Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Edible Flowers and Jelly

 In the Kitchen

A lot of patrons of the Farmers Market  are intrigued by the Dandelion Jelly that I sell. They look at it and think that it is honey at first until they get closer and can read the label.  I first made Dandelion Jelly several years ago and it is the reason I decided to try and make the Red Sunflower Jelly. Making a flower jelly is not that hard and it can be made from any edible flower. 
First, you make a “tea” by putting flower petals into boiling water and letting it steep. Collecting the flower petals is one of the hardest parts. It takes a lot of petals!  We have some dandelions on our property but I like to go to my friends farm and gather them...they are HUGE and I am able to pick enough flower heads in about 3 minutes to make the jelly.  To get the petals, make sure and try not to get the green part of the flower head.  The green part is a little bitter. You can kind of grab the base of the flower head and twist to release the petals. I have also just used a scissors and cut off the petals. 
For the Dandelion Jelly, I use 2 cups of flower petals into 4 cups of boiling water.   I have also seen some recipes that call for 1 cup of water for each cup of dandelion flowers.
Let this steep for an hour. I usually just let it sit all day. I pick the flowers in the morning, make up the tea and then come back to it and make the jelly in the afternoon or evening…whenever I find time. Making the jelly is pretty similar to other jellies…add lemon juice and pectin, boil, add sugar and boil again. Put in your jars and process. 
All parts of the dandelion are edible. I have dug up the roots, dried them down, and ground  them to make a tea/coffee. I know the greens can be eaten in a salad or cooked but I have never done that.  I recently found a recipe for Dandelion Syrup and this sounds really intriguing to me.  Basically, you make the tea and add sugar and then boil it down to thicken it up.

Back to the flower jelly…you can make jelly from any edible flower. Here is a pic of some edible flowers but there are much, much more than what is listed here…

Here is a link to a comprehensive guide to edible flowers. It says what part of the flower is edible, how they taste (flavor) and best ways to prepare them.  

Dandelions are so much more than just a weed.  Here is some information from We Don't Deserve This Planet regarding dandelions:

Here are some interesting facts about the dandelion flower:
The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. ☀️ πŸŒ™ ⭐️. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.
The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep. 😴
Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, flower. It can be used for food, medicine and dye for coloring.
Up until the 1800s people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, malva, and chamomile.
The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves. 🦁
Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant.
Dandelion seeds are often transported away by a gust of wind and they travel like tiny parachutes. Seeds are often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin!
Animals such as birds, insects and butterflies consume nectar or seed of dandelion.🐦 πŸ› 🐜 πŸ¦‹ 🐝.
Dandelion flowers do not need to be pollinated to form seed.
Dandelion can be used in the production of wine and root beer. Root of dandelion can be used as a substitute for coffee. 🍷 🍺
Dandelions have sunk their roots deep into history. They were well known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years.
Dandelion is used in folk medicine to treat infections and liver disorders. Tea made of dandelion act as diuretic.

I made Forsythia Jelly a couple of weeks ago and sold out.  The thing with flower jellies is that the flavor is very delicate.  I liked the Forsythia Jelly but I like the Dandelion Jelly more.  My next project is to make Lilac Jelly.  My lilacs are just starting to bud (everything is late this year because of our cool wet spring).

Do you enjoy eating flowers?

Have an eggcellent day!