Each year I struggle with the idea of gathering dandelions and taking from the pollinators. Dandelions are one of the first foods for the pollinators in New Hampshire and many of them are sprayed or removed. Let’s be honest, do we really NEED to eat the dandelions to survive or do we just WANT to? This year the forsythia was blooming around the same time the dandelions began to pop up, so naturally it was clear to combine them!
The wonderful thing about preserving these delightful spring and summer offerings is enjoying them during the cold winter months. Cracking open a jar of sunshine jelly and tasting the sweet nectar of the flowers is pure magic, especially in the middle of February!
Yellow Petal Jelly
2 cups dandelion petals & forsythia flowers (lightly packed)
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 box of powdered pectin
- Gather the flowers, being mindful not to gather in areas where plants have been sprayed and taking only 10% of what’s available.
- Cut or pull the green parts from the flowers and place only the petals in a quart sized canning jar
- Did you know that each dandelion flower is made of thousands of individual ray flowers? Take a close look at them when gathering. When they turn into gray puffballs, you’ll see that each seed was a flower!
- Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the gathered flower petals, cover, allow to cool, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Strain the flowers well, squeezing out as much tea as possible. Compost the petals.
- Place the 3 1/2 – 4 cups of yellow petal tea, lemon juice, and pectin in a large pot. Bring it to a boil.
- Add the sugar and return to a boil while stirring. Boil the jelly for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour into canning jars. Continue with water bath canning process for 10 minutes.