Tuesday, May 8, 2012
My never-ending love affair with dandelion had me making a gorgeous, sweet syrup last week.
There seem to be a handful of different ideas on how this is done. I read about a dozen recipes and then decided to wing it. Here's what happened:
I picked a ridiculous amount of dandelion flowers and then separated the yellow petals out. Several recipes mentioned that the bitterness of any green portion of the dandelion will give a bite to the syrup. I have since found that this is not really the case. My friend the Eco Diva has been making a ton of syrup and used the entire flower head. I tasted her version and it was lovely.
1 good cup of dandelion petals
3 cups of water
Bring water and petals to a boil in a pot and then turn off heat, cover and let steep overnight.
The next day, pour the dandelion infusion through cheesecloth or an unbleached coffee filter.
Return infusion to your pot, add a few slices of lemon and orange. Bring to a slow boil and then remove the citrus. Add 1 cup of honey and simmer until the syrup thickens. (About 1.5-2 hours)
Pour into sterilized jars and enjoy!
Eco Diva's version:
250 dandelion heads plus 4 cups of water to create your infusion.
The next day (after straining) add citrus slices or cinnamon & clove to the infusion.
Bring to a soft boil and then remove the citrus or cinnamon.
Add 2 lbs raw cane sugar & simmer 2 hours until thickened.
After spending an hour removing petals, I like the idea of using the entire heads. I'm going to try her version this week.
Now that dandelion flower season is here, get out there and pick like crazy. The smaller leaves are wonderful in salads. The flower heads can be used fresh or dried in tea blends or infused in oil and used as a lymph massage oil (great for breast health!) Even the milky sap is said to remove warts and corns if applied topically. (I've not tried it - let me know if it works.)
There is no reason not to go out and enjoy those lovely yellow flowers in your yard. Happy picking!