Monday, April 29, 2013

Organic Dandelion Honey

Have a bunch of Dandelions in your yard? Many people think they are pesky, awful weeds, but that just isn't the case! They are full of nutrients and can be used in many recipes. Dandelion greens can be used in salads, you can make wine with them, or like us, make honey! The recipe is simple, but a little time consuming. The longest part of the "hard" work is pulling the petals apart. Once you get into a groove it goes quite smoothly.

What you need:
4 cups Dandelion petals (Try to avoid as much green as possible as this will make it bitter)
4 cups water
2 cups organic sugar/sweetener (I used cane sugar, you can add more if it isn't sweet enough for you, 1/8 cup extra should make it plenty sweet)
Organic vanilla beans (1 or 2, sliced length ways)
3 slices of lemon 1/4" thick

What to do!

Pick fresh Dandelions, this is a good easy job for kids to help with!!
I find it easiest to split them in half and use my nail to pop out the petals.

Next add 4 cups of water into a heavy pan, and add the petals, lemon and vanilla. Bring to a boil, and let it do it's magic for about half an hour. Remove from heat and let steep for at least 6 hours. I left this one over night and finished in the morning.

Once you're done steeping it, use cheese cloth or a really good strainer and strain the bits out so you have a nice golden liquid.

Now you will have your liquid in a pot, and bring it to a medium boil. Once it is lightly boiling you can starting adding your sugar/sweetener. Turn down to low and simmer until it gets to the consistency you like your honey to be, this can take up to 4 hours. You will have to stir it and keep an eye on it as it can boil over and make a mess of your stove ;) Once it cools it will harden up a little. We like ours a bit runny, and use it mainly for tea. The Vanilla gives it a lovely flavour and even the kids like it!

We have made this later in the summer and the flavour just isn't the same as using early Spring Dandelions for some reason. Will be making another few batches before the plants get too old, and we have to start mowing our lawn.. Since it is starting to look like a jungle hehe!