Eat Your Dandelions !!!

Stop Don't put the weed killer on your lawn!! That annoying weed is actually healthy to eat.

Dandelion greens are increasingly showing up in natural food stores and farmers markets, but most people can find them growing in their own  yard. Like most wild growing plants, dandelion greens offer more nutrients than other commercially grown greens. Considered a pesky lawn weed by many, dandelion has been used for hundreds of years in China, Europe, and other counties for medicinal purposes.

How convenient  for you and your wallet. A nutrient  filled green that  is also a weed and grows in excess all over the world.

Th best time to pick  will vary, depending on location.  Regions with four distinct seasons, the window of opportunity for collecting the best dandelion greens will likely occur over a couple of weeks in April or May.  Avoid areas where exhaust fumes or chemical herbicides may have polluted air or soil. The smallest leaves are most tender and suitable for use in salads. Larger leaves will be tougher but good for steaming or chopping and adding to soups and stews. Greens will stay fresh longer if you dig up the plant's root and keep it wrapped in moist paper towels until ready to use. Always wash the greens thoroughly under running water. Like spinach, cooked dandelion greens freeze well.

Dandelion greens are high in vitamins A, B complex, C and D, and minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. The University of Maine says that 3 1/2 oz. of boiled greens contain about 33 calories, .06 g of fat and 2 g of protein.

Health Benefits

Antiviral The roots possess strong antiviral properties.
Blood Sugar May help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Digestion - General The root acts as an appetite stimulant, helps promote digestion and gastrointestinal health, encourages the growth of healthy bacteria, and alleviates flatulence.
Gallbladder Cleansing and healing to the gallbladder. Typically, the roots or juice from the leaves are used for this.
Heart May help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL).
Kidneys The leaves support kidney function and act as a diuretic.
Liver The roots promote liver detoxification.
Menstruation/PMS Alleviates the bloating associated with PMS.

Dandelion leaves may be used to treat conditions affecting the liver, kidneys and gallbladder characterized by fluid retention, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If your goal is detoxification and cleansing, dandelion greens should be used in your smoothies!   Dandelions  help cleanse the liver and so many detox recipes call for them.

Liver Cleansing Juice Drink

apples (organic, cored)
carrots (organic)
lemon (organic)
12 cup dandelion greens (recipe specified a small handful)
1 oz beet (fresh)

 

Dandelion root is reported by the NIH to be beneficial to liver health. The agency states that people with hepatitis B showed much improvement in their liver function after taking an herbal mixture that included dandelion root. The one drawback to the study, they claim, is that dandelion root was included with other herbs, so the particular effect of dandelion root on the liver is not completely known. UMMC also claims that dandelion root is beneficial to liver health. Some research suggests that it may play a role in improving immune system function and promoting gastrointestinal health.

 Fried Dandelion Flowers

Fried dandelion flowers taste similar to a  mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • dandelion blossoms with green base and stems removed (leave enough of the base on to hold the flower together)
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Soak the dandelion flowers in a bowl of cool salt water to remove any bugs or debris. After they’ve soaked for around 1/2 hour, take them out of the water and gently blot the excess moisture away.
  2. Heat enough oil to fry the dandelions you have.
  3. While the oil is heating, make a batter using the milk, salt, egg and flour. Dip each flower into the batter, and toss it into the oil once it’s popping hot. Fry until they’re lightly browned.
  4. Use a paper towel to gently blot away excess grease, and serve immediately.
Spring Harvest Salad    From Food Network
12 lb beets (fresh)
2 cups broccoli (fresh, spears)
4 cups dandelion greens (torn young dandelion greens washed and dried)
green onions (finely chopped)
1 clove clove garlic (minced)
1 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tbsps peanuts (chopped boiled green, optional)
3 tbsps olive oil
2 tsps red wine vinegar
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
2 tsps honey
18 tsp salt
18 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
1 In a medium saucepan, cook the beets in 1 quart boiling water until just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; allow to cool, then peel and dice. Set aside.
2 Rinse the saucepan and bring a second quart of water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli spears and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water to chill. When chilled, drain and set aside.
3 In a large bowl, combine the beets, broccoli, dandelion greens, green onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro and, if desired, the peanuts.
4 In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegars, honey, and salt and pepper. Pour this vinaigrette over the vegetables and gently toss to lightly coat all ingredients. Serve immediately.