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Eat Your Weeds — Dandelion Syrup

Date
May, 08, 2016

By Fredrica Syren

It’s so funny how dandelion flowers are, for anyone on a quest for the perfect grassy yard, your worst enemy — but, for a child, a source of major fun. I remember as a child loving dandelions. Their leaves were food for my rabbit; their yellow flowers made beautiful crowns for my fellow princesses and me; and, of course, the wishing flowers were entertainment as I saw its seeds spread while I blew on it and made wishes.IMG_2983

What most people don’t know is that the dandelion has a long history of traditional medicinal uses. Dandelions are rich in potassium and grow nearly everywhere. The flower is used for everything from a diuretic to a tonic for treating the early stages of cirrhosis of the liver. Dandelions are known for cleansing the body and keeping fluid levels balanced, which is beneficial to many organs and body functions.

Now the mom of a little girl, I see that this “weed” provides so much fun for her, too. Bella asked me one day what we could do with the yellow flowers and I suddenly remembered a recipe I had seen for making dandelion syrup. Dandelion syrup can be used in many ways: on top of pancakes or plain yogurt, anywhere you use a sweetener, really … you name it. It has a very nice flower-like flavor and is our favorite topping for pancakes.   Here is a recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups dandelion flowers, no stemsmaskrossirap
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • Grated peel from one small lemon

Directions:

1. Remove the petals from the sepal. Be sure not to allow any green into the petals, as it will add bitterness to the syrup.

2. Place the petals into a medium pot and cover with 3 cups water and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit overnight.

3. Strain dandelion water into a bowl, pressing on the flowers with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid.

4. Return water to pot and add sugar, lemon peel and simmer over low heat until thickened.

5. Allow to cool, and pour into a clean jar or bottle. Store covered in refrigerator.

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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