Last May the Dandelions were out and with so man we figured we would try our hand at making Dandelion Wine. This was a first, but I had come across an old recipe in my Grandmothers book, so thought I’d give it a try.
Dandelions are the first flowers to be seen in the spring, we often add the tender young greens to our salads because of the healthy benefits this plant has. Making wine with the dandelion flower gave us a wonderful tonic, we would occasionally have a glass for its medicinal benefits.
The Nutritional Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal purposes, they are loaded with Vitamin K, A, B and C and contain other essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium and folic acid. Dandelions are high in antioxidants which help relieve your body of harmful toxins.
The whole plant can be used from the flowers to the roots, often the greens and flowers are eaten and the root is roasted and eaten, used in teas or as a coffee substitute.
In the past Native Americans boiled the dandelions and used them to treat:
- kidney disease
- upset stomach
- skin problems
In Europe the dandelion was used to treat:
And traditional Chinese medicine used to treat
- stomach problems
- breast (lack of milk flow)
When I was a child I had warts and my grandmother would pick a dandelion and use the milk from the stem to put on the wart. Within days of doing this the wart was gone. I did the same for my son when he had warts with the same result.
Many people try to get rid of the dandelions growing in their lawns, it’s a shame when this weed has so much to offer.
Making Dandelion Wine
Picking the Dandelions
Although Dandelions will grow from spring to fall, the best time to harvest them is in the spring when they are young. Dandelions picked in the fall will be far more bitter.
When picking Dandelions for wine be sure to:
- Pick away from roadways that can pick up pollution
- Never harvest where chemicals have been sprayed
- Never harvest where fertilizers have been used
- Find a field away from pollution
We are lucky we have our 10 acre off grid cabin, it is far from any city or traffic pollutants so this is were I pick.
When making wine you will want to pick only the flower, the greens can be used for salads
What is needed for Dandelion Wine
I’m not sure where Grandma got this recipe but here are the ingredients and things needed to make it.
- 5 litres of dandelion flowers
- 5 litres of water
- 3 lbs of sugar
- 1 Organic Orange
- 1 Organic Lemon
- 1 pkg of yeast
- Stock Pot
- Cheese Cloth
- Whole Wheat Toast
The Dandelion Wine Recipe
- These are my notes from making the dandelion wine last spring.
- Approximately 5 litres of blossoms were put into the Stock Pot
- The 5 litres of water was boiled and poured over the blossoms
- I covered the pot with cheese cloth and left it for 3 days, and strained it on the fourth
- The Orange and Lemon were peeled and cut into pieces and added to the liquid along with the sugar
- This liquid was brought to a boil and simmered for 60 minutes then cooled to 98 degrees
- At this point the piece of whole wheat bread was toasted, the yeast was softened and spread on top of the toast
- The toast was put on top of the liquid to float for 2 days. The pot was covered with the cheese cloth during this time.
- After the two days, the toast was taken off and the mixture strained again and left for another day.
- Now I strained the mixture several times as well as straining it through a coffee filter to remove any fine particles.
- The liquid was then put into bottles and corked lightly.
- Ready to drink in 6 months.
We didn’t try this wine until almost a year later and were pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted. The smell was not all that great when we first tried it, but it seemed to settle down after a bit.
I’m glad we made this wine and will be out picking tomorrow for this years batch.