Dandelion Candy

Are you in love with dandelions this time of year just like me?  Use some of your foraged dandelion stash to make this dandelion candy with wholesome honey, lemon and herbs.  

Dandelion Candy l Foraged dandelions, honey, herbs and lemon make a healthier treat l Homestead Lady.com

How to Forage

So, collecting dandelions for dandelion candy has an official name – foraging.  Foraging, or wildcrafting, has become all the rage these days and I’m happy that it is! This is one trend I can support.  Here are some reasons you might want to learn more about wildcrafting:

  • You don’t have the time you’d like for a garden, but you’ve certainly got “weeds” in your yard
  • Nature walks are your favorite and have noticed so many beautiful plants that you’d like to  know more about
  • You love fresh food
  • Free food is even better
  • You’re crafty and enjoy what nature can provide in the way of materials for your projects
  • Making your own medicinals and health care products is a goal of yours and would like to know more about how you can use wild plants in your products
  • You simply want to know more about foraging ethically to interact with the beauties of nature

These are all great reasons!

The Botany and Wildcrafting Course

The Herbal Academy is has created another of their fabulous online courses – The Botany and Wildcrafting Course!  I’m going to be taking the course with my kids as we move out of winter and into spring and summer.  We’ll be watching the videos, printing the course material and even getting the special botany coloring book the Herbal Academy has created just for this course.

I’ve already started previewing some of the material and it’s looking really good – thorough information, excellent video and high quality printables.  I’ll be sharing more about the course in my newsletter as the kids and I move through it, so be sure to sign up for that if you haven’t already.

To learn more about the course and the materials and cost just click below.  You can also ask me any questions you have and even if I don’t know the answer, I’ll get one for you from the fabulous team at Herbal Academy.

Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

Ok, now on to the information about dandelion candy – I just didn’t want you to miss out on all that course stuff.  I geek out over things like this.

Herbal Cough Drops to Dandelion Candy

The kids and I forage so many dandelions every spring and were always looking for more things to do with them.  Making dandelion candy was a natural leap from making our own herbal cough drops.  Have you ever made your own cough drops?

Here are a few recipes you might like to try:

The process for making dandelion candy is pretty much the same as for any of these herbal cough drops.

Dandelion Candy

While this is technically dandelion candy, you could actually use it as a cough drop, if you needed to!  This dandelion candy contains honey, raw sugar, dandelion, turmeric, lemon and ginger.  Great tasting and naturally good for you!  Or, at least, better for you than commercial candy with corn syrup and chemical dyes.

Dandelion Candy l Make your own healthier candy from dandelions, honey and herbs l Homestead Lady.com

4 from 1 vote
Dandelion Candy l Foraged dandelions, honey and herbs make for a healthy treat l Homestead Lady.com
Dandelion Candy
This dandelion candy contains honey, raw sugar, dandelion, turmeric, lemon and ginger. Great tasting and naturally good for you! Or, at least, better for you than commercial candy with corn syrup and chemical dyes.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dandelion, healthy treats, homemade candy
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups dandelion tea*
  • 2 Cups raw sugar
  • 1 Cup honey
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 lemon squeeze and strain out the seeds
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium to large, heavy-bottomed pot with handles. Stir once to combine.

  2. Place on a burner with medium heat.
  3. From this point on, don’t stir the contents of the pot. Using the handles, gently swish the contents of the pot as the mixture heats to prevent scorching.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, heat to 300F/149C until hard crack stage. Watch carefully for signs of the sugar scorching or burning. Remove from heat to cool a bit if necessary. If you have a gas stovetop, it’s easier to control the flame and prevent burning. This process is much harder on an electric stove. Ask me how I know.
  5. Remove immediately from heat and begin place by spoonful onto a silicone mat or buttered glass dish.  You can also pour mixture into heat-proof silicone molds for fun shapes and sizes.

  6. Wait at least ten minutes and remove the dandelion candy by carefully popping them up.
  7. Coat in organic powdered sugar to prevent the dandelion candy from sticking together. Alternatively, you can use stevia powdered mix with cassava flour. You could use arrowroot powder, if you prefer, but I think it’s too bitter. This is candy, after all.
Recipe Notes

Dandelion Candy Notes

*To make dandelion tea, gather about three cups of dandelion blooms. Snip the green ends off and compost them. Place the blooms into heat-safe bowl and cover with at least 4 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for at least 4-6 hours. The longer you leave it, the darker and stronger the tea will get. Strain and compost the used dandelion.

**If you don’t have a candy thermometer, heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. It takes roughly another half hour to get the heated mixture to 300F/149C. The mixture will start to bubble (boil) and separate when it’s hot enough. You can drop a bit of the mixture into a glass of cold water; if it hardens quickly, it’s ready. You can also drop a bit onto a silicone mat to see if it hardens, which it should start to do quickly.

 

Dandelion Candy Tips

As stated in the recipe, to shape the dandelion candy you simply drop about 1/2 teaspoon of the hot mixture onto a silicone mat. Dandelion Candy l Form candies and cover in icing sugar l Homestead Lady.com

You can also drop it onto a buttered platter or a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.

Pouring the mixture carefully into heat-proof silicone molds will provide you with unique shapes and sizes.  These are especially great if you want to make a gift of your dandelion candy.Dandelion Candy l Use candy molds to give fun shapes to this healthier treat l Homestead Lady.com

Dandelion Candy Trouble Shooting

If you’re having a hard time getting your candy to set up and/or you’re struggling with the syrup burning, here are a few things to try:

  1. Do not be tempted to heat your syrup on high heat; medium heat will get you to hard crack, but it does take time.
  2. Double check that your thermometer is working correctly; better yet, use two when making candy.  You can check the accuracy of your candy thermometer by putting it in water and bringing the water to a boil. The thermometer should read 212 F/100 C; if the reading is higher or lower, take the difference into account when testing the temperature of your sugar syrup.
  3. If you don’t have a heavy bottomed pan that will evenly distribute heat on its own, see if you can find a cast iron pan.  Place that on the stove-top and put your candy pan inside it.  Heat the two together and the cast iron should push the heat around evenly.
  4. As you heat the syrup, you’re cooking out the water but the kitchen can get hot and humid.  Run a fan or the air conditioner nearby to dry out the ambient air.
  5. If you still can’t get it to set without burning, start with a little less of the dandelion tea.
  6. Also, you can remove the syrup from the heat once the thermometer registers 300 degrees F. and let the temperature to rise on its own for the last 10 degrees.  I often have to do this on my electric stove.

Dandelion Candy Mistakes

You’re going to make some mistakes making dandelion candy the first few times.  It happen, no worries!  Here are two things to do with your goof batches.  Dandelion Candy l Troubleshooting hard candy l Homestead Lady.com

Dandelion Candy Mixture Too Cool = Dandelion Syrup

Sometimes the kids come running in with a cut, or the phone rings or you realize you’re late for an appointment.  You just don’t have time to finish cooking your batch, but you don’t want to waste the dandelion candy mixture!

You won’t waste it.  You’re going to use it on your next batch of pancakes and tell everyone how tasty this dandelion syrup is that you just made!

Make Dandelion Syrup for a too cool batch of Dandelion Candy l Homestead Lady.com

With the lemon and the honey this is just a delectable syrup!

Dandelion Candy Mixture Too Hot = Dandelion Kefir Food

So, you burned a batch of dandelion candy.  Sugar heats fast and all it wants to do it burn!  Grrr.

Forgeddaboudit!  Go ahead and make candy – little bits and pieces – and save it to feed your water kefir.

Dandelion Candy l Save burned dandelion candy batches to feed water kefir l Homestead Lady.com

Don’t know how to keep water kefir – click here to read this post from Nourished Kitchen.

 


DisclaimerInformation offered on the Homestead Lady website is for educational purposes only. Read my full disclaimer HERE.

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21 thoughts on “Dandelion Candy

  1. 4 stars
    I have tried this Recipe and the candies are super yummy but I was wondering if they are supposed to be really hard? I never got to the crack stage on my candy thermometer as I had the feeling that would have burned the syrup.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laila! This is THE hardest part about making hard candy and the solution isn’t straightforward, I’m afraid. Yes, you can get them to set up firm but you do have to get the syrup up to hard crack stage. The first thing to do is make sure the thermometer is new and working – I always try to have two on hand, just to be sure. In heating the syrup, you’re trying to remove the water but kitchens are hot, humid places (in fact, I don’t even try making candy during the summers here because of this). So, you can try running a fan overhead or nearby to clear out wet air. You can also remove the pot from the heat source a minute or two before you reach hard crack stage and let the sugar finish heating on its own to avoid burning.

      I’m glad you asked – I’ll add these tips to the post for others. You will get the hang of it but it does take practice. Slightly soft candies can be individually wrapped in parchment paper bits and refrigerated until given as a gift or eaten.

      Did that help? Still struggling? Let me know!

      1. Laila, you’re a life-saver! I went back to add in those tips and saw that I totally forgot to mention using a heavy-bottomed pan. What a dope – I’m so sorry! The heat has to be evenly distributed for candy, and the correct pan is key. Hate me forever? At least you saved other dandelion candy makers from soggy candy. Thank you!

        1. No worries! I will give it another go with all these tips. I go to markets with my produce and products and I made these candies for people to try out and I already had some orders for next time so even though mine weren’t perfect the taste was still amazing. My candy themometer is not new and to be honest I am not happy with it, same problems with jam making really, never get to the stage that needs to be. So will defo shop for a new one.

          1. That’s so exciting, Laila!!

            I need to buy about ten thermometers and stash them for when mine punk out. Actually, more often than not, they end up in the candle making box covered in wax. Sigh.

            Good luck with these and let me know if you’re still having trouble – we’ll see what we can figure out.

  2. Oh my goodness. This sounds wonderful! Once I have dandelions in the yard I am totally making this with MAPLE SYRUP in place of the sugar! Can’t wait! Thank you for sharing this jem!

  3. Hi! Two questions:
    1. I’ve never collected dandelions for anything before. What’s the best stage to collect them at? Full bloom, buds, etc?
    2. Have you taken classes from the Herbal Academy before? I’ve been wanting to for the past year and more but finances/time just haven’t made that possible yet. Do you have a more thorough review of their classes somewhere on your site?

    Thanks!

    1. Great questions! First, you want the dandelions to be in full bloom – they’ll be full of pollen then and extra tasty.

      Second, yes, I have taken classes from HA before. They are a financial investment, to be sure. I’ve been meaning to write a review of the classes I’ve taken, but haven’t made time for that article yet. I took the introductory course first. The kids and I are finishing up the Botany and Foraging course and have REALLY enjoyed it. We also bought the coloring book to go with it (I homeschool five kids and it has certainly been used.) HA courses are professionally produced, the material is thorough and very well presented. There are lots of printable, videos and instruction. They aren’t what I’d call simple – you should be prepared to take notes and concentrate. I advertise for them because I really believe that what they have to offer is worthwhile.

      My one beef with them is that the access to courses is NOT lifetime. You have a year to complete the course once you start it and then you lose access. You can get access back for $50, but it chaps my hide to pay so much the first time and then have to pay again. A lot of the affiliates and students have given them feedback about that and I hope someday they’ll listen. It’s a big turn off for me – almost enough for me to stop using them personally. My life is hectic – HECTIC! Our school year goes up and down and all around and I need the flexibility of lifetime access to any course I take. Not to mention that our crazy, rural internet fluctuates all year round. Sometimes I simply CAN’T use the courses.

      The courses I’m creating myself will have lifetime access because of how strongly I personally feel about it as an online student. Having said that, however, I find great value in their work and what they have to offer. They have a FREE starter course here, if you’re interested. Free Herbal Materia Medica Course by Herbal Academy

      Also, my friend Susan at Learning and Yearning is running a new course on very basic foraging information. I think this is her first course, but I’ve read her blog and books before and know her personally – I can vouch for her awesomeness. Her new foraging course is here.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Thanks for the recipe and other information. Wish I’d had this in the spring. Now I know what to do with all those dandelions next year.

    1. So glad it was helpful! If your dandelions are dumb blooming for the summer, there should be another bloom in the fall.

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