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Dandelion Jelly – Easy Flower Jelly Recipe with Less Sugar

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This easy dandelion jelly recipe uses less sugar than most flower jelly recipes, creating a light and delicious jelly.

spoonful of low sugar dandelion jelly on cutting board with dandelions and jar of dandelion jelly

To make your dandelion jelly, you'll need dandelion blossoms, water, lemon juice, sugar, Pomona's Pectin and calcium water. (Calcium water is included in every box of Pomona's Pectin).

I like this recipe because it has no artificial food coloring and much less sugar than most dandelion jelly recipes.

What Does Dandelion Jelly Taste Like?

Full sugar dandelion jelly tastes like honey. This low sugar version is light and lemony. It's good enough to eat straight out of the jar. (Confession – I did eat about a quarter of a jar.)

This recipe yields a fairly firm jelly. If you would like a softer spread, reduce the calcium water and pectin powder to 3 teaspoons each.

This recipe is adapted from the book “Preserving with Pomona's Pectin“. You can buy Pomona's Pectin online, or you may be able to find it in local stores that carry canning supplies. One box of pectin makes several batches of jam.

What is Calcium Water?

Calcium water is made with a packet of white calcium powder included in every box of Pomona's Pectin.

To make calcium water: Combine 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) of calcium powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) water in a small jar with a lid.

This makes enough calcium water for several batches of jelly or jam. 

Store your leftover calcium water in the refrigerator, and it will keep for several months. Always stir before using.

You can see how to use calcium water in the video with the recipe. (If the video doesn't display, make sure you don't have an ad blocker running.)

Collecting and Cleaning Flowers for your Dandelion Jelly Recipe

For this recipe, you need 4 cups (230 g) of loosely packed yellow petals. Visit Weekly Weeder #17 for help identifying dandelions, if needed.

It's best to gather your dandelion flowers in late morning, after the dew has cleared. Always harvest from a clean area that has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides for at least three years. Avoid areas used for passing waste by pets and/or livestock.

Look for clean blossoms that are completely open. Once you pick your flower heads, try to remove the petals promptly. If you leave the flowers sitting around, they close, and the petals are difficult to remove.

Your finished flower petals should look like those in the photo below. If you have too many green parts, it makes the dandelion jelly bitter.

dandelion petals for dandelion jelly recipe
Dandelion petals for dandelion jelly.
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Dandelion Jelly with Less Sugar

jar of low sugar dandelion jelly with dandelions against a blue sky

A light and delicious dandelion jelly, made with dandelion blossoms, water, lemon juice, sugar, Pomona's Pectin and calcium water. I like this recipe because it uses only one fourth as much sugar of most dandelion jelly recipes and no artificial color.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 45 8 ounce jars 1x
  • Category: Jelly
  • Method: Canning
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups (230 g) loosely packed, very fresh dandelion flower heads
  • 4 1/4 cups (1 L) medium-hot water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) bottled lemon juice
  • 4 1/4 teaspoons (21.3 ml) calcium water (included with Pomona's Pectin, see note below)
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 4 1/4 teaspoons (12.8 g) Pomona's Pectin Powder

Instructions

  1. Prep your water bath canner, clean jars and two piece canning lids. Sterilize your jars.
  2. Remove the yellow flower petals from the green flower base. Try to avoid getting green bits in with the yellow petals, as they can make your jelly bitter. Compost the green parts of the flower heads.
  3. Make a “dandelion tea” by placing the flower petals in a heat-resistant bowl and covering them with the hot water. Place a cover over your bowl, and allow the petals to steep for 20-30 minutes. Don't steep the petals longer, or cook them. Either option will make your tea (and jelly) darker and more green in color.
  4. Strain out the flower petals with a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth or flour sack towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Compost the flower petals and save the dandelion tea for the next step.
  5. Measure 4 cups (946 ml) of dandelion tea into a stockpot. (Add a little extra water if needed.) Add lemon juice and calcium water to the pot and mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  7. Bring flower water mixture to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add in pectin-sugar mix, stirring constantly. Continue stirring to dissolve pectin, and bring jelly back up to a full boil. Once a full boil is reached, turn off the heat.
  8. Ladle finished dandelion jelly into warm jars, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm) of headspace. Wipe rims with a damp cloth. Cover jars with two piece lids and tighten finger tight. Place jars in canner with at least 1-2 inches of water covering the jars. Process jars for 10 minutes at a rolling boil. Turn off canner and allow to rest for a few minutes. Remove jars and place on a kitchen towel on the counter. Allow jars to cool completely, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Remove rings and check seals. Date and label jars and store in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Keywords: jelly, dandelion, flower jelly, low sugar

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

jar of low sugar dandelion jelly with dandelions against a blue sky

Note: The color variation in the photos is due to different lighting. The finished jelly is a light, creamy yellow color.

More Flower Jelly Recipes

We have over 20 different jam, jelly and spread recipes on the site, including the following flower jellies:

More Dandelion Information

boy picking dandelion flowers for jelly
My youngest, gathering dandelion flowers about eight years ago.

Originally published in 2018, last updated in 2020.

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21 Comments

  1. We use raw honey and maple syrup for sweeteners. Helps me to steer clear of candida overgrowth and boosts and balances my high mineral intake. Otherwise, I’d probably go through any number of jars, two or three tablespoons of jelly of many kinds at a time. Makes me wonder if you have encountered a way to infuse herbs, flowers or fruit in honey without turning it into a ferment? Can you imagne what that would do for a cup of hot ea? I tried soaking dehydrated strawberries in honey one winter and regretted he waste of time and two favorite foods. Drizzling honey or maple syrup over soaked, dried fruit is somehow not quite the same.

  2. Meant to mention that every once n a while my husband is way too busy to take his scythe to the dandelions while they are blooming in my garden. I resort the zipping through, gathering buds, flowers and seed heads in one hand and cutting the tops off.

    Since I am never sure whether seeds will make it through the compost process, I experimented with digging a small pit and piling my golden seed bombs under a thick layer of grass clippings. To my delight, I found a few months later that the earthworms went nuts over it, appeared to have devoured every trace of the flowers and were easy to scoop up and pre-populate my deep mulch beds and garden barrel compost tubes.

    As a confirmation of the total digestion of seeds, I did not end up with a spot choking with dandelions the next spring. A further dandelion note: despite the dry spell Wisconsin had, the ensuing heavy rain has been enough to re-hydrate our garden soil to the mud flat conditions more typical of early May.

    In our garden, when the soil is saturated like that, strategic removal of dandelions up to about 7″ root length is amazingly easy. I gather up all the leaves in my right hand, encircling the plant at the base with thumb and index finger and slowly turning in a clockwise direction while slowly pulling upward. The entire root will pull out with this technique. For some reason, though I am a lefty, they will not pullout in the same way with my left hand. If you slip a large medical glove over your gardening gloves, the glove inside will stay fairly clean. If the dandelions haven’t flowered yet, I tear the foliage off and leave it as mulch.

  3. I have never canned, i want to cam salmon, veggies and spreads. I love your dandelion video, and how honest and real you are. I gotta say watching made me have more courage trying… thank you. we have a pressure cooker though… (never used)

    1. Do you have a pressure canner or just a pressure cooker? They are usually not the same beast. Pressure canning is a lot like cooking. Use common sense and follow tested recipes all you’ll be fine.

      My friend, Sharon, from Simply Canning has a course on pressure canning that just came out. I’ll hunt down the information for that tomorrow and link to it here.

  4. I’m so happy I found your website and YOU. Thanks. I’m also very happy I found Pomona Pectin. What a difference in preparing the jellies. Half the time in preparation. Love that. Jelly was thickening as I filled the jars. Never before. This was 2nd time making dandelion jelly. First batch was beautiful to look at, I was nervous using the new procedure, I only got 3- ½ pints. Lid not tight enough on one (first time for everything) and lost one ½ pint jar. Colour and taste was out of this world. But this time, I went out and picked nice new huge yellow dandelions, set them up for the tea, and I could tell that the colour was so differet; darker. Now they are out of pot (all 5-½ pints, happy) but not translucent. Much darker (not really ckoudy). Would it have anything to do with the way I prepped them for the tea maybe? I did this bunch much quicker. First bunch were prepped for the tea over a couple of days. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Terry! Glad you’re enjoying the site.

      Normally I would expect the tea that steeped a shorter time to be lighter in color – or is that not what you meant when you said, “I did this bunch much quicker. First bunch were prepped for the tea over a couple of days.”?

      I know maple sap varies in color and flavor over the season, with the later sap being generally darker and more robust in flavor. Maybe dandelions are similar? I typically do all my processing for the season in a day or two, so I don’t have an early/late season comparison.

  5. I picked a bunch of dandelions yesterday but did not measure how many cups it was when they were whole heads. I could of sworn it was 2 cups petals so that was what I was aiming for. Do you think 2 cups of pedals is about the right amount? I had stuck them in the fridge last night because I could not deal with them yet as the Panomas is on it’s way still. The pedals are semi compressed from travel but make a packed 2 cups.
    Secondary question would it be better to make the tea and have it in the fridge until the pectin gets here or leave it in flower form? The pectin is supposed to be here in the next 2 days.

  6. I havent been able to find Pomona’s pectin. We have Certo but it doesn’t come with calcioum powder to make the calcium water – any suggestions? I do have vitamin calcium tabs that I could dissolve in water ? What exactly does the calcium do? Thanks much, Robin

    1. The calcium water is included with Pomona’s Pectin, and helps the pectin to gel with little or no added sugar.

      if you can’t find Pomona’s Pectin, you need to use a different low sugar pectin, and adapt the recipe to their instructions. (I don’t think any others use calcium water.)

  7. Can I use the Sure Jell pectin made for less or no sugar instead of Pomana’s pectin? Live the low sugar. I just have a bunch ch of these and hate to order something new. Thank you

    1. Yes, you should be able to substitute another low sugar pectin. Just follow their directions for cooking/assembling ingredients. I haven’t used any brands other than Pomona’s in over a decade, so I’m not familiar with their basic instructions.

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