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Vegan dandelion honey, aka Dandelion syrup

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Learn how to turn dandelion flowers into Delicious dandelion honey. This floral honey is the perfect honey substitute for vegans.

Wild dandelion flowers are one of the easiest to spot and identify once they bloom, thanks to their distinctive bright yellow color and unique shape. They also have a long blooming season, making them popular with wildcrafters.

Dandelion Honey recipe

They are pretty, incredibly versatile, and have many culinary and medicinal uses. For example, dandelion salve, made by infusing dandelion flowers into oil, is soothing and healing. 

The whole dandelion plant is edible, and I collect the buds in early spring to make capers. Once in full bloom, I gather dandelion heads to make dandelion fritters drizzled with honey, jelly or cupcakes. Dandelion greens are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet. Their leaves are great for detox; I use them in smoothies, soup, tea, or salads. In autumn, I collect the roots as their bitterness helps with digestion.

This time, however, I would like to share your easy recipe for making dandelion honey. It is called honey, but you can also call it syrup. It is an easy, delicious, and perfect alternative for people who cannot use regular honey or are vegan. 

I heard it for the first time from my mother-in-law many years ago, and I had no idea what is she talking about. I didn’t understand why she called it honey if it a syrup. So let me clarify.

Dandelion honey or dandelion syrup?

Dandelion honey or dandelion syrup?

We call it dandelion honey and not dandelion syrup because the consistency and its texture closely resemble true honey, whereas syrup is typically thinner and runner.

Moreover, dandelion honey tastes like honey because it is made from the sweetness and flavor of the dandelion flowers. They have a similar composition to the nectar collected by bees, unlike other syrups such as agave syrup or maple.

Dandelion honey – the perfect vegan substitute for honey

Wild Dandelion honey is often called vegan honey because bees do not make it. Unlike bee honey, which is produced by bees collecting nectar from flowers, dandelion honey is made by simmering the dandelion flowers in liquid to extract their natural flavors.

The flavor is sweet and slightly floral, with a mild bitterness typical for dandelions. I use dandelion nectar, like real honey, as a sweetener for tea, toast, pancakes, or other dishes.

Ingredients

I used brown sugar and loved the final result. You can use any type of granulated sugar – white sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, or even raw sugar. It may affect the flavor and color of your honey. Brown sugar will result in a darker and more caramel-like flavor, while white sugar in a lighter and more delicate flavor. Coconut sugar doesn’t thicken easily; thus, I won’t recommend it. 

Dandelions

I go to forage fresh dandelions in the early morning when their heads are open. Make sure you’re picking these edible flowers from places free of any pesticides. Avoid busy roads and parks. The best place is your garden. Dandelions are very important flowers for the bees, so leave plenty behind for them.

Picking dandelion flowers

Lemon juice

I decided to use lemon juice as it is rich in pectin and help dandelion honey to get thick. Moreover, lemon the acidity of the lemon juice can also help to balance the sweetness of the honey. 

Sugar

Vanilla bean

This is optional; you can use it to enhance the flavor. It makes the honey delicious.

removing the green base for dandelion flowers

Variations of homemade dandelion honey

Add herbs

You can add herbs like lavender or elderflower to get an additional flavor profile.

Use different types of sugar.

As mentioned earlier, using different types of sugar, such as brown sugar or raw sugar, can alter the flavor and color of the dandelion honey.

Infuse with fruit.

For added flavor, you can infuse the dandelion honey with fruit such as berries or citrus fruits.

Use different liquids.

Instead of water or lemon juice, you can use apple juice or coconut water.

Dandelion Honey recipe (Vegan honey recipe)

First step: Picking dandelion flowers

You don’t want to wash the flower heads as they have pollen, a flavor carrier. Just mechanically remove specks and set them aside for 10-15 minutes, allowing insects to leave the flowers, as they will be sterilized during cooking.

You will need just yellow petals and remove the dandelions’ green parts as they contribute to a bitter taste.

adding lemon juice to the mixture
adding brown sugar to the mixture

Second step: Let it simmer

Add sugar, lemon juice, dandelion petals, water, and vanilla bean in a large pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce it and simmer over low heat until it thickens and develops a honey-like consistency. This process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the desired thickness of the honey.

As the dandelion honey cools, it will naturally thicken and become stickier, especially when refrigerated, so I suggest simmering the mixture to a light syrupy consistency, unlike dandelion jelly. Once the honey has cooled down and you realize it is much too runny, you can always put it back on the stove to let it evaporate or add more sugar.

still not finished
Let dandelion honey to simmer
let it simmer longer

Third step: Strain the honey/syrup

Once the dandelion honey mixture reaches the right consistency, strain it to remove any remaining dandelion flower pieces. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth when still hot into a clean container. Press the mixture against the sieve or cheesecloth using a spoon or spatula. Give it a good squeeze to get as much liquid as possible. Discard the flowers and lemon slices. Allow the strained dandelion honey to cool before storing it in a sterilized jar or container.

straining the honey

How to use Dandelion honey

  1. Spread it on toast, bagels, or biscuits as a natural sweetener.
  2. Use it as a topping for pancakes or french toast waffles instead of traditional syrup.
  3. Stir it into tea or coffee as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer.
  4. Use it as a glaze for roasted vegetables or meats.
  5. Drizzle it over yogurt or oatmeal for added sweetness and flavor.
  6. Use it in baking recipes such as cakes, muffins, or cookies to substitute traditional honey.
  7. Mix it with pickled mustard seeds or mayonnaise to create a unique sandwich spread.
  8. Add it to salad dressings for a touch of sweetness and complexity.
Vegan honey recipe

How to store dandelion honey?

 Store your dandelion and honey in an airtight, sterilized jar in your pantry or kitchen cupboard for several months; once you open it, transfer your honey to the refrigerator and use it within one month.  

How to store dandelion honey?

Do I need to wash the dandelions first?

It is up to you. I don’t want to achieve the most floral taste of dandelions. However, no worries if you prefer washing them to remove any dirt or debris. You can still get a good flavor from the pollen even after washing the dandelions, wash them gently and then use them promptly to ensure the best flavor.

What if the dandelion honey is too thin even after cooling?

If your dandelion honey is too thin even after cooling, try simmering it for a few more minutes to reduce it further. The consistency depends on the amount of sugar used and the time it’s simmered. So, if you prefer a thicker consistency, you can try simmering it for a bit longer until it reaches your desired texture.

Dandelion honey - the perfect vegan substitute for honey
What if the honey is too thick or crystallized?

If your honey is too thick, add a small amount of hot water or lemon juice to thin it out to the consistency. The water will affect the flavor, so add a bit until you reach the desired consistency. Boiling water can also dissolve the crystals.

What to do with strained dandelion petals? Should I throw them away?

No, you can still use them to brew into tea or dandelion wine or add them to salads. Alternatively, you can add them to your compost pile to help enrich the soil.

vegan honey recipe
Yield: 20 tablespoons

Vegan dandelion honey, aka Dandelion syrup

Variations of homemade dandelion honey

Learn how to turn dandelion flowers into Delicious dandelion honey. This floral honey is the perfect honey substitute for vegans.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 30 days
Total Time 30 days 1 hour

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. You don't want to wash the flower heads as they have pollen which is a flavor carrier. Just mechanically remove specks and set them aside for 10-15 minutes, giving any insects a chance to leave the flowers, as they will be sterilized during the cooking process. You will need just yellow petals and need to remove the green parts of the dandelions as they contribute to a bitter taste.
  2. Add sugar and lemon juice, dandelion petals, water, and vanilla bean in a large pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce it and simmer over low heat until it thickens and develops a honey-like consistency. This process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the desired thickness of the honey.
  3. Once the dandelion honey mixture reaches the right consistency, strain it to remove any remaining dandelion flower pieces. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth when still hot into a clean container. Press the mixture against the sieve or cheesecloth using a spoon or spatula. Give it a good squeeze to get as much liquid as possible. Discard the flowers and lemon slices. Allow the strained dandelion honey to cool before storing it in a sterilized jar or container.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    20

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Vladka Merva on April 28th, 2023

    5 Comments on “Vegan dandelion honey, aka Dandelion syrup”

    1. This was so delicious. I love putting it in mocktails and tea. It’s tart yet sweet and so fragrant. Will definitely make again. I feel it would make a really good gift.

      Reply
    2. This was such a fun project! I have very little experience cooking with flowers but after making this recipe I’m going to check out all of your other ones!

      Reply
    3. Dandelion honey is so good! I love it on toast in the morning, and I add it to my tea all the time. It’s so sweet and it tastes like flowers.

      Reply
    4. As a vegan, I’m always looking for alternatives to traditional honey. Luckily, I came across this vegan dandelion honey! It’s a lifesaver! I love how it can transform my delicious breakfasts and teas! It’s a good addition to my pantry. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try!

      Reply
    5. Thanks for this recipe and idea — I had no idea this was a thing! We always have TONS of dandelion flowers this time of year . . . I always thought they added a pop of color to salads . . and I’ve heard of people making tea . . put not dandelion honey! Will be foraging and making this weekend!

      Reply

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