Don't Kill the Dandelions

1/30/2015 - 10:31:01 AM
This post was originally published on October 24, 2013.

We’ve all got them, so lets EAT them!  Dandelions that is.  Times are tough for many and we have this FREE food item in our yards and fields, so why not take advantage of it?

The dandelion is known as a bioaccumulator.  The deep tap root pushes its way down and collects minerals and nutrients from the subsoil, nutrients that many plants are unable to take advantage of.  As the tap root grows it also breaks up hard, compacted soils – a benefit we as gardeners can all appreciate.

As a food, the dandelion can pass along all the collected nutrients to those who eat it, and there are many ways to enjoy a dandelion.

Young spring greens are quite delicious in salads, and might even spring up in local restaurants.  Long considered a delicacy by Asian people, greens can be found for sale at farmers markets and dandelion seed is even sold by select mail order seed companies.

As the greens age, they can become bitter.  At this time saute them with butter, onion and bacon for a wonderful side dish (everything is better with bacon).

The root has a great value as well.  When dried and then ground it makes a wonderful coffee substitute.  This caffeine free, no acid version is perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

For those with a sweet tooth, dandelion jelly can be made from the flowers. The result is a lovely sunny yellow jelly, sure to brighten your moon during the dreary winter months.

The possibilities do not end here – dandelion wine, dandelion sandwiches, medicinal uses, dandelion beer, and how about a dandelion mushroom calzone?  (you can find the recipe here http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/dandelion-recipes.aspx?PageId=1)

In the future, we should stop putting all our efforts into eradicating these plants and focus more on ways to enjoy it.  Tell your friends and spread the word.

When foraging do your research.  Make sure that pesticides have not been applied to the areas you are collecting in.

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