Friday, May 6, 2011

Dandelion Jelly

I am sure that many of you have yards that look like this.  Just full of those bright yellow flowers.  I know most of you  think these are weeds.  And you even may buy chemicals to put on your lawn to kill them.  But in fact dandelions are herbs!!!  Yes they are herbs, completely edible, and very nutritious for you!!
The dandelion is a very powerful diuretic and one of the the best natural sources of potassium.  All parts of the dandelion is edible.  The root is dried and used in tonics and drinks.  Some people use this as a coffee substitute.  The leaves can be used in salads or soups.  The yellow blossoms can be made into wine, jelly, and fried and eaten as a snack.  There are so many uses for this herb.  It has also been thought that the dandelion was one of the bitter herbs mentioned in the Bible.  If you pick the leaves at the wrong time they are bitter.  To use the leaves you want to pick fresh young leaves.  When the plant gets older and bigger the leaves turn bitter.   One of my favorite things to make out of dandelions is jelly.  It is a pretty golden yellow color and tastes like a very mild honey.  It is great on biscuits and homemade bread and rolls.  Here is the process of making dandelion jelly.

First you need to pick your dandelion blossoms. Make sure you pick them in a field or yard that has not been chemically treated.  As you can see I had a little help picking my dandelions.  Ok Freddy and Star were actually fighting me for the dandelions.  I kept having to push their heads out of my bucket.  But my dandelion picking buddies were fun.  They loved being out in the yard and eating all the fresh grass, weeds, and dandelions!!!

Aren't these beautiful?  My bucket full of dandelion blossoms.

Once you have about a gallon bucket full of dandelion blossoms you need to pull the petals out of the stem.  You can just pinch them off.  It is ok if there is a little green in it, but you don't want to much. You need about a quart of dandelion petals.

Next put the petals into a pan with 1 quart of water.  Heat to boiling and boil for 3 minutes. Put lid on pan and let steep for about 1/2 hour. 

Strain the petals off using a jelly bag.  I use an old pillow case.  The key to clear jelly, don't squeeze the bag.  Let gravity do its work and let the blossoms set until the liquid quits dripping from the bag.

Before beginning your jelly sterilize your jars.  Most people do this in their dish washer.  I don't have one so I put my clean jars in a sink full of very hot water.  I keep them in there until I am ready to fill them with the jelly.

Now measure out your ingredients.  You need 2 1/2 cups of the dandelion juice, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 pkg of powdered pectin, and 4 1/2 cups sugar.  I buy powdered pectin in bulk so 1/4 cup is equal to 1 pkg. 

Pour you juice into a jelly pan or tall pan. 

Add the lemon juice.

Add the pectin.

With a whisk stir until it is dissolved.  Heat to a full rolling boil on high heat stirring constantly.

Once the jelly has come to a rolling boil add your sugar.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved. 

Bring the jelly back to a full rolling boil.  Start your timer and cook and stir for 1 minute.  Then take the jelly off the heat.

Using a slotted spoon or a serving spoon, skim off the foam.

Using a ladle pour your jelly into your jars.

Using a clean wash cloth wipe the lips of the jars.  They need to be clean in order to get a nice seal on the jars.

Boil you new lids to activate the gum on the lids.  This will insure a good seal.

Use a lid lifter and lift the lids out of the water.  Put them on your jars.  Screw the rings on and tighten by hand.

Six jars of jelly waiting to be put in the canner.  Do not stop here.  According to canning experts and County Extension Agents all jams and jellies need to be processed in a water bath for 5 minutes.  This kills bacteria in the jars and drives the air out of the jars as well.

Put enough water in your canner to cover the jars by 1 inch.  Bring to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using jar lifters place the jars of jelly into your canner.  Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 5 minutes.  Remove the jars using your jar lifters and set on a counter to cool.

Within a few minutes you will begin to hear the "pings" .  Your jellies are sealing.  Let completely cool on your counter.  Make sure all jars sealed.  If one did not seal put in the fridge to use up.  The ones that sealed put in your pantry for further use and for gifts for Christmas!!
Here is my dandelion jelly.  Six  beautiful jars of golden yellow jelly!!!

Here is the recipe for the jelly.  Go pick you fields of yellow and enjoy the benefits!!

Dandelion Jelly
1 quart of dandelion petals
1 quart of water

Boil together for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover the pan.  Let steep for 30 minutes.  Drain juice.

For Jelly:
2 1/2 cups dandelion juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pkg powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar

Bring dandelion juice, lemon juice, and pectin to a boil stirring constantly.  Add sugar.  Stir until it comes to a boil.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Skim off foam and ladle into jars.  Adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.  Yield: 6  8 oz jars of jelly


Heritage Farmgirl said...

Good job. I made some this week as well.
Love spring... even the dandelions!
Came from Farmgirl blog-a-long

Mary said...

Dina this looks great!! It does look like honey. Wonder if my bees would think so. I'm not sure my kids could have that many dandelions in the house. Ha Ha

Manders 19 said...

Dina it looks pretty!!! I will try it but I have to tell you the city girl in me keeps saying "You are eating weeds!!"

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House said...

This is the best post on making Dandelion Jelly I have seen! I have a front yard that looks like yours and am determined to make my first batch of dandelion Jelly this year! Thank you for entering it in the farmgirl Friday hop!

Creations by Dina said...

Thanks Deb! If you make the jelly you can lower the amount of juice to 2 1/2 cups. The jelly I made jelled fine but for my taste I prefer a much firmer jelly. When I make it again I will use less juice.

ELP said...

Oh my stars, how fun. Thanks for the recipe, I am going to try this. I love using what I have to keep my household running smoothly. Thanks for your comments on my blog yesterday.
This weekend is VERY busy. My baby graduated from college today. We are so proud and happy for her. We sat out in 80+ degree sun for 3 hours {mercy me}. To say the least we are all burned,{I forgot the sun tan lotion..oops}. Tomorrow we are having her party here at home...So lots more to do. Have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Jennifer said...

It looks beautiful. I've got to try this one of these days :)

Amanda said...

Beautiful, beautiful. First off, I applaud you for not having a dishwasher. I kinda wish we didn't have one either because I'll bet our water bill would be SO much lower. Next, I just love that someones put such a detailed tutorial on how to make dandelion jelly!! I love the picture by picture because it REALLY helps me understand what the process looks like. And the pillow case? AWESOME!! That's such a wonderful idea! Now I just need to find a field that hasn't been treated with chemicals and is full of dandelions!! Thank you!