Have you ever eaten the weeds in your yard?!? If not, today is the day! :)Who knew friends named Lisa and Dandelions would have a connection in my life adventure? Let me tell you that tale and let's learn together about the nutritious and delicious floral side of Dandelions!I am excited to continue the Foraging for #RealLife series! If you missed the kick-off and introduction to the basics, catch it here. I love that Dandelions have connections with two friends in my life, both named Lisa. First, my year-long adventure in Maine five years ago brought me a Lisa who taught me to wish on a Dandelion before blowing its dried seeds to the wind. Recently, a new Oregon friend Lisa invited me into her yard to safely forage!
Let's begin our next foraging adventure with one of the first flowers of spring, one that becomes a magical mechanism for wishes...
I am going to show you how to make a simple, small-batch recipe of Dandelion Citrus Jam from those bright and beautiful yellow flowers! A quick online search will share that while we often see it as a weed, many societies see this beautiful flower and plan as an important medicinal herb, and it also tastes great and has a sweet flower. While more research has been done on the leaves and roots, the flower is a very important part of this first flower of spring.
The flowers have a higher level of polyphenols than the leaves or roots of dandelions. Polyphenols help in the prevention of degenerative diseases. They are also a good source of antioxidants (again higher than the roots or leave), which as we have discussed before (here in our Elderberry and Immune Support post), are essential for your body to fight free radicals.
Fun Fact: Plant foods have 64 times more antioxidant activity than animal foods on average.
Time to Cook!
- 2 overflowing cups freshly picked fully bloomed Dandelion flowers
- 2 large Organic Oranges
- 1 Organic Lemon
- 1-2 cups Organic, Local, and Raw Honey (to desired sweetness)
- 1-2 cups Filtered Water
- 2 TBSP Organic Chia Seeds (consider grinding if convenient to avoid dark seed color in jam, I used my coffee grinder)
- 4-6 pint (8 oz) canning jars and lids (I used four half-pints and one pint not quite full)
- 4 TBSP Fruit pectin (optional to replace chia seeds)
- 2 cups sugar (optional to replace honey)
Rinse in cold water and pat dry the dandelions. Separate the yellow petals from the greens – you only want the yellow parts for this recipe. This is why the jam isn’t bitter, because there are no greens.
- Wash the citrus rinds thoroughly using the Thieves Fruit and Veggie Spray or Soak.
- With a vegetable peeler, peel the citrus fruits and chop the peels finely. Set aside. Remove any remaining white rind pieces from the fruits and discard. Finely chop the fruit pieces. NOTE: I opted to toss the fruit pieces in my Vitamix for a quick pulse blend so they were chunky but not overwhelming in size.
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, fruit pieces, and fruit rinds. Bring to a boil and boil for 8-10 minutes.
- While that is cooking, wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water or in a large pot of boiling water.
- Add the chia seeds and dandelion petals. Stir to combine and bring back to a boil. Boil 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened some. Remove from heat and mix in the honey. Overheating the honey can kill off the beneficial components.
- Carefully ladle the jam into the jars. Clean the rims and seal tightly. Set in a draft-free area to cool. Store these jars in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Share the bounty with a friend or neighbor to ensure it gets enjoyed fresh!
Be sure to grab your free printable gift tags on the blog to make your jars even cuter. The link for those is below the image.
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