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Dandelion Honey – a Fabulous Vegan Alternative to Honey

How to Make Dandelion Honey
This dandelion honey was originally known as poor man’s honey. It’s made from dandelion flowers and sugar rather than something that’s been produced by bees. Although it may not be true honey, however, it really does look and more importantly, taste like honey. It’s also eminently suitable for vegans.

I remember reading about dandelion honey a couple of years ago on a blog, but couldn’t remember which one. I saw it again last year on someone else’s blog but again couldn’t remember where. After enquiring via Twitter, I found out one of the blogs I’d seen it on was Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, but by then it was too late and I’d already cobbled together a recipe from several I found online. This mixture of dandelions, sugar and lemon juice is purportedly meant to taste like honey. Well that was a claim that had to be tried to be believed.

Foraging Dandelions

Our plot was covered in a riot of glorious yellow dandelions. They were clean, organic and I didn’t want them to seed all over the vegetable beds. I love getting these unintended additional crops from the plot. We’ve had quite a few nettles and wild garlic so far this year, but that’s as far as our foraging has gone.

Dandelion Honey Recipe

Dandelion Honey

All of the instructions I saw said to pick out the dandelion petals and use these on their own or it would turn the colour a rather mushy brown and make the dandelion honey taste bitter. There was no way I was going to spend hours doing that, so I used the whole flower head and hoped for the best.

Astonishingly, it worked. The result was a wonderful dandelion honey that not only had the consistency of runny honey, but really tasted like it too. Despite leaving the green bits on, the bitter notes were faint and the colour was still golden rather than muddy. I’ve used it in several recipes already including this Figgy Bread. It works a treat in my easy vegan honey almond granola too. Now I know how simple it is, I shall be making this again next year.

18 April 2015 Update – I’ve just made dandelion honey for the 3rd year running and I’m as enamoured now as I was back in 2013.

Dandelion Honey – The Recipe

4.5 from 2 votes
Dandelion Honey
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

This is a poor man's honey made from dandelion flowers and sugar rather than made by bees, but although it may not be true honey, it really does look and more importantly, taste like honey. It's vegan too.

Course: Jams, Chutneys etc
Cuisine: British
Keywords: dandelions, honey, vegan
Servings: 2 medium sized jars
Ingredients
  • 350 g dandelion heads - remove green parts if really keen
  • 1 organic lemon - thinly sliced
  • 1 litre water
  • 750 g golden granulated sugar or thereabouts
Instructions
  1. Simmer dandelion heads and lemon in water for 20 minutes in a covered pan. Pour into a glass bowl and cover. Leave to steep overnight.
  2. Pour through a sieve extracting the liquid by pressing down with a spoon to make about 750ml.
  3. Discard the flowers and simmer the liquid in an uncovered pan with the sugar (same number of grams of sugar as mls of liquid) for about 45 minutes or until the mixture becomes syrupy and drips slowly off a spoon.

  4. Pour into two warm sterilised glass jars and leave to cool.
Recipe Notes

Ideally, all green parts of the dandelion flower would be removed to avoid bitterness. I have never done that as it's just too time consuming and I'm happy with the result.
Requires foraging for dandelions and overnight soaking.
Makes 2 jars.

Adapted from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Linkies

Dandelion is a wonderful herb. I often dig up the roots to make dandelion coffee. The leaves of the wild dandelion, I find too bitter, but some are happy to use them as salad leaves. There are myriad health benefits, but it is best known as a cleansing spring tonic. I am submitting my dandelion honey to Karen’s Herbs on Saturday over at Lavender and Lovage. It’s hosted this month by Anneli at Delicieux

As this dandelion nectar is not only made from scratch, but is also picked from scratch, I am submitting it to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays.

Dandelions are in full season this month, so I’m entering this vegan honey into Simple and in Season with Ren Behan.

Show Me

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this dandelion vegan honey recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share a photo on your favoured social media site too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot it. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Dandelion Honey. PIN IT.

How to make dandelion honey from foraged dandelion flowers. It's easy to make and produces a great vegan alternative to honey as well as a frugal one. #vegan #honey #foraging #dandelions

50 Comments

  1. Jen Price

    24th May 2013 at 10:29 am

    I’d never heard of dandelion honey before but it sounds quite tasty. I don’t have a garden or any outside space to call my own. But this is something I’ll remember to try in the future when we do get a place with a garden.

    Reply
    • Alexa GI

      22nd September 2016 at 7:36 pm

      great blogs,nice recipes. I am vegetarian not vegan but i will try this recipe for sure. thanks for share 🙂 and good luck with your blog, hun.. looking forward to discover more

      Reply
      • Choclette

        23rd September 2016 at 7:58 am

        Thanks very much Alexa. Making dandelion honey is worth making at least once, just for the fun of it.

        Reply
  2. Foodycat

    24th May 2013 at 10:49 am

    This is amazing!

    Reply
    • Lesley Kay Hanson

      18th April 2019 at 8:49 am

      I’m making this for the second year. I have an alottment which is organic and there are riots of dandelions. The bees won’t miss one jar. It was delicious on home made bread, toasted. I’m going to use it in recipes requiring honey this year.

      Reply
      • Choclette

        18th April 2019 at 8:56 am

        It’s brilliant stuff and great for cooking too. We moved last year and consequently lost our plot on a field which was totally organic. That’s where I used to get all of my dandelions. Feeling a bit stumped now.

        Reply
  3. Johanna GGG

    24th May 2013 at 11:01 am

    amazing – I am surprised I don’t see vegans using this as a substitute for honey – I guess dandelions aren’t a commercial crop but I now wish I had a backyard knee deep in them so I could have a go at this

    Reply
  4. Lottie @ Lottie's World of Cakes

    24th May 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Wow I have never thought about making honey before but it looks great!

    Reply
  5. Lottie @ Lottie's World of Cakes

    24th May 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Wow I have never thought about making honey before but it looks great!

    Reply
  6. The Ordinary Cook

    24th May 2013 at 12:49 pm

    What a brilliant way to get rid of the dandelions before they seed. I am intrigued by the dandelion coffee. What does it taste like, and more importantly does it make you wet the bed? 😉

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth

    24th May 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Aw, thanks for the link back 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve made, tried and enjoyed this! I really ought to get more organized and make some again this year. I have a recipe for dandelion honey parfait I’m just dying to try!

    Reply
  8. talesofpiglingbland

    24th May 2013 at 1:55 pm

    How interesting. I suppose that’s a vegan way of making honey. Also, having just read this post, I clicked through a coupld of links from another page and ended up at this post on Lilac Honey . I know it uses actual honey, but I wonder if you could use Lilac in the same way as the Dandelion? I had no idea that Lilacs were edible anyway. It seems I have stumbled across a whole new world. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th May 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Lilic must be the flower of the moment. I had no idea about using lilac in cooking either until recently, but I’ve just seen a whole spate of lilac syrup and lilac sugar posts – now I just need to find a lilac! Will check out the lilac honey post first though.

      Reply
  9. Sam Bilton

    24th May 2013 at 2:16 pm

    What a great idea. I’ve tried dandelion coffee but not honey. I’ll have to give this a go!

    Reply
  10. Nora

    24th May 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Darn! The dandelions in my garden have already seeded so I shall wait for the next crop of flower to try this recipe because I am intrigued!

    Reply
  11. Galina Varese

    24th May 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I have been weeding it mercilessly this year, so don’t have enough for any cooking. Looks fab!

    Reply
  12. Javelin Warrior

    24th May 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Now if I can just find organic dandelions! I don’t think I should probably use the ones growing around our apartment complex – something tells me they’d be filled with all kinds of toxins :/ But I love the look of this and such a cool use of this common plant…

    Reply
  13. Victoria Lee

    24th May 2013 at 6:25 pm

    This is amazing! I hate the dandelions that grow in my lawn, but to think I could pull them up and make them into yummy honey! Inspired!

    Reply
  14. Phil in the Kitchen

    24th May 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Well, I’ve eaten the leaves before but this is definitely an intriguing variation. It seems to have been a remarkably good year for dandelions and usually that’s not a good thing.

    Reply
  15. vohnmcg.com

    24th May 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Oh wow. The dandelions have fared marvellously in this crazy weather here in Scotland and are by far the most vibrant flower just now. Whilst very pretty, I am dreading all those tap roots that are going to have to be pulled out! I have never heard of dandelion honey before. I find the leaves too bitter too and don’t enjoy dandelion root coffee but this “honey” is definitely going to have to be made! Thanks for the recipe. Vohn x

    Reply
  16. belleau kitchen

    25th May 2013 at 4:44 am

    what a simply glorious idea!… I love the idea of this so utterly that I MUST make this when I get home, if i’m not too late! Alys Fowler swears by her dandelion fritters which I think sound wonderful too. Maybe it’s time for a dandelion revolution!

    Reply
  17. Anneli (Delicieux_fr)

    25th May 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Wow – Dandelion Honey – how cool is that??!! I am super impressed. What a great thing to make from some foraged stuff. I never knew you could do that so I am so happy to be enlightened! Thanks so much for entering this very cool honey into Herbs On Saturday 🙂

    Reply
  18. Jacqueline Meldrum

    25th May 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Huh, I’ve never heard anything like that before. Good on you for giving it a go. You always manage to surprise me.

    Reply
  19. Susie @ Fold in the Flour

    25th May 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Gosh, I have never heard of this before! It does look like honey, too. Really interesting post! 🙂

    Reply
  20. The Caked Crusader

    26th May 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Wow – now that is something new. Who knew?

    Reply
  21. Sally - My Custard Pie

    27th May 2013 at 5:04 am

    I have never cooked with dandelions. They’re in short supply here in Dubai! Must be adventurous this summer in the UK.

    Reply
  22. Australian Honey

    27th May 2013 at 7:48 am

    A toast with honey. That’s a perfect way to start your day. Apart from its great taste, honey has lots of health and nutrition benefits.

    Reply
  23. kellie@foodtoglow

    27th May 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Sounds intriguing. I use found food a lot at this time of year, with dandelions in smoothies the easiest by far, but also putting them in fritters too. I have yet to try dandelion honey but it may need to be made, what with the wet weather supplying so many!

    Reply
  24. Caroline

    27th May 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Ah, if only I’d seen this before all of my dandelions went to seed! When we first moved house my mum used to tell my brother and I to pick the dandelions – we got a penny for each flower and 2p for a seed head, provided we got all the seeds into the bag. There were a lot and a lot of dandelions and it was her way of bribing us to help stop them spreading!

    Reply
  25. Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear

    28th May 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Fantastic…. but now I live thousands of miles away and there are no dandelions! Drat!

    Reply
  26. ediblethings

    28th May 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad that you used the whole heads. I picked about a kilo of flowers, thinking I was going to do wine, but my wine making kit is elsewhere. I wasn’t looking forward to picking off all of the petals from them. Thanks for the tip on Twitter. I’m already thinking about what I can make with this (mine is about to get simmered down with the sugar).

    If you want to eat dandelion leaves, try forcing them by placing a teracotta pot on the young plant, and newspaper over that to block out the light. Then the leaves grow pale, like forced asparagus or chicory. Much more tender, too. Or you can cook them. I make a mess of greens with dandelions and nettles, which is good.

    Or find someone with a rabbit or a guinea pig, and you’ll soon have no more dandelions 🙂

    Reply
    • ediblethings

      29th May 2013 at 8:49 pm

      I just popped back to say this really is amazing. Bee free honey. Thank you

      Reply
  27. Coombe Mill

    30th May 2013 at 11:47 am

    That does look like perfect honey! Popping over from simple and seasonal linky

    Reply
  28. Stephanie

    18th April 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve never heard of dandelion honey before but it sounds delicious – thanks for sharing x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th April 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Stephanie, making dandelion honey is perhaps not the most obvious thing in the world 😉

      Reply
  29. Rhian

    18th April 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Never heard of this before, but certainly going to give it a go because sometimes I feel honey a little too rich so this might be a good alternative.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th April 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Interesting point Rhian, I’d not thought of honey as being rich before, but now I think about it, I can see what you mean.

      Reply
  30. Glamorous Glutton

    19th April 2015 at 9:01 am

    This is an amazing idea, I’ve got to try it. Who would have thought I’d be out picking dandelions?! GG

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th April 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Ah the fun jobs we food blogger have GG 🙂

      Reply
  31. Janice

    19th April 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I’m definitely going to make this once there are enough dandelions, they are just starting to flower now and we will soon have plenty.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th April 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Our plot is completely covered in them – don’t think I made even a tiny dent in them Janice.

      Reply
  32. Dandelion Lemon Cookies with Kale Lemon Drizzle | VEGGIE DESSERTS

    23rd May 2015 at 12:44 pm

    […] but I need to try one of these recipes: Dandelion Honey by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary Dandelion Honey by Tin and Thyme I’ve got to try Dandelion Wine! You can use the greens of dandelions, too. […]

    Reply
  33. Dawn Pearse

    7th May 2018 at 10:35 am

    I’m not vegan/vegetarian or even pescatarian but I really wanted to have a go at making this as I do forage and make all kinds of things. I was dubious as lots of recipes don’t turn out how they are supposed to and at the minute I have it simmering and hope it gets thick enough when it cools, but the taste is amazing! It tastes like honey in fact it’s nicer than honey in my opinion. I do write a blog and will be passing the recipe on and of course mentioning your site if I can figure it out I will even create a link lol

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th May 2018 at 10:21 am

      I hope it thickened up for you Dawn. I’ve never had a problem and each time I make it I’m impressed with the flavour all over again. Would very much appreciate a link. It’s very easy to do.

      Reply
  34. Jenny

    23rd May 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Vegan honey for the win! I have already made dandelion jelly this year, and am waiting on my brewers yeast to arrive so i can make dandelion wine. In the meantime, I made this dandelion honey recipe (in addition to the lemon, I used half an orange). Its fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      25th May 2018 at 8:20 am

      Ooh dandelion wine sounds good Jenny. As does dandelion jelly. Glad you liked the honey and now I’ve read this, I might just have to try adding orange next time I make it.

      Reply
  35. Andrea

    22nd April 2019 at 11:37 am

    We were so excited to try this recipe. Followed the instructions. But our honey never thickened. Any thoughts? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      22nd April 2019 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Andrea

      Oh no! Are you cooking it with the lid off? The water needs to evaporate. The only advice I can give is to just keep simmering it. It will have to thicken at some stage.

      Reply
  36. Paul

    26th May 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I had never heard of dandelion honey before, I only saw it at a food fair today, labled as dandelion honey – poor man’s honey..

    Doing a search, I found this site, with a recipe..

    This is not honey at all, but in fact a simple syrup, flavoured with dandelions. That said, when you buy honey from the shop, its watered down with cane sugar.. (bees are in decline and honey is in demand, cant have ot both ways). Basically, most honey’s are so watered down that theres little difference other than cost.. a bag of sugar is much less expensive than shop sold honey..

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th June 2019 at 7:52 am

      You’re absolutely right, this isn’t ‘real’ honey, but it does taste like it. When I buy honey, I make sure it comes from a reputable source. Many bee keepers feed their bees sugar to keep them going over the winter. I prefer it, when they leave them enough of their own honey stores.

      Reply

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