Friday, April 15, 2011

Dandelion Preserves

The other night I was watching the River Cottage and that gave me an idea to make use of the vast amount of dandelions I have in my garden (yes, I know it is a weed and should be removed but the lawnmower broke down and I didn't have a chance to cut the grass - I swear). I collected the flowers (do it when the sun is out as they close the heads when the sun is gone) - leaving the blemished ones behind for the lawnmower. Soaked them in cold water for 24 hours.

The next day I rinsed them and put them in a pot with a few slices of lemons, poured boiling water over and kept it on the boil for about 15 mins. The water turned a lovely golden yellow colour. I drained the flowers, reserving the water. Poured the water back into the pan and added jam sugar, kept it boiling until the water turned a deep amber golden colour - made the setting test and poured it in sterilised jars. The colour is really amazing and the taste is sweet but summery..... I will never look at dandelions the same way..... Find more dandelion recipes here

Some things you might not have known about dandelions:

1. It is the official flower of the University of Rochester
2. Dandelions have a high level of potassium
3. Its taproot will add nitrogen to soil (important for gardeners)
4. The roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee.
5. Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins especially Vitamins A, C and K

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