Once you start seeing dandelions as a food source as opposed to a nuisance, your life will become a little easier. Thick with pollen, they make bees extremely happy and in the past have been used widely in herbal medicine to treat all sorts of ailments, from diabetes to broken bones.

There are many ways to use the roots, leaves and flowers in food and drink also, dandelion honey being a very simple one to start with. This sweet syrup can be spread on toast, drizzled on pancakes or even stirred into a summer gin fizz cocktail for something a bit different.

Make sure to pick your dandelions from a trusted area, avoiding well-trod dog walking paths or unknown fields where chemicals could have been sprayed.

Read more about how to garden forage from Beth.

How to make dandelion flower honey


  • 4 cups of dandelion petals
  • 1l Water
  • 500g Granulated sugar
  • 1 Lemon sliced
  • A dash of vanilla extract (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Pop the petals in a sieve and place in a bowl of cold water and leave for a few minutes, encouraging any little bugs to climb out. Lift out of the water and place in a heavy based saucepan with the water and sliced lemon. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Cover and leave to steep for at least 6 hours.

  • STEP 2

    Strain the pan contents through a very fine sieve or a cheese cloth if you have one and pop the dandelion liquid back in to the pan. Add the granulated sugar to the liquid and pop over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring it up to the boil then down to a simmer and leave gently bubbling away uncovered until it becomes thicker and syrupy. Sometimes this can take 30 minutes or up to an hour but just keep an eye on it as it will thicken more as it starts to cool. If you’d like to add a dash of vanilla extract for a deeper flavour then do so now. You could also add a dash of rosewater if you were feeling frisky.

  • STEP 3

    Pour the finished honey into sterilised jars and have an experiment with your new creation.

Beth Al Rikabi is a 'free-range chef' who creates seasonal, foraged vegetarian food for retreats and supper clubs.