May 8, 2012

Sweet Dandelion

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.

My Version:

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!


Andréann -Aux Demilunes said...

I'm actually still waiting for them to appear.... My daughter brought me the 2-3 she found yesterday, but that's not enough :P

Magaly Guerrero said...


Debra She Who Seeks said...

And the best thing is -- there's always a million of them and they're free!

Tamara said...

This sounds wonderful! I've never made syrups but I'd like to give it a try. Living in the florida, I don't see near as many dandelions so I'll have to find a field and really hunt for them but by the looks of the syrup it'll be worth it! Before we moved down here, I gathered every single dandelion i could find around my area lol I still have jars of roots, petals and leaves. lol

Lois said...

Living in the city, the challenge is to find clean dandylions, which have not been contaminated by pollution or pesticides. What will you use the syrup for?

Rue said...

Thanks for asking Lois! I use the syrup on pancakes & waffles, on ice cream & as a sweetener for tea & coffee (I usually use honey in my coffee, so this isn't a stretch.)

I am also going to use it to make summer sodas. Some syrup, citrus slices & soda water should make a nice refreshing drink.

And yes - finding pesticide- free dandelions is the trick!

Mina said...

Oh, I love this use of dandelions! Thank you so much for sharing.

Dede said...

Jen I can't wait to try making syrup. Have never done it before, but there is a first time for everything. No dandelions here yet but they will arrive, no worries there. Will let you know how it turns out.


Chris said...

Love the idea of dandelion syrup and it's many uses! I'll have to try it! Do you know of any dandelion recipe for hair...maybe just pouring the steeped, cooled liquid as a rinse? Minus the honey??

Rue said...

Hi Chris - I've seen Calendula infusions used as a hair rinse, so I don't see why you couldn't use dandelion. I would use it on my blonde hair, because of all the gorgeous yellow that falls out of it when I handle it.

You could simply used the tea/infusion or use a dandelion vinegar rinse. You'd have to wait 4-6 weeks for the vinegar to steep though and then I'd only use it occasionally to strip build up.

Let me know if you try it! I may try it this summer to see if it adds some gold to my hair.