Gather those yellow flowers to make this sweet dandelion syrup with cane sugar, raw honey, and lemon. Perfect for pancakes, waffles, and your morning tea!
Are you sick of hearing me talk about dandelions yet? 😉 Well, I promise today’s post is really fun and exciting – we’re making dandelion syrup! You know, like for pancakes and waffles…and tea, and just about anywhere you would use syrup!
I’ve been wanting to make dandelion syrup for a while, and it just kept getting pushed back. But when I was out in the yard this week and saw that many of the dandelions had started to go to seed, I knew I had to act quickly to harvest what was left of the yellow flowers – and I knew exactly what I wanted to use them for!
Over 2 days, I gathered about 125 flowers. It sounds way more daunting than it really is; it went by very quickly actually.
I brought them inside and rinsed them under cold water and then laid them out to dry on a towel. I left them like that for a while, to be sure they were completely dry and that any bugs lurking inside the blooms were long gone (I could actually see them crawling away on the towel!).
You can also skip the washing step to preserve the pollen, which is good for the immune system (thanks to our reader, Bonnie, for this tip!)
Then, I removed the petals from the thick, green base. The base is filled with a bitter, white liquid, so you don’t want any of that bitterness to end up in your final product.
You can remove the petals by squeezing the green base and rolling it between your fingers to loosen the petals. Or use a small knife and cut as close to the green base as possible, which is much quicker and easier. You can also just use scissors to snip off the green base.
You may get some small pieces of green leaves, but that’s ok. As long as the thick green base is removed.
If you want to make the syrup at a later time (ie: not right after you cut the petals), you can put them in an air-tight container or freezer bag and pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. That’s what I did earlier this week with the first harvest.
How to Make Dandelion Syrup
Alright, prep work is done, let’s get to the sweet stuff! Bear in mind that this is a 2-day process, so if you want to use the syrup for tomorrow’s breakfast, you will have to start making it today!
Dandelion Syrup: Day 1
Put the petals in a pot and cover them with water. Bring them to a rolling boil and let them boil for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then, remove them from the heat, cover, and steep the petals over night. You can either leave the pot in a cool spot in the kitchen, or put it in the fridge. I let the pot cool down a bit on the stove, then I put it in the fridge.
Dandelion Syrup: Day 2
The next morning, you’ll strain the petals from the water over a small bowl. You can use a fine mesh strainer, and press the petals with the back of a spoon to extract as much water as possible. Or line a colander with some cheesecloth and squeezed the water out that way.
Return the strained liquid to the pot along with the sugar, honey, and lemon. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer, uncovered, for about an hour, or until it has reduced by half.
Check the consistency after about an hour. Dip a spoon into the syrup, let it cool a bit, and test the thickness. If it’s thick enough for your liking, just turn off the heat and let the syrup cool. That’s it – you’ve made dandelion syrup!
Storing Your Dandelion Syrup
After the syrup has cooled down a bit, pour it into a glass jar or container of some sort, and make sure to store it in the fridge after use. I have a small syrup dispenser that I picked up a few years ago; I filled it up and kept the extra in a glass jar.
My husband is coming back from a business trip tonight, so we’ll try this syrup over my whole-wheat banana chunk waffles tomorrow morning. But of course, that hasn’t stopped me from sampling it on its own in all its sweet, syrupy goodness. You know…for research, of course! 🙂
EDIT: Ok, I made the waffles the next morning, topped them with sliced strawberries and this syrup, and OMG! Best. Combo. Ever! Here’s a picture of the finished product! 🙂
- 1 1/2 cups dandelion flowers (about 125 flowers)
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups cane sugar ( (or sweetener of choice))
- 1/4 cup raw honey ( (optional))
- 1/2 lemon, juiced ( (optional, but rounds out the flavour))
- After harvesting the flowers, lay them out on a towel for about an hour, to allow any bugs to crawl away. You can also wash the flowers, but you risk washing away some of the pollen, which is actually good for you.
- Next, cut off the green base of the flower and discard. You can squeeze and roll them between your fingers, or cut them with a knife, or just snip them off with scissors. Make sure to get the whole base off since it is bitter. A little bit of green flecks is ok, as long as the main base is removed.
- Add petals and water to a pot. Bring to a boil, and let it boil for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then place the pot in a cool place to let it steep overnight. A cool counter or the fridge is ideal.
- The next morning, strain the liquid into a fine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth over a bowl. Extract as much of the liquid as you can by squeezing or pressing with the back of a spoon.
- Add the strained liquid to a pot, and add the sugar, honey, and lemon, if using. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Check for consistency by dipping a spoon in the syrup, letting it cool for a bit, and checking the thickness. If it's to your liking, remove the syrup from the heat.
- Pour into glass jars, let the syrup cool down to room temperature, and then you can store it in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for a few months.