Backyard Foraging: Dandelion Syrup

I have never been one to treat our lawn, green spotless yards are nice but I feel should be kept on the golf course. I love having color in the yard, shades of green, yellow, purple and reds, it just seems so much more natural. Having weeds flowers speckling the yard just adds character and color that personally I just love.

On a side note, I was told it was okay for me to add crocuses and grape hyacinths through out as well, excited for that! So yes, we will be the house with the colorful yard.

But anyway…like a lot of untreated yards, dandelions tend to be the more dominate or at least it seems, perhaps it’s the bright yellow. But other than being a “weed” they are also edible. Yes, you can eat them. The tender leaves and petals are are great in salads, you can saute the roots and greens, you can even make dandelion wine or jam.

Dandelions | via Mintgrapefruit.com

Our son seems to be a backyard forager eating all the onions and wild strawberries he can grab, we started talking about the other wild things he could eat. So being the type of mom I am, I was determined to show him ways to eat dandelions.

Currently he is fascinated with bees so when we started researching eating dandelions we decided to make “honey” which ours was more of a syrup. It is really a simple process, you will need to pick as many dandelion flowers as you want (this is where you get the kids to help), I gave the flower a little shake before picking; there will be little bugs or debris in the petals. Feel free to rinse your flowers under water, but allow to dry slightly before removing petals.

Dandelions | via Mintgrapefruit.com

Once you have your flowers, you will want to remove the green part and only reserve the yellow/white petals. You could just cut the green or use your fingers and just pinch it off (also another way your kids could help). Add the petals to a pot and cover with water. Yes, this is a little tricky to tell because the petals float, use your best judgment.

Dandelions | via Mintgrapefruit.com

Rapidly boil the petals for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat let cool slightly, cover and let steep overnight. I transferred my petal water to a glass container and left on the counter.

The next day, strain the petals from the liquid. I lined my mesh colander with cheese cloth. Strain as much of the liquid you can, squeeze it out of the petals. Now stop and smell the liquid; smells like honey doesn’t it?

photo 3 (4)

Ok, measure the liquid. I had about 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Pour into a pot and add equal amounts of sugar. I used Raw Organic Cane Sugar. Boil the mixture until you get the consistency you like. If you want it thicker, like honey, add more sugar.

Dandelion Syrup | via Mintgrapefruit.com

Once it is the right consistency for you, while hot carefully pour into jars and seal. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. It may thicken slightly as is cools.

Use as you would maple syrup or honey. It was great over gluten free waffles!

** DO NOT use dandelions from a treated yard or from somewhere you aren’t sure if it has been treated! **

Keep an eye out for other “foraged” treats from the back yard!

Do you have any favorite “weed” recipes? (and no, I don’t mean that weed, we’re keeping it family friendly here.)

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