Each spring, Czech meadows radiate with the glow of dandelions in full bloom. Before they wither away, let´s collect their flowers and prepare a delicious dandelion honey from them!
When I was a small girl, my grandma used to make dandelion honey.
We lived on a hill close to a forest back then, far from the city. My grandma picked the dandelion heads and put them in a basket. When she had collected enough, she put the flowers in her apron and then shook the insects out from the basket.
There was no need to wash the dandelions before making honey, since they grew in clean environment.
My grandma taught me how to make the honey myself. These days, I let my two boys pick the flowers every season.
What Is Dandelion Honey?
It’s not a true honey, but a syrup with a rich floral aroma created by cooking the dandelions in water and sugar. Dandelion honey is also a great choice for vegans.
It resembles honey in its taste, but it is thinner. However, its color is the same – a nice golden-brown. Dandelion honey greatly adds to the flavor of your tea, yogurt or porridge.
What Do I Need to Make Dandelion Honey?
This floral honey is made in spring, when the meadows are overflowing with dandelions.
All you need are these three ingredients:
- Dandelion flowers
- Granulated sugar
Dandelion is called pampeliška or smetanka lékařská in Czech. It’s a well-known herb, its roots and leaves were commonly used in traditional herbal medicine.
Instead of white sugar you can use brown sugar for an even richer taste.
When to Pick the Dandelions for the Honey?
Pick up the dandelions when they are in full bloom. The dandelion season is from the middle of April until the middle of May in the Czech Republic, it very much depends on the local weather and your geographical area.
It’s ideal to pick the flowers in the early morning when they are fully open.
Later in the day, bees hungry for nectar tend to swarm in the flowers. However, we need the nectar for our homemade dandelion honey, so it’s good to be quick and pick them up early in the morning.
Don´t be so mean, though, and leave some flowers for the bees, too!
Keep in mind the place where you pick the flowers.
Your own garden is ideal. If you don’t have one, go somewhere clean in the countryside, which isn’t ‘contaminated’ by dogs’ excrement and isn’t too close to any roads.
How to Make Dandelion Honey?
Preparing of dandelion honey is very easy, just follow the instructions:
- Pick the dandelion flowers without stems, just their heads – dandelions are best picked up before noon, when they’re fully open.
- Wash the flowers – you’ll need to get rid of the insects and pollen.
- Boil them in water together with a sliced lemon.
- Leave the flowers in with the lemon to infuse overnight.
- Strain the liquid and discard the rest of the flowers and lemon slices.
- Add sugar to the fluid and boil it at a very low temperature for 2 hours.
- Pour the finished dandelion honey into clean jars and store them in the dark.
There is a nice old tradition in the Czech Republic:
Czech girls used to weave dandelions into wreaths and throw them into a river. It was said that the place the wreath got stuck in was the place where the girl’s future groom resided.
Let´s have fun with dandelion honey recipe!
Pampeliškový Med – Dandelion Honey
- 350 pcs dandelion heads without stem
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 lemon organic quality, sliced
- Pick the dandelion heads without stems when they’re fully open.
- Soak the flowers in cold water for a while, so the insects come to the surface and you can remove them.
- Pour over the washed dandelion flowers with water. Add the sliced lemon.
- Bring the water with herbs and lemon to boil, reduce the temperature and let the fluid simmer for twenty minutes. Put the pot aside and let the flowers steep in the liquid overnight.
- Sieve the fluid through a piece of clean cotton cloth, then wring it out.
- Bring the fluid to the boil, then turn the temperature down. Add the sugar gradually, mix it in until it all dissolves.
- Simmer at a very low temperature for a further 2 hours, collecting the occasional foam on the surface formed during simmering.
- Let the finished honey cool down a little, then pour it into clean jars. Seal each glass with a lid.