Make good use of invasive kudzu & turn the blossoms into jelly. Kudzu flower jelly tastes lightly grape and is delicious!
This is a small half-batch recipe. Feel free to double amounts for a regular sized batch, but don’t triple or above since that will affect outcome.
To make everything easier for you when you’re making your jelly, be sure to gather all your equipment and ingredients beforehand! Having everything in easy reach makes the whole process go a lot smoother.
Heads-up for anyone who’s planning on a specific time or day to make their jelly – this recipe requires 6-8 hours of time to steep your flowers before you can make it!
Kudzu Jelly Labels (Free!)
We made a sheet of labels that you can print out for your kudzu jelly!
When printing, be sure that the print scale is set to 100%. Don’t scale the size higher or lower, and don’t choose “fit to page”.
Click HERE or on the image above to grab your free sheet of labels!
Equipment you will need:
- Medium-sized heavy pot
- Large, heat-safe container, such as a glass pitcher
- Either 4 four-ounce canning jars, or 2 eight-ounce canning jars, with their rings and lids
Also, if you plan on canning:
- Water bath canner with rack
- Canning jar lifter
Ingredients you will need:
- 2 cups of kudzu blossoms
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 package (25 grams) Sure-Jell no or low sugar pectin
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (decreased from the normal amount of 2 1/2 cups)
Yield: About 2 eight-ounce jars, or 4 four-ounce jars.
Prepare the Flowers
To make kudzu flower jelly, start by picking your kudzu flowers. Don’t pick from roadsides or areas that may have been sprayed with herbicides.
You want just the purple flower part, not the stems. Once you get back indoors, spread them out on a dishtowel or screen and pick through for any browned or withered flowers (discard those), or bugs that might have hitched a ride (return them outside).
Once you’re sure your flowers are bug-free, put them in a heat-safe container; I use a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup.
Bring 2 cups of water to a full boil, and pour over your kudzu flowers. Cover the top of the container with something loose, like a saucer, and let steep for 6-8 hours, or overnight in your fridge.
The resulting kudzu tea (sometimes called kudzu juice) will look a very unappealing drab tone at this point. That’s okay and perfectly normal!
How long can kudzu tea (juice) stay in the refrigerator?
Kudzu tea needs to be turned into jelly or frozen within 2 to 3 days.
Prepare for Canning (only if water bath processing)
If you’re going to water bath can this jelly, get the canner ready before starting the jelly. Fill the canner with enough water so it will completely cover your jars by 1 to 2 inches when they’re lowered inside, and the water should be simmering by the time the jam is ready to can.
Prepare the jars by running through your dishwasher’s sanitize cycle, or boil the jars for ten minutes, then keep them warm in a pot of hot water until ready to use.
Can you freeze kudzu tea (juice)?
Yes, you can freeze kudzu tea to make jelly at a later date! Simply pour it into a freezer-safe container, label, and store for around 6 to 9 months.
Kudzu Flower Jelly
- Medium Sized Heavy Pot
- 4 cup glass pitcher or heat proof container
- Canning Jars: 4 four-ounce jars, or 2 eight-ounce jars, with rings and lids
- 2 cups fresh kudzu flowers
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 package no sugar pectin (25 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
To Make the Kudzu Tea
- Place the clean flowers in a heat proof container.
- Pour the boiling water over the flowers and stir briefly.
- Cover lightly and let cool to room temperature.
- Steep for 6 to 8 hours in your refrigerator before straining.
To Make the Kudzu Jelly
- Add the lemon juice to the prepared kudzu tea.
- Stir to combine. The color will shift slightly.
- Pour this mixture into a saucepan, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, measure out the sugar.
- Take 1/4 cup of sugar out of this amount (leaving 1 1/4 cups for later), and place that 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl.
- Combine the pectin with this 1/4 cup sugar, and then add the combination to your kudzu tea/lemon juice blend.
- Stir to combine.
- Place the saucepan over a burner set to medium-high heat.
- Stir constantly, while bringing the jelly to a boil.
- Once the jelly reaches a full rolling boil (the boil doesn’t stop if you stir it), then add in the rest of the sugar (1 1/4 cups).
- Return to a full boil and boil for one minute.
- Remove from heat and ladle the hot jelly into the hot jars.
- You might find it easier to first pour the jelly into a heat-proof pyrex measuring cup then pour from there into the jars, rather than use a ladle. This works great as long as you’re ready to work fast!
- Divide the jelly between 4 small four-ounce jelly jars, or 2 eight-ounce jelly jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
- If canning, use a chopstick or plastic utensil to remove the air bubbles from each side of the jar.
- Wipe off the rims of the jelly jars with a damp paper towel or rag to remove any splashes or stickiness that could interfere with the lid’s sealing.
- Place the lids on top, and screw on the rims to fingertip-tight.
- If you’re not canning your jelly, this is where you will simply leave it to completely cool then move to your refrigerator, or freeze.
- Fresh jelly should be eaten within 2 to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to one year.
To Water Bath Can the Kudzu Jelly
- While the jars are still hot, load them up in your water bath canner’s rack.
- Lower the rack carefully into your water bath canner, which should be filled with simmering hot water.
- Be sure the jars are covered with at least an inch of water.
- Cover the canner and bring the water to a full boil.
- Once boiling, process the jelly jars for 5 minutes.
- Once finished processing, remove the jelly jars from the rack and place them on the towel.
- Leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Store canned jelly in a cool, dark place for about 1 year.
- Once a jar is opened, place it in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 weeks.