Recipe for making Herb Jellies

Nasturtium flower

Nasturtium flower in full bloom
Nasturtium flower in full bloom

Making Herbal Jellies

by Annette Gagliardi

I have herbs in my garden. One way to keep the flavor and color of herbs all year is to make them into jelly. Herb jellies can be used to flavor meats, as an ingredient in marinades and as a treat on your morning toast.

I am going to tell you about two jellies that I make: Nasturtium and Mint jelly.

Pick the freshest flowers from your Nasturtium plants. Also, if you gather a variety of colors, your tisane color will be more intense. If you are making mint jelly, gather the small, newer leaves of the plants. Pick enough mint leaves or Nasturtium flowers to make two cups of packed herbs.

Next, bring your herbs into the house, wash them and chop finely. Next, place the chopped herbs in a sauce pan; add 5 cups water and bring this to a boil. Cover and remove the pan from the heat. Let this stand for 10-15 minutes.

Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water. Then rinse with warm water and set on a towel. Place all the lids in a metal or glass bowl. Begin boiling water to fill the jars and cover the lids with boiling hot water.

I strain this to make 4 cups of tisane which is what I use to make the jelly. I add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring to the Nasturtium jelly and a couple of drops of green food coloring to the Mint jelly.

I use one box of Sure Jell, which is a name brand for fruit pectin. And the recipe calls for 5 cups of sugar. I put the exact amount of sugar in a bowl and set it by the stove. I put the herb tisane in a large Dutch Oven and add: 1/2 tsp butter (to reduce foaming), 1 tsp. lemon juice, and the Sure-Jell. I use a wire whip to mix these ingredients into the tisane to completely dissolve them.

Don’t start cooking the jelly until the boiling water is in the jelly jars. While you are waiting, set up your jelly jarring station with a hot pad for the pan, the jars and lids, a set of tongs to get the lids from their bowl and a glass measuring cup setting in a bowl. Have a dish towel and paper towel ready.

Then, begin cooking the jelly on high heat, stirring continuously. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil . (That is when it is boiling and you cannot stir it down.)

Next, add the sugar all at once and stir it in quickly. Return the jelly to a full rolling boil and boil for one minute, again stirring continuously.

After you have timed the boil for one full minute, turn off the heat and bring your Dutch Oven to the counter where you have prepared the jelly jar filling station. Herb jellies have very little scum on the top, so you shouldn’t need to skim if off, but if there is a white foamy substance on the top of the jelly, use a tablespoon to skim this off and discard it.

Dump the boiling water out of a jelly jar and immediately fill it with jelly using the glass measuring cup. Use the paper towel to wipe off the rim of the jar. Now, use the tongs to retrieve a lid and place it onto the jar. Immediately screw the lid on tightly and place the jar upside down on a towel. I use a different towel to hold the jar as I tighten the lid.

Repeat these steps until all the jelly has been put into jars.

Next, I wash up the dishes quickly. This clean up usually takes just about five minutes, which is just in time to turn the jars right side up.

Let the jelly jars stand at room temperature for 24 hours before labeling and moving.

You can store the jelly in a cool, dry, dark place for up to one year. Refrigerate after opening the jelly jars.

Steps to canning jelly

Wash and rinse jelly jars. Set them on a towel and fill with boiling water.
Wash and rinse jelly jars. Set them on a towel and fill with boiling water. | Source
Put lids in a metal or glass bowl (not plastic) and fill with boiling water.
Put lids in a metal or glass bowl (not plastic) and fill with boiling water. | Source
Set up your counter to put jelly into jars. Keep the jars and lids close, as well as a hot pad for setting your dutch oven on and a measuring cup inside a bowl. The bowl is to contain the jelly if a jar breaks.
Set up your counter to put jelly into jars. Keep the jars and lids close, as well as a hot pad for setting your dutch oven on and a measuring cup inside a bowl. The bowl is to contain the jelly if a jar breaks. | Source
Put correct amount of herbal tisane, one tsp lemon juice, one tsp butter, one packet SureJell and one packet gelatin into the pot. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil. Then add the allotted amount of sugar all at one time. This is Nasturtium jelly.
Put correct amount of herbal tisane, one tsp lemon juice, one tsp butter, one packet SureJell and one packet gelatin into the pot. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil. Then add the allotted amount of sugar all at one time. This is Nasturtium jelly. | Source
After sugar has been added, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil again. I added green food coloring to the mint tisane to make a prettier color.
After sugar has been added, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil again. I added green food coloring to the mint tisane to make a prettier color. | Source
As your jelly begins to boil you will need to continue stirring constantly. Notice how the boiling begins to change.
As your jelly begins to boil you will need to continue stirring constantly. Notice how the boiling begins to change. | Source
This is the "full rolling boil" that needs to happen before you begin timing. The timing is for one minute.
This is the "full rolling boil" that needs to happen before you begin timing. The timing is for one minute. | Source
Fill the jars with jelly using the glass measuring cup. I usually fill one to three jars, then place the lids on them.
Fill the jars with jelly using the glass measuring cup. I usually fill one to three jars, then place the lids on them. | Source
Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off the rim of each jelly jar before you place the lids on.
Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off the rim of each jelly jar before you place the lids on. | Source
Use the tongs to get the lids out of the boiling hot water. Take a dish towel to hold the jar and screw each lid on tightly.
Use the tongs to get the lids out of the boiling hot water. Take a dish towel to hold the jar and screw each lid on tightly. | Source
After the lids are on, turn each jar upside down on the towel. I usually wash up the dishes during the next five minutes as the jars sit upside down.
After the lids are on, turn each jar upside down on the towel. I usually wash up the dishes during the next five minutes as the jars sit upside down. | Source
After five minutes, turn the jelly jars right side up and allow to cool overnight (at least 24 hours). Don't move the jelly before then as moving prevents it from setting up.
After five minutes, turn the jelly jars right side up and allow to cool overnight (at least 24 hours). Don't move the jelly before then as moving prevents it from setting up. | Source

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Comments 9 comments

agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

Hi Peggy W. Yes. I can jelly and jams so that I can keep a jelly cupboard full. I love giving it away and actually don't eat much jelly at all.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

kschimmel, Yes. Do that Nasturtiums are wonderful. They are colorful and peppery in a salad and make a sweet, spicy jelly. Enjoy them!


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

I made mint jelly when I had a backyard full of lemon mint. Maybe I'll plant some nasturtiums this year!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 5 years ago Author

Hi billips, thanks for reading and for commenting on this hub. I love making jelly and right now am deep into making Christmas jam! yum.


billips profile image

billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

This brings back such wonderful memories - mint jelly on lamb - the absolute best - and those nasturtium leaves, even raw, are just great for nibbling - nice article - B.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 5 years ago Author

b.Malin, Thank you for your comment

Peggy w, I also use Nasturtiums for salads, along with Panseys. The flowers add much color and a peppery touch.

My own mother made Choke Cherry jelly and I loved it when I was a child.

JamaGenee, Yes. You can make a tea from Mint - it is actually a tisane, as herbs don't have caffeine. Mint is just one of the many plants that do 'take over' the garden. I didn't know that it gets weak if you don't cut it back. I wonder if it is the variety. I cut back my Oregano too as it and the Mint would monopolize the garden.

Thanks for you interest and your comment.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Not having ever tried to do this, I found your Hub so Interesting as well as Informative. I've now gained a whole new prospect...Thanks so much for sharing Agaglia.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I once moved into a house that had mint growing everywhere around it. One time I brought in a few of the newest leaves, chopped them fine and added them to a cup of tea. Not as tasty as it should've been. One neighbor thought it was because the mint plants had never been pruned or cut back, but simply allowed to grow wherever they could, which resulted in the flavor being decidedly UNminty. So I didn't even attempt to make mint jelly, but if I ever find myself with a ready supply of *good* mint plants, I'll be sure to use your wonderful instructions! ;D


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

My mother-in-law used to use nasturtiam blossoms in salads. She would have been intrigued knowing that jelly could have been made. Nice job on this hub. Years ago I made choke cherry jelly and canned it! :))

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