From weeds to delicious food: dandelion jelly
I often wonder who decides which plants are weeds – it seems an almost cruel judgment, especially when you can go from weeds to delicious food in little time. Like homemade dandelion and apple jelly, for example.
Dandelions are one of the first Springtime foods for bees and other insects, so I tend not to make today’s recipe that often but it is so fragrant and yummy that a little goes a long way.
When picking dandelions (and any other plant for consumption), make sure they have not been sprayed with any nasties such as weedkillers e.g. glyphosate in Roundup (Note: if you want to find out more about what glyphosate does to the body and environment, check out Rich Roll’s podcast with Dr Zach Bush: https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-353 ).
For this dandelion jelly recipe you will only need the yellow flower heads but I will post more recipes that involve the whole plant. Keep your eyes peeled! And for serving suggestions why not try this jelly on my crackers (recipe video on YouTube (https://youtu.be/U-mjCb7_XYg ) or on toasted soda bread – yum (https://propernosh.co.uk/easy-bread-recipe/).
So, ready to get cooking?
*PS: Unsure how to sterilise a jam jar? Simply preheat the oven to 100 degrees, wash the jar and lid in soapy water, rinse and place both in the oven to dry.
Ingredients for 1 jar
Needed: 1 sterilised jam jar* min. capacity 350ml
1 fine sieve, 2 pans
1 cup yellow dandelion heads
3 cups of water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp agar agar OR some pectin (use according to packet instructions)
- Pick the yellow petals off the flower heads, omitting as much green as possible, and place in a saucepan.
- Coarsely chop the apple and add to the pan, including the peel and core (this is to increase the pectin/setting of the jelly).
- Add the water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until you are left with approximately 2/3 of the liquid.
- Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan and heat over a medium heat. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil until all the sugar has desolved.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the agar agar (or pectin if using).
- Carefully pour the mixture into a warm, sterilised jar and seal with a lid.
- Once cooled, keep in the fridge and enjoy on toast, crackers or in porridge.