Jars of Dandelion Jelly 

As a homesteader, you may realize that one of the most important tasks for you during the growing season is storing your own food for later use. A lot of “non homesteaders” look at us with this dreadful image of us sweating over a stove steam rolling up from the pot into our faces, hair going crazy. And maybe half of that is true but they leave out the birds chirping and singing in the background, sun shining, tea sitting on the table next to you, spoon tastings. This is our life, and in between the jams or tomatoes processing away we’re writing this or some other article to share how beautiful this step in a homesteader’s life, or anyone’s life looking to add a bit of simplicity and the safety of knowing where your food is coming from and whose hands grew them.

Right now we are boiling up some apple blossom jelly and dandelion jelly. Not your usual food preservation, but in our household it is. We try to preserve any nutrients and little taste of spring and summer any chance we get, when you have 6 months of cold you tend to really  appreciate the warm weather. There is so much food around us, we’d be fools to let it all go to waste! Dandelions alone are tiny powerhouses full of Vitamins A, B6, C and K along with magnesium, potassium, and calcium. There are many ways to preserve dandelion, you could roast the roots or dry the greens, both for tea; you could pick the greens all summer long; infusing the leaves or flowers into oil for medicine; but our favorite way is to make jelly from the flowers.

The jelly is a bit more of a process than some of the others methods of preservation, but floral jellies are some of our favorite ways to store the taste and memories of bright and fragrant flower blossoms for a cold and gray winter day. They are delicious on a warm biscuit or a piece of toast, with honey, or by the spoonful for a sweet craving. This is a wonderful way to use dandelion blossoms and to utilize the abundance of free food that grows everywhere! Not to mention, you’re working with flowers, what could go wrong there? Note: do not consume plants foraged from areas that have been treated with chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or from less than 30-50 feet from the road to avoid potential health risks.

For dandelion jelly, we want to make sure that we remove all of the green parts and use only the yellow petals/white fluff (not the seeds!). The green parts are full of alkaloids that while aren’t harmful can be unpalatably bitter. This is more easily accomplished as soon as they are picked, if you let them sit for too long they will wilt and it will just be a bit harder to separate the petals from the green. We want at least 4 cups — loosely packed — of dandelion heads per 4 1/4 cups of water. We usually just break the flower open and pick/scratch the petals off, but play around with it and see what works best for you! It may seem like a lot of work, but if you have some music or a good friend, this is a great way to practice being present!

After separating the flowers, we will make an infusion from them. We use about 4 1/4 cups of water for the amount of dandelion we have picked out. To make an infusion, pour hot (not boiling)  water over the dandelion petals and steep for at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours (24 hours max). The color will become darker the longer it steeps, and a short steeping time will cause a lovely light yellow color. We prefer to let it steep longer for more of a concentrated jelly. After steeping the tea, you must strain out the solids, then put on medium heat. Now, you’ll start making the jelly. Prepare your water bath canner and sterilize jars and lids in boiling water. In a bowl mix 1 cup of sugar with 4 1/4 teaspoons of pectin powder, make sure these are thoroughly mixed.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters