|April showers bring May flowers, and it is finally time for all the blooms! Everywhere you look are peonies, lavender, wisteria – and the air is so fragrant you can almost taste their sweetness. But did you know we can capture a bit of that floral essence? By first making a tea from the petals of certain flowers, you can create colorful jellies and syrups with unique floral flavors. That means the taste of Spring all year! Some species of flowers should be avoided, such as toxic lilies. However, the list of flowers and fragrant leaves that are often used for making jelly are numerous and include the following:|
- Wild Violet
- Bee Balm
- Johnny Jump Up
- Lemon Balm
|Teas from these flowers contain antioxidants, and those same benefits exist in the jelly. There are also ways to process your jellies and jams using less sugar making them a healthier alternative to store bought jellies. Plus, you can’t get much fresher than flowers from your own backyard!|
Making the tea:
- To begin, rinse your flowers and make sure they’re clear of dirt or insects. Remove any stems and leaves.
- Measure 1:1 cups of water to however many cups of flowers. Bring that water to between 203-212 degrees Fahrenheit
- Remove water from heat and then add flowers. Let the pot cool to room temperature then cover it and put it in your refrigerator fo 24 hrs.
Making the jelly:
- Disinfect jars and lid by boiling them in a canning pot or using your dishwasher to clean them (remember to have the heat setting turned on).
- Strain the flowers from the tea and add in 2 tbsp of lemon juice per 4 cups of liquid.
- Bring your tea to a boil, then add one package of pectin (per 4 cups of liquid). Let this cook for 1-2 minute. You may use no sugar needed pectin to have more versatility with your sugar levels or sugar-free options.
- Add 1:1 ratio of sugar to your tea, then cook this for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Take your clean jars and fill them with the liquid leaving at least 1/4 in of space at the top of the jar before adding the lid.
- Place jars in the canning pot for a 10-minute bath, then after removing them, let the jars sit undisturbed for 24 hrs. to create a nice seal. Any can that does not seal (the top lid does not “pop” and invert) needs to be refrigerated.
Now you have delicious Springtime jelly to enjoy all year long! I have personally made jellies from clover, daylilies, and wisteria. I think clover is my favorite because it tastes like honey. Daylily jelly is also very good, and I found that it tastes a lot like plum jam.