Homemade Dandelion Honee | Vegan Honey

 reading time: 5 min



Did you know that you can make your own 100 % plant-based and bee-free "honee" with only 3 simple ingredients? All you need is freshly picked dandelion flowers, water and sugar!

This floral honey has almost nothing to do with conventional bee honey, except that is also makes use of flower pollen, but it is equally deliciously sweet and rich, similar to a forest honey, with a slight citrus note, and has a gorgeous amber colour!

I haven't mentioned this in my post about dandelion cupcakes last week (which are delicious by the way, so give them a try!), but dandelion flowers
are not just pretty to look at, like little fuzzy suns – they also contain many vitamins and minerals. Dandelion honey is said to stimulate kidney and liver activity, metabolism and blood circulation as well as balancing blood sugar levels, reducing high blood pressure, stimulating glandular activity, aiding digestion and helping with rheumatic disorders. Since this recipe uses flower pollen, it may also help relieve seasonal allergies.

Dandelions also stimulate bile production, which is generally not an issue. If however, you are on bile blocker medication for any reason, please take that into consideration.

Whether you usually eat bee honey or not – give this dandelion honee a try! It's unique, pretty to look at, and beneficial for your health. Oh, and it also makes for a great edible gift 🌼

Make sure to gather your dandelion flowers in a low traffic area away from roads, parking lots, sidewalk or other areas where there can be road salts, runoff, animal waste etc. The areas should also be free of chemical treatments or fertilizer. Pick on a sunny day when the flowers are fully open. And of course, harvest just enough for what you need, and leave the rest for the bees and butterflies to feed on! 😊

 
VEGAN DANDELION HONEY

Preparation time: 1 hour (+ steeping time)
Main ingredients: dandelion flowers, sugar, lemon
difficulty level: easy
makes: about 2 honey jars
suitable for
: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, nut-free, fat-free

Ingredients

200 g (about 4–5 handfuls) fresh dandelion flowers
400 ml (~ 1 1/2 cups) filtered water
, boiling
2 organic lemons

360 g (~ 1 3/4 cups) light sugar, brown sugar or raw cane sugar

also:
- clean, sterilized jars with screw-on lids (I use recycled jam and honey jars that I sterilized with boiling water)
- a saucepan
- a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, gauze or fine mesh

Instructions

Preparing the dandelion flowers:

Place your freshly picked dandelion flowers outside on a kitchen towel or in a bowl or colander. Leave them out in a shady spot for about an hour or so to give
any creepy crawlies a chance to escape.

Pluck the yellow petals from the flower head, while discarding the green bits which are very bitter. You will need some patience for this process :) I personally enjoy monotonous tasks where I can get in touch with my thoughts and feelings, or listen to music or an audiobook.

(BTW: You can collect the leftover dandelion greens and give them to your chickens, bunnies, guinea pigs or goats! Or feed your compost with them.)

If you like, you can give your flowers a light spray of water in a fine mesh to remove any bits of dust of dirt before using them to cook, knowing that this will also remove most of the pollen. You can also use them unwashed, that way you preserve the pollen. It's up to you!

Making the
"honey":

Place plucked dandelion petals into a medium saucepan. Pour the boiling water over the petals, and add
2 organic lemons (squeezed and then sliced for maximum use), if using. Allow to steep for about 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

After steeping, strain the petals and lemons (I use a nut milk bag, but a cheesecloth or a fine mesh also works), wringing out every last bit of that golden juice that we want. Compost the leftover dandelion/lemon pulp.

Return the dandelion juice to the saucepan, add the sugar, and gently bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, allow the mixture to boil lightly for about 20 minutes, or until thickened to your liking.

Please note that the syrup will be relatively liquid when warm, so check the consistency by letting it cool down (see notes below). It will thicken dramatically once at room temperature.


Once you're satisfied with the consistency, fill into sterilized glasses.

Enjoy over porridge, on fresh bread with butter (pictured is one of my homemade sourdough breads that I'm currently experimenting with 😍), for baking as a substitute for maple syrup or agave syrup, or even in a salad dressing for a touch of sweetness.

This honey also tastes great paired with (homemade) yogurt,
Greek-yogurt-with-honey style. Did anyone else eat this when they were younger?

Stored in a cool and dark place, this dandelion honey keeps for about 1 year.



TIPS & NOTES:
- To test the setting point, spoon a small amount of the syrup on a plate that has been placed in the refrigerator or freezer for about 10 minutes. After about a minute, you can push the syrup with your fingertip to see how thick it is. It can go from thin (like maple syrup) to viscous (like molasses or runny honey) to super sticky and thick (like caramel). Mine was definitely on the thick and sticky side, with 30 minutes of simmering time!
- Make flavour variations of this recipe by replacing the lemon with something like an orange or an apple, or adding herbs or flowers like rose buds or lavender or rosemary twigs (I'm thinking about adding apple blossoms to mine next time!), or spices like vanilla bean or ginger. You could also change up the flavour by using hot chamomile tea, apple juice or pineapple juice instead of hot water for steeping the dandelions.
- To make cough honey, add 2 cloves, 2 handfuls of fresh dandelion flowers (petals plucked), a fresh thyme twig or a few sage leaves, and 1 cinnamon stick to your jar of dandelion honey. Leave to rest in the sun for 2 weeks, then strain, and fill into a fresh jar.


General Foraging Guidelines:

  • You should be 100 % certain you are identifying the correct plant. If you do not know what it is, DO NOT eat it! Do not pick if you're in doubt!

  • Don't harvest from contaminated areas such as busy roadsides, near industrial facilities, where dogs pee, along the edges of agricultural fields, old landfill sites etc.

  • Be mindful & harvest sustainably. Only pick from areas that have a plentiful supply, and never more than 1/4 of a plant, ideally only about 5 %.

  • Leave the harvesting area litter-free.


Maisy



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