepared.
- Make sure that any glass jar or bowl that you are using can handle the boiling water.
- Cover and let steep for 24 hours. Once the boiling water has cooled, place the steeping petals into the fridge.
- This wonderful concoction is also known as dandelion tea, and will be part of the base for the jelly.
4. Make The Jelly
Strain The Dandelion Tea
- Strain the petals from the dandelion tea. This can be done by pouring through a fine mesh sieve, a coffee filter, or cheese cloth.
- We used a coffee filter.
- There will be approximately 4 cups of dandelion tea after straining.
How To Cook The Jelly
- Add the dandelion tea, sugar, and lemon to a large pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
- We added a tbsp of butter to prevent foaming, and this works very well.
- Boil until the mixture reaches a hard boil stage, and then time the full rolling boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and add the pectin.
- Stir for 5 minutes.
Pour Into Sterilized Jars
- We sterilize our jars in the oven at 225° F for 10 minutes. Make sure the bottles are warm when pouring the jelly into them.
- Lids are sterilized in boiling water.
- Pour the hot jelly into sterilized hot jars to within 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. Wipe the rims on the top of the jars, and add the lids.
Put In Hot Water Bath Canner For 10 Minutes
- Water bath canning will help to further sterilize and preserve the dandelion jelly, and is an important safety step.
- A 10 minute hot water bath in a water bath canner or canning pot will help to preserve the jelly for up to 12 months.
How Long Does It Take The Jelly To Set Up?
Once the jars have been capped and the lids tightened, set the jars aside on your counter where they will be able to finish setting without interference.
Dandelion jelly may take a few days to set. Allow it the time to finish the setting process.
Ours started to set within 20 minutes.
Store the sealed and sterilized dandelion jelly in a dark place at room temperature. It will keep for approximately 12 months unless opened.
Once opened, store the jelly in the fridge, and use within several weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dandelion Jelly Safe To Eat?
Dandelion jelly is safe to eat, as long as you practice safe harvesting techniques.
Choose organic harvesting locations for the safest dandelion ingredients.
Consider harvesting other parts of the plant as well.
Tender dandelion greens can be added to salads for a nutritional boost.
The flower petals can also be harvested to make a herbal tea.
The dandelion root can also be harvested, roasted, and used as a coffee substitute. Bake the roots in the oven until crispy and brown, then grind and use as you would coffee grounds.
Is Dandelion Jelly Good For You?
Dandelion jelly contains parts of the dandelion, which have beneficial compounds.
Dandelion, also known as Taraxacum officinale, is a non toxic herb that has been widely used by herbalists and foragers.
The leaves and roots of the plant contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre and micronutrients. These parts are not in the jelly, however the flowers also contain beneficial substances.
The flowers contain phenolic acids and flavonoids, which have immunostimulatory and antioxidant properties.
Here is a great article from Oxford Academic Nutrition Reviews on the Diverse Biological Activities Of Dandelion.
How Do You Eat Dandelion Jelly?
Eat dandelion jelly as you would eat any other sweet jelly.
This delicious jelly is great on a buttered bagel or a piece of toast.
Try it as a pancake topper, or mix it with some plain yogurt.
Be creative, you can also serve it over ice cream! Then sprinkle the ice cream with a few yellow petals as a garnish.
What Does Dandelion Jelly Taste Like?
There are a number of different opinions on the flavor of dandelion jelly.
Some say it tastes slightly like honey. Some say that it tastes like chamomile, with a slight herbal flavor.
I think it tastes like barley sugar candy, and I find the flavor very appealing.
Can You Freeze Dandelions For Jelly?
Yes you can absolutely freeze dandelion flower petals for jelly.
The best way to do this is to process the petals first, pulling them from the base of the dandelion flower. Measure out the amount of petals required for the jelly, and place into a freezer bag, removing the air.
Make sure to label the bag with the proportions and date. The petals will store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Alternatively, you can also make the steeped dandelion tea and freeze in an ice cube tray for later use.
Again, measure out the amount you will need for the jelly, and place the frozen tea ice cubes into a freezer bag, labelling the contents and proportions.
Dandelion Jelly Recipe
- Dandelion petals-4 cups pressed down to 2 cups
- Water- 4 cups
- Sugar-7.5 cups
- Lemon Juice-2 tbsp
- Pectin-2 envelopes of liquid pectin
- Butter- 1 tbsp (to help eliminate foaming)
1. Take 4 cups of dandelion petals, which is equivalent to 2 cups of compressed petals. Soak the petals by pouring boiling water over the petals that you have prepared.
2. Cover and let steep for 24 hours. Once the boiling water has cooled, place the steeping petals into the fridge. This wonderful concoction is also known as dandelion tea.
3. After 24 hours strain the petals from the dandelion tea. This can be done by pouring through a sieve, a coffee filter, or cheese cloth.
4. Add the dandelion tea, sugar, and lemon to a pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
5. We added a tbsp of butter to prevent foaming, and this works very well.
6. Boil until the mixture reaches a hard boil stage, and then time the hard boil for 1 minute.
7. Remove from the heat and add the pectin. Stir for 5 minutes.
8. Pour into sterilized jars and cap.
9. Boil in a water bath canner for 10 minutes to further sterilize for storage.
- Processing fresh large blossoms may add a more yellow shade to the jelly.
- Some people add a drop of yellow food colouring.
- This recipe made 4.5 500 ml mason jars of jelly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 169 tbsp Serving Size: 1 tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 37Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g
Homemade dandelion jelly is a wonderful treat, made with bright dandelion flowers in spring.
The jelly is delicious, and surprisingly light.
Some have described the jelly as sunshine in a jar.
If you make it just once, you will likely find yourself making a batch of dandelion jelly every spring, when the dandelions are in full bloom.
This jelly has certainly given me a new appreciation for all those fluffy yellow dandelions growing on the lawn.
Have you ever made dandelion jelly? Be sure to leave a comment below to share your experience!
Other Dandelion Jelly Recipes
Here are some alternate dandelion jelly recipes:
There is also powdered pectin for freezer jam and sugar-free freezer jam.