Edible Flowers – Forsythia Dandelion Jelly

Here’s our recipe for freshly foraged forsythia and dandelion jelly with real vanilla and honey. This is a canning recipe for the early spring from edible flowers. It tastes like spring!Forsythia Dandelion Jelly with Real Vanilla l Edible Flowers l Homestead Lady.com

Foraging with the Family

My family and I have been trying to improve our understanding of and experience with foraging plants for food and medicine. 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 wild-crafted yarrow several times to stop bleeding while hiking. We’ve also learned that we love to eat lambs quarter even more than spinach! Lately, we’ve started to branch out our wonderings and wanderings into the world of edible flowers.

To learn more about foraging, please see the Foraging section in the Green the Homestead chapter of our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead. Don’t have your own copy? No worries! We wrote on just for you and you can find that by clicking here. For a free sample of the foraging section, simply email me at Tessa@homesteadlady.com and I’ll get you set up.

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Forsythia in the Garden

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! And yes, each one is an edible flower.

Nerdy Farm Wife can even show you how to make Forsythia Soap – click here. For her free soap course, simply click below!

Forsythia Dandelion Jelly Recipe

Here’s an edible flowers recipe for early spring that you can easily forage.

A foraged, golden-colored, spring-tonic- jelly for your toast that includes real vanilla and raw honey. Gather the blossoms for this jelly in the morning before the sun is too high and be prepared to make this jelly by afternoon. Wilted blooms are harder to clean and process, FYI.
  • About 9 cups of blossoms that become 3 cups of tea
  • 3 cups quality honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Vanilla bean cut open and scraped
  • 1 box regular pectin or appropriate amount of Pomona's pectin read the instructions in the box
  1. Pick about 8-10 cups of fresh blooms. This isn't an exact science. For this batch, the kids and I picked one-part dandelions to two parts forsythia blooms. You can just make this with forsythia blooms, but I like the pollen and color boost the dandelions give the jelly.
  2. I don't bother to take the bottoms off the forsythia as they just taste "plant-y" but I do remove the green bottoms of the dandelions since they're bitter. I cut off the green part with kitchen scissors and keep the petals, pollen and fluff.
  3. Pour enough boiling water over the flowers to cover them—at least 4 cups. The more water you add, the weaker the tea will be and, therefore, the less golden flavor the jel-ly will have in the end. Fiddle with the recipe a few times until you find what you like.
  4. Steep the water and flowers for 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Strain through cheesecloth to remove the flower parts, leaving a lovely, golden tea.
  6. Put tea, lemon juice and the contents of a box of pectin into a large saucepan. Add va-nilla seeds—you can also add the vanilla bean for the boiling. If you do that, simply remove the bean before you put the jelly into jars. Or, to be all hip and stuff, leave the bean in one jar and gift it to someone extra special.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add honey.
  9. Bring back to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes. Ladle into hot, prepared jelly jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space and assemble the lids.
  10. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Edible Flowers

In case you’d like some more edible flower foods, please visit the lovely links below.

Edible Flower Articles

Forsythia Dandelion Jelly with Vanilla l You need some good foragers to help gather blooms l Homestead Lady (.com)

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!

Share All Good Things.

24 thoughts on “Edible Flowers – Forsythia Dandelion Jelly

  1. In the UK people do not ‘can’ (or ‘bottle’ – the English word for canning) jams and jellies. They keep very well in a cool dark place. Occasionally a mould forms on the top, but you can scoop it off and use the jam underneath. I have used jams and jellies two or three years old that have ‘hidden’ at the back of my pantry, to no ill effect!! If they have started shrinking from the sides of the jar, I would discard them, otherwise they are fine.

    1. I have a friend from Kenya that has similar stories of keeping food. But the hottest it ever gets there is 85 degrees Fahrenheit – which is a far cry from the 100+ degree weather we have. So I do think that climate might have something to do with the difference. Although I think there is so much sugar in most jams and jellies that they could be preserved for quite a while without canning (or bottling).

      1. Yes, pioneer times they were simply put up and sealed with wax! I think about Krystyna of Spring Mountain Living who lives without a fridge; you just develop a different way of preparing and consuming your food.

  2. We’ve made rosepetal jam, but not lavender or anything else. This is such an inspiring post. It’s now marked for next spring. All we could make now would be autumn leaf jam, and somehow I don;t think it would be too popular!

    We also don’t bother with a water bath for jams. I have some very old rosepetal jam that’s still good. We just store it at the back of a cupboard (it’s dark once you close the door!) and leave it. We’ve never lost a batch, even though our summers often get to above 100F (38C).

    1. Oooh, rose petal – what a great idea! We did rose petal ice cream last year with our rugosa roses and that was divine; it was like fairy ice cream. I’ll have to try rose petal this year!

  3. It is not safe to turn the jars upside down. All jellies need to be water bathed for at least 10 minutes. Also I have made many different types of flower jellies. They need to be used within one year, FLower syrups need to be used within 6 months.

    1. Thank you for the reminder that the USDA rules of canning do require jams and jellies to be processed in a water bath canner to ensure safety. I do admit to cheating when I’m in a hurry with jams and jellies. I’ve never made flower syrups – sounds like some yummy pancakes.

  4. Apple blossom jelly is really good too. I’ve also tried Lilac jelly. It’s also good but it sort of tastes like the flower smells if that makes any sense. Rose blossom jelly is very good too

    1. Ha, that makes total sense! I haven’t tried apple blossom – what does it taste like? Rose is divine! We make rugosa rose water sometimes to make ice cream for little girls tea parties – it tastes like its made from fairies.

  5. I can’t wait to try this recipe on some of the Forsythia flowers in my garden! I included a link to your recipe in my recent blog post on how to make a Forsythia layer cake! Hope that’s okay! 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Hannah!

      So glad you found the recipe useful; let me know if you like it. Thank you for linking! Feel free to share your post here – a forsythia layer cake sounds simply divine.

  6. When I click a print button for a recipe page i really only want the recipe, not 14 pages of ads and comments. Please provide an option like that, we do not like to waste paper or ink.

    1. I understand your frustration, Tami, especially as a reader of recipe blogs myself. I’ll be completely honest with you, I’ve tried several recipes plugins now and they have been nightmares! I’m still cleaning up the mess from the last one that erased, yes ERASED, over a hundred recipes on my blog. I’m painstakingly having to recreate each one and the experience has left me never wanting to use another plugin (the thing that creates the link you’re talking about) again. I’m sorry if that creates a frustrating experience for you but I have five homeschooled kids, a home and homestead to run, not to mention my writing – I just don’t have time to mess with recipe plugins! 😉

      The option that is best for you to use, if you don’t want all the other stuff on the blog page, is to highlight the recipe information you want and right click to save and transfer to a blank document. The cool thing about that is that you can fiddle with the font size, bolding and anything else you’d like before you print it. As I re-write all these lost recipes I’m keeping the recipe formatting simple so that it will save and print for readers easily. You can find the recipes on any recipe blog post by the title of the recipe, usually somewhere down the middle of the post. I’m careful to keep ingredients and directions organized, using bullet points and numbered steps.

      I hope that’s helpful for you! So, did you make the jelly? How did it turn out? I wanted to make some violet jelly this year but missed the violet harvest while we were moving. Sigh.

    1. You’re not overlooking it, Robbin! A recent site issue erased over half of the recipes on my blog, sadly. I’m slowly rewriting them but have yet to get to this one. I’ll work on it tonight and alert you here in the comments when it’s finished. If you don’t mind, I can email you when the recipe is updated/restored, too.

      I’m sorry for the inconvenience! Believe me, I feel that pain!

  7. Hi,
    This idea sounds awesome but I don’t know if it’s me but I can’t see the actual recipe anywhere… is there supposed to be a link to it?
    Thanks for your shares!

    1. Thank you for alerting me, Caroline! We lost every single one of our recipes on the site last year and have slowly been rebuilding them. I’ve fixed this one since you were clever enough to spot it.

      Eat hearty!

  8. Does this have any medicinal properties or uses? If so, please tell me what they are. I am adding your recipe to my slideshow on medicinal plants and how to use them (sounds a bit like a Harry Potter movie or schoolbook doesn’t it?). A main part is saying what the positive effects can be (other than a good tasting honey to add to toast or pancakes). Please tell me if you know.

  9. Just so you know, when you make Dandelion Jelly with sugar, it tastes like honey. And you use boiling water to can it so it will last for at least a year. So if you dont want to use your honey up, it will still taste great!

    1. Thanks for the tip! I just prefer honey for this one but dandelions nicely flavor everything with a mild honey scent.

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