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Eat Your Weeds — Dandelion Syrup

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.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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