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Honey allergies? Possible solution if you love honey

Updated on October 13, 2010

Do you Love Honey?

For those of your who are allergy sufferers this is for you.  Well actually it is an allergy to one sort of food that I am going to discuss.  My husband has been allergic to Honey since well before I ever met him.  There have been times when he has accidentally ingested it in foods that are not clearly marked ‘Contains Honey’.   Buffet foods are guilty of having honey in their food items.  His symptoms will begin with  fingers and toes swelling, then his hands and feet,  and he will get covered from head to toe in Hives.  This will last for approximately a week, making him suffer terribly.   No matter how much Benedryl he takes, it just has to run it’s course, itching all the while.  It seems to get worse at night for him.

I have found a Honey substitute that I would like to share that may appeal to some.  There are recipes to be found that call for Honey as a main ingredient but for Honey allergy sufferers this is impossible.  If you leave it out, the taste just isn’t the same, so for some you just won’t try anything new.  This will require a bit of preparation on your part but will be worth it in the end.  The substitute?  Dandelion Jelly.  Yes, I said it.  Dandelion Jelly. 

Let me explain.  My husband is allergic to the process that the Honey Bees use to convert pollen to honey.  They mix in their saliva and do some other really neat stuff, then pack it in wax to ferment or cure, after a while, you have honey.  When he eats Dandelion Jelly he does not suffer the same effects, in fact he doesn’t suffer at all.  There is no reaction at all to the jelly.  So he can eat as much as he likes, and he has discovered that he does like the taste.  It had been so long since he was able to eat Honey on warm biscuits with butter, that he almost forgot how good it tasted!

Get em' while their fresh!

Dandelion jelly is made with the pollen of the Dandelion. It doesn’t have the saliva of the Bee’s yet still retains the same flavor of Honey. So when made into jelly, it will taste EXACTLY like Honey without any of the problems associated that those with honey allergy’s, suffer. If consuming Honey will send you into anaphylactic shock I would speak with my doctor before trying this.

Spring time is the best time to make Dandelion Jelly, the dandelions are fresh and brightly colored yellow. It can be made in the fall as well and the taste is just the same, so if I run out in the summer, when they appear in the cooler weather of the fall I can make more. They just don’t seem as plentiful as the spring.

You will need Lots of Dandelions

What you will need:

Lots and Lots of dandelions - I pick just the heads off, they pop nicely.  Using about a gallon bucket I go around and get as many as I can.  The neighbors love that I take away the yellow in their yards!  They like me even more when I bring them some jelly.  Some of the recipes will say to take the greens off the edges.  I have seen no difference, and just leave them on.  DO NOT RINSE or try to wash these at all.
Lemon Juice - 2 TBSP
1 pkg. Fruit Pectin (if using sugar substitute use the sugar-free pectin)
Jelly Jars - Approximately enough jars to hold 6 cups liquid. 
If using baby food jars you will need paraffin wax to seal.

I use about 2 - 3 cups of tightly packed Dandelions.  Simmer in 4 cups of water for about 10 minutes, then strain the juice, through a fine sieve.
Then in my pan I measure out the liquid so I have 4 Cups of juice. 
You will need 6 cups sugar (if you would like to use sugar substitute this is fine just read your package directions for proper measurement)  

Follow package directions on pectin package, since these vary I cannot give accurate directions for all.

Tid-bit of knowledge -  Honey has been used for thousands of years to sweeten foods, and it never goes bad.  Archeologists have found earthen ware jars tucked neatly away inside of many ruins, sealed by wax.  It will crystallize, but when heated will return to it’s original state.

If it was used years ago - Why not now?

Pour your hot jelly into clean jars and seal.  Let set on the counter until cool then put away for future use!

Using paraffin wax:  In old small sauce pan (you won’t be re-using this to heat your green beans in ever again) over VERY low heat melt your wax.  When it is melted but not hot, you will gently pour over your ‘set’ jelly.  Put lids on when wax has cooled.


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    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      I have never heard of that! Well that's good to know. Thanks!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      The Dandelion boiled down to liquid/some people use roots only, will cleanse that intestinal track brutally!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Well I know that Dandelion jelly is good for an A in science class for an 8th grade student! LOL That was the first time I made it, when my daughter was in the 8th grade. We were supposed to fry up and eat the greens but they were too bitter... Apparently once they flower, the greens get bitter.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      How interesting! Didn't know there were those who suffer so much from Honey/Pollen process! Dandelion is good for other things too!