We have hundreds of dandelions growing in our yard.
Where once, I saw these as weeds, I’ve come around to liking their pop of color in amongst the bright green grass of spring, that I’ve missed so much over the winter.
I also have developed quite the respect for dandelions over the last few years. They are actually pretty incredible, which makes me wonder how we ever got to the point of trying to spray them with pesticides to kill them off. Here they are, a healthy, edible, vibrant yellow flower of spring, and instead of letting them have their place in our lawns, and even at our dinner or tea table, we’ve convinced ourselves it is better to squirt toxic chemicals on them to kill them off… so bizarre the things we do.
I, for one, find the color uplifting, and enjoy seeing them scattered throughout the yard.
They are a stubborn and persistence plant, for sure, and it can be tough to pull them from your garden in the spring, but I certainly don’t mind them in the lawn.
So here are some dandelion appreciative facts:
- Dandelions are in the sunflower family
- They are an early food source for bees, which are the foundation of our food system
- Not only are they nutritious for bees, but humans too! They are loaded with vitamin A, C, K, E, B, and iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as folate
- They can be cooked or eaten raw
- The entire plant is edible, including the root
- They are full of antioxidants, which can keep your body healthy, and combat free radicals
- It also has polyphenols. This can reduce inflammation!
- They may lower blood pressure
- And they could aid in weight loss
That’s quite a list of dandelion benefits- so tell me again why we spend each spring combatting their beautiful invasion?
Now, as stated, you can eat them raw. But this might not be a taste you’re accustomed to on their own, especially the bitter leaves. So here are a few ideas for adding these hardy, nutritious, prevalent food sources into your diet.
What a pretty pop of color they’ll add! You can add the flowers, stems and leaves to any salad, or just make a dandelion salad, with chopped dandelions and your favorite dressing.
fried dandelion blossoms
This recipe looks delicious! Wash them, dry them, coat them in a batter, then deep fry them in some oil. What dipping sauce would you use? (I’m a sucker for a siracha aioli, myself…)
You can cook these with other greens or on their own. Add garlic, salt, pepper, or whatever spices you prefer. You can even just steam them, and add a dash of salt for simplicity.
Have you seen those gorgeous baked cookies with flowers in them? Man, they are so rustic and delicious looking.
Well, you can do this with dandelions too! Pick dandelion flowers, and remove the small, yellow petals. Only add the yellow petals to your cookies, as the green parts can be bitter.
Dandelion root tea is popular, and a great way to ingest all the goodness these plants offer. The process can be arduous to harvest the roots, but their nutritional value is high. Dig them up, wash the roots, peel the outer layer, then dry the remainder of the root. Dehydrate it, then pulse it into a powder. Add it to boiling water and you’ve got yourself some tea. You can always make a blend with your favorite herbs or tea leaves, like lavender, or rooibos.
Check out this recipe for a vegan alternative to honey! Just sugar, water, dandelions and lemon.
I’m thinking I might try to make some dandelion kombucha using the dandelion syrup. If I get my motivation on, I’ll let you know how it goes!
What will you make?
Have you ever eaten or used dandelion?