Homemade Clover Honey
I recently coordinated a survival skills workshop for young people where the very knowledgeable speakers shared loads of good information, including details and recipes for edible wild plants. We sampled many recipes, and one of them was Clover Honey, which is "honey" made using the flower heads of clover plants. Take out the middleman... er... bees, and you can make it yourself. I had never heard of such a thing and I found I actually liked the flavor of the homemade honey better than the bees' product (nothing against the bees or their product, mind you).
I will share the healthier-than-most-beeless-honey recipe our wonderful volunteer provided to me along with some experimentation that I did when I started playing with the recipe. I hope you enjoy it and find yourself in the kitchen cooking up some honey of your own. Though it can't beat the health of bee-made honey, it is a much more affordable option.
All photos on this page are my own. The recipe is used with permission from the volunteer.
This is the recipe provided to me by our volunteer. I love this original recipe, and part of my hated to do anything to change it. The rest of me couldn't resist!
It's beautiful golden color had me sold from the moment I made it.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in|
- Approximately 50 clover flowers (white; pink; red; or yellow)
- 1.5 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon alum
- Prepare the clover flowers. After picking, place in bowl and fill with cold water; swish well to rinse. To harvest the clover blossoms, grasp the flower at the base, just at the top of the stem. You should be able to very easily just pinch, above the base, with your opposite hand and the blossoms will pull right off, in a clump. Place in a bowl; reserve.
- Add water to a medium-sized saucepan; add sugar and stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium heat and stir in alum. Continue boiling, on medium high, for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off heat. Stir in clover blossoms. Allow to sit for 45 minutes.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth; alternatively, 2 layers of paper towels works in a pinch. Place a lined strainer over a bowl and pour the honey through the strainer. It will take several minutes for the honey to drain so you may need to do this in a couple of batches.
- Discard the clover blossoms and cheesecloth/paper towel. Pour your honey into jars or the container of your choice and refrigerate. Honey will thicken as it cools. Keep in the refrigerator. Will keep several weeks.
- Note: Should your honey become "unbound" and more liquid, over time, reheat on the stove and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of alum to rethicken.
Do you think you would like to make your own honey?
Not all sugars taste the same or meet everyone's dietary needs. The recipe calls for sugar, but the speaker at the survival skills workshop said she has replaced the sugar with Splenda and also made it with a 1/2 sugar, 1/2 Splenda mixture.
I have also experimented with priming sugar from my husband's homebrewing hobby. He has started kegging his beer, so the priming sugar - used to create carbonation during the bottling process - goes unused. I had been on the lookout for opportunities to use it so it didn't go to waste. It tasted delicious in my homemade Clover Honey but after a couple of days, it started to settle out. When it warmed at all to room temperature, the settling process accelerated. The density of the priming sugar is greater than regular granulated sugar, so the solution was super-saturated and could not sustain itself. (Yes, Mr. Schneider, I did pay attention in Chemistry class.)
Lesson Learned: Different sugars may take some experimentation to get the right ratio.
I was in the middle of a quart of fresh strawberries from a local pick-your-own patch while I was making my first batch of Clover Honey. They were so sweet and delicious, it got me thinking. I wondered what it would taste like to infuse the honey with the added natural sweetness of strawberries.
I promptly went out and picked another 50 clover flowers to make a second batch. I quartered two smallish berries and dropped them in with the flower heads. The color deepened, the sweetness took on the hint of berries. My Strawberry Clover Honey was really good (if I do say so myself).
What else will I infuse this recipe with? Who can say... blueberries are coming ripe in the back yard, and the blackberries are hot on their heels. Raspberries should be coming due soon and those Michigan peaches, and Wisconsin cherries... My mind won't stop.
And those are just the fruits. The speaker who shared this recipe said she has infused the honey with lavender and also with rose petals for a more herbal, flowery flavor. I'm intrigued!
If you were going to make your own Clover Honey, would you infuse other flavors?
More Clover Honey Recipes
These links are really to show that there are other recipes out there. Most of them use 10 cups (5 lbs.) of sugar. And many of them call for 2 kinds of clover plus at least one other flower.
I liked the simplicity of the one I'm sharing here and the lower sugar content. But I encourage you to check out these other recipes for yourself. Then you can decide for yourself.
- From Taste of Home
Includes 2 kinds of clover plus rose petals, tons of sugar and no alum
- From Food.com
Includes 2 kinds of clover plus rose petals and tons of sugar
- From How to Do Things.com
Calls for 2 kinds of clover plus fireweed, tons of sugar, and (optional) blackberries
I hope (plan) to be back regularly with more experimentation on infusions and adaptations of this recipe. I enjoyed making it, and I loved the results! So I hope you'll stay tuned for more fun with Clover Honey.
Link Party Connections
Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!
- Summer 2014 Categorically Crafting Show (Someday Crafts)
- Think Pink Sunday (Flamingo Toes)
- Cast Party Wednesday (Lady Behind the Curtain)
- Mix It Up Monday (Flour Me with Love)
- Merry Monday Linky Party (Happy House and Home)
What do you think of this homemade honey recipe?
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 13, 2014:
I have dried the pink clover to add into herbal tea in the past. It has a nice sweet taste. I wonder if you can make the honey without adding additional sugar?
Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on August 02, 2013:
This is such a great idea. I can't wait to try it.
LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on August 02, 2013:
I would have called \home made more of a syrup than a honey. Looks interesting
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on August 01, 2013:
This is so interesting to me. I'd never actually thought about the possibility of making my own honey. Great idea for a lens. Very unique. Appreciate your experimentation.
DreyaB on August 01, 2013:
This sounds really interesting. Normally we produce our own honey (from bees - my partner is a beekeeper!) but due to the move we don't have any at the moment. This might be a good temporary alternative... :0)
Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on August 01, 2013:
Why do you use alum?
Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on August 01, 2013:
Very cool. In China they use roses and osmanthus flowers for this. Thanks for the recipe and your various trials so we can all gain from your experience!
TommysPal on July 31, 2013:
This is a good way to use the clover growing in my yard. I usually think of them as a weed. I'll never look at them the same way again. Thanks for sharing this recipe.