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Wondering what to do with pesky dandelions this spring? Make a healthy, delicious sweet syrup using this common garden weed! Dandelions are rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins A, B, C, K and E, They can remove toxins from the body, boost the immune system and support healthy digestion. Dandelions are bitter so they balance out the sugar and honey in this recipe beautifully. Harvest and dry the leaves and roots as well to steep into a nutritious tea. All this from a weed!

Dandelion Sweet Syrup

• 150 Dandelion Flowers (fully mature, pesticide and animal-free from contamination)
• 4 cups pure water
• 3½ cups organic sugar
• ½ local honey
• ½ lemon (juice and zest)
• ½ orange (juice and zest)
• pinch of salt
• OPTIONAL: ½ fresh vanilla bean

• Pick dandelion heads in the morning once the blooms have been kissed by the sun
• Rinse the flowers and lay on a clean towel to lightly air-dry
• Remove the green base of the flower which is bitter. You can either snip them off or roll the base between your fingers and gently pull off the petals

• Put dandelion petals and water in a saucepot. Bring to a full boil and remove from heat
• Cover and set aside in a cool area to steep overnight
• The next morning strain the dandelion liquid into a clean pot (use a fine strainer to catch any unwanted bits) Extract as much liquid as you can
• Put the pot back on the heat and add the remaining ingredients, including vanilla bean if using. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour or until desired consistency is reached. (You are looking for a thin syrup as it will thicken once cooled)
• Remove from heat and carefully pour into 1 or 2 sterilized glass jars. Add lid and let cool to room temperature.
• Store in the fridge for up to 3 months (if it lasts that long!)

Makes approximately 2½ cups of sweet syrup

• Delightful stirred into a cup of tea dandelion-tea
• Drizzle over ice cream, waffles or pancakes
• Use as the liquid sweetener in vinaigrettes, sweet or savoury recipes

• Every part of the dandelion is edible. So if bits of green make it into the steeping liquid, it’s not a concern
• Insects like to hide in the blossoms so a good shake before washing them is a good idea
• Use extra dandelions to Make Dandelion Tea Here

NOTE: While dandelion is generally considered safe in moderate amounts, as with all herbs, leaves, roots and flowers, allergies and side effects are possible. Know your allergens and always check with your health care provider before consuming them for medicinal purposes.