You may be making lemonade when life gives you lemons, but are you making dandelion vinegar when life gives you dandelions? Though many consider dandelions to be nothing more than a pesky lawn weed, dandelion leaves and blossoms are edible! The leaves are best when young and tender, while the flowers are still buds. Once you see the yellow flowers, try this recipe for infused vinegar!
A salad dressing of oil and vinegar is one of the easiest ways to dress a salad. However, there are endless variations to this duo once you learn to create infused vinegars.
It could not be easier to infuse vinegar; the technique barely requires a recipe. In its simplest form, you take your herbs, spices, fruits, or other ingredients and let them sit in vinegar.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. After a few weeks, you’ll have a novel flavor of vinegar to use however your heart desires.
I went with a dandelion-infused vinegar because dandelions are both free and ubiquitous in the early summer around here. I decided to use the sunny yellow blossoms rather than buying another ingredient.
Picking the dandelions gives a nice excuse to take a leisurely walk outside (not that one is needed). Make sure you’re picking in an area that is not near a road and that is unsprayed. If you aren’t picking on your own property, it’s important to get permission to pick at the site.
I know it’s just dandelions, but you never know. The person who owns the property might have plans to make dandelion wine or this dandelion vinegar.
Tips for making your own dandelion vinegar
I recommend using a mild and light-colored vinegar as the base for this recipe. I went with a white wine vinegar because I wanted to see the color change in the vinegar after infusing. It should turn pale yellow in a couple of weeks.
Regular white vinegar would likely overpower the delicate flavor from the dandelions. Apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar may be other good options.
I’ve seen recipes for dandelion jelly floating around the web, and commenters often remark that it is reminiscent of honey. Dandelion blossoms have none of the astringency of dandelion leaves. They lend some of their sweetness to the vinegar here, with the flowers balancing some of the vinegar’s sharpness.
Recipes for dandelion jelly will typically have you remove all of the yellow petals from the green base of the blossom (the calyx). While you want to remove the stems for this recipe, I didn’t get fussy about removing calyces. I didn’t feel like the extra work is worth it to make dandelion vinegar.
Straining the vinegar through cheesecloth will help catch small flower pieces that may be missed with a strainer. I use this Olicity Cheesecloth, which can be washed and reused over and over. It’s saved me a lot of money compared to the grocery store cheesecloth that cannot be reused.
As with all my slow food recipes, making infused vinegar takes time. I chose to infuse the vinegar for two weeks, but feel free to go for three weeks instead if you wish. More prolonged infusions will impart a deeper flavor.
So how about we grab a clean glass canning jar and go dandelion picking? Some tasty dandelion vinegar will be the reward for your efforts!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Dandelion Vinegar (So Simple to Make!)
- 1 c yellow dandelion blossoms
- 1 c white wine vinegar
- Pack a 1-cup glass canning jar with yellow dandelion blossoms. It is fine to leave the green base of the blossom (the calyx) attached but be sure to pinch off the stems and leaves. I recommend picking on your own property if possible, avoiding roadsides and sprayed areas.
- After you have enough dandelions, wash them under cool water and pack them back into the clean 1-cup jar. Fill the jar to the top with the white wine vinegar (you will not need the full cup of vinegar).
- Put the lid on the jar and let it sit at room temperature for approximately two weeks.
- After the infusion period, strain the vinegar through cheesecloth and discard the dandelion pieces. Your vinegar should have taken on a yellow hue. Store the strained vinegar in a jar in the fridge, where it will be ready to add to a salad whenever you need it!
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). This infused vinegar, like most unsweetened vinegar, contains a negligible amount of calories. If you are on a weight loss journey, I recommend tipping the balance of your salad dressings to include more vinegar and less added oil. Unsweetened vinegars contain almost zero calories, while oils (including heart-healthy olive oil) are around 120 calories per tablespoon. It is extremely easy to pour hundreds of calories of dressing on a salad when you use an oil-heavy dressing. (Trust me, I’ve done it!) Infused vinegars, like this dandelion vinegar, are a great option to have if you want to make lower-calorie dressings.
Do you eat dandelions? What are some of your favorite ways to use the leaves or the blossoms? I’d love to hear about how you are preparing this plant, so don’t be afraid to drop me a comment below!