My family and I have been trying to improve our understanding of and experience with foraging plants for food and medicine. This means, I’m constantly perusing my yard and the yards of total strangers looking for nettle and purslane. We go up into the mountains and covetously seek out the pennyroyal and the elderberry. Always being responsible about how much we take and leave behind, this new skill has stood us in good stead. We’ve used some wildcrafted yarrow several times to stop bleeding while hiking and we’ve learned that we love lambs quarter even more than spinach! Lately, we’ve started to branch out our wonderings and wanderings into the world of edible flowers. Today we’re sharing our current favorite, forsythia – plus, we’ve included the recipe for our forsythia and dandelion jelly with real vanilla and honey. It tastes like spring!
I love forsythia for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s one of the first heralds of spring where I live. First come the Lenten roses, then the early daffodils and then the forsythia. Like a parade of hope after a long winter. I’m not too detail oriented in my garden, especially with my perennial flowers – if you can’t thrive on benign neglect as a perennial in my yard, you ain’t gonna hack it at all. Forsythia is perfect for me because she grows. She just grows and grows and is pure delight. Forsythia, when left unpruned, will from a huge bush with cascading branches that arch in great waterfalls of golden blooms in the spring. And there are so many blooms on each branch!
I have several bushes of forsythia so sacrificing a few blossoms here and there to make this forsythia and dandelion jelly is no sacrifice at all. I certainly have enough dandelion blossoms to spare. You know you’re a true foraging weird-o when you can’t wait for the dandelions to start blooming- we just love those edible flowers! This recipe also uses real vanilla and raw honey, fyi.
[yumprint-recipe id=’37’]I was in a rush and didn’t have time for the water bath canner and so I just filled the jars, secured the lids and inverted the jars on my countertop overnight. This will technically seal the jars but I’ve only ever done this with jellies that have a high sugar content, like my grandma did. I know that breaks a cardinal rule of canning safety – to learn the rules, you can visit this link. Be sure to read up and make your own decisions about methods and what makes your food safe. Remember that botulism can’t be detected by smell or sight and that’s what you’re protecting yourself from by following the rules as they develop over the years – they change periodically so be sure to look for newer editions of your mom’s canning books, if you want to buy them yourself. If I have a question about anything canning related, my online guru is Simply Canning. For example, I read her article about replacing sugar with honey (what I did in this recipe because I wanted the flavor of honey) in a jam recipe – click here to read that.
If you’re interested in other flower jellies, here are a few recipes for your dining pleasure:
For ideas on what to do with foraged foods and to learn more about foraging in general, please visit our foraging board on Pinterest where I team up with over 30 other bloggers to bring you great foraging information – please click here.
If you need a jelly that tastes like autumn (when it’s time for that), please visit this link to learn to make corn cob jelly!
To get you started on your edible flower adventure, you may need these fine products:
This post was share at Fat Tuesday