When we moved to farm, I knew I wanted to grow my own food and learn how to preserve and can. In addition, I wanted to learn how to live off the land including what grows naturally on our property in Texas. We are never short on dandelion flowers in spring. After picking quite a few recently, I figured there was no better time to show you how to make dandelion honey syrup. Most these ingredients you can find in your pantry.
As intimidating as this can seem, I assure you if I can do this, you can too. Because dandelions only flower twice a year, you will make sure you harvest what you can for teas, honey and syrup as well as many other foods you can make. The entire plant is edible.
- Total Time: 5 Hours
- Prep: 30 minutes
- Cook: 4 Hours
- Yields: 5 8oz Jars
- 6 Cups Dandelions
- 6 Cups Water
- 4 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 Lemon Sliced
- 1 Orange Sliced
- 1 Vanilla Bean Split
Steps To Make Honey Syrup:
- Pick flowers early morning when in full bloom.
- Rinse flowers in cold water soak for 5 minutes to clean and rid of insects.
- Place flowers in stock pot with vanilla bean split, water, lemon and orange.
- Bring to rolling boil for 10 minutes then remove from heat and steep until room temperature.
- Remove vanilla bean, orange and lemon then strain flowers through cheesecloth and discard the flowers.
- Place the remaining liquid in stock pot and bring to a rolling boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Add your sugar to the boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer for 2-4 hours until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Place in sterilized jars
Before Making the Honey Syrup
Let’s start by covering a few basics before just go crazy picking wild flowers. First, do not ever used any plants that have been near or sprayed with any kind of weed killer. It’s poison and seeps into the ground and roots, unfortunately. Stay away from plants that your animals have may have “been around”, if you know what I mean.
Picking the flowers early in the morning, right after they bloom, yields the most flavor and you only ever want to use fully open petals. Leave those that haven’t fully bloomed for your next daily or weekly harvest. Make sure to leave some for the bees for these yellow beauties seem to be a favorite of local honey bees.
How to Make Dandelion Honey Syrup
With that all out of the way, let’s get down to the fun part. There are very minimal items you will need to make the dandelion honey syrup. The links below are affiliate links and you can see my policy here.
Supplies Needed for Dandelion Honey Syrup:
- Cloth for Straining (I highly recommend this method)
- Stock Pot
- Mason Jars
- Canning Funnel
- Canning Tongs or get the whole kit here.
- And Dandelions, of Course! (FREE)
- Vanilla Beans (slice beans down the middle before using for flavor release)
Picking Your Dandelion Flowers
When you pick your flowers, be careful to only pick the cap with petals. The stems and leaves are quite bitter and will affect your dandelion honey syrup flavor. And not in a good way. Picking your flowers in the manner means you will spend less time picking stems off before cooking. Some say to only use the petals and remove the cap attached, but I find the caps don’t cause any bitter flavor and again, leaving these will save you time.
Immediately after picking, bring them inside and do a cold water soak in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Adding a few tsp of vinegar can kill any small bugs that may lie in the petals. This is a step I skip for fear this will also affect the flavor. Make sure to rinse them at least twice and this should remove any tiny hitchhikers.
Steeping Your Flowers and Adding Ingredients
The amount of flowers you will need is dependent on how much honey syrup you want to make. I try to at the least fill a standard size colander or strainer. With this amount of flowers, I use 6 cups of water and will use 4-5 cups of granulated sugar. Five cups only if I am wanting it SUPER sweet. These measurements will yield 5-6 8oz jelly jars. Just the right amount for storing and gifting.
After you’ve rinsed the flowers, place them in a stock pot with the 6 cups of water and your sliced lemon, sliced orange and vanilla beans (remember these are optional). Bring to rolling boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, allow the liquid to come to room temperature or steep in the pot overnight. I have done both and find that the flavor is basically the same either way.
When finished steeping, remove the lemons, oranges and vanilla beans. Then remove the flowers from the liquid by straining. Some use a strainer, but I find for the clearest most beautiful honey syrup, using a cloth works best. Pour the liquid and dandelions into a large cloth lined bowl and then twist the cloth until all the liquid is drained out. Rinse your stock pot and then pour the liquid back in. Place the pot on the stove and discard your flowers. You can use the flowers a second time to make dandelion tea or place them in my compost bin.
In the liquid, add 4 cups of sugar. Bring the liquid to a rolling bowl then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally. Check the consistency by scooping a bit on a cool plate and rotating the plate to cool the honey. It should be more like a syrup than honey consistency.
Sterilize Your Jars
While your honey syrup is simmering, clean and sterilize your glass jars. Hand wash with dish soap or wash in the dishwasher. You can take this a step further and boil the jars for a few minutes. Just make sure not to place a cold jar in hot water. It will break the glass.
After the consistency is how you want it, remove the stock pot from the heat. If you so desire, you can thicken the liquid using powdered pectin. For honey consistency you can use a half to whole box. You can also add quite a bit more to make dandelion jelly. This will be the last step. If adding the pectin, bring the liquid back to a rolling boil, add pectin and stir constantly for a few minutes. I have not attempted this to date, but it will be my next dandelion concoction.
Canning Your Honey Syrup
The best jars to use are the 8oz jelly jars. This size makes for the perfect gift size and easy storage. For water bath preserving, you will need to make sure the lids are new. The wax ring on jar lids can only be used once to properly can. In addition, check the rims of your jars and lids to make sure they are smooth and not cracked, chipped or warped in any way. This makes sure the lids adhere properly during water bath canning.
Using a funnel and a ladle, pour the honey syrup into your warm jars. Before pouring, for even more citrus flavor, you can add a lemon slice to the bottom of the jar. Just remember, hot liquid in a cold jar can cause breakage. Leave about 1/4 inch head room in jar and wipe the rims down to remove any drips. Place the lid on the jar and only finger tighten. Do not over tighten.
Preserving and Storing Your Honey Syrup
While filling jars, bring the stock pot filled with water back to a rolling boil. Place the jars, with lids attached, into the pot making sure the water covers the tops of the jars by about an inch. Boil for 10 minutes then remove. Use your canning tongs and place the jars on a towel or rack. Do not place them on a cold countertop. Sensing the theme here?
Once completely cooled to room temperature, they are ready to be stored. If using immediately, place in fridge. This will also slightly thicken the honey. These can remain in room temp storage for up to a year. Dress them up with fabric, tags or ribbon for the perfect personalized gift.
Making your own dandelion honey syrup isn’t difficult and after one batch, you will be able to make this delicious treat every year. Be sure to check back for my recipes for dandelion tea, jelly and much more as I learn to cook with plants. Some wild and some I grew!
For more homestead inspiration, my post on how to store freshly laid chicken eggs might interest you.