Every spring our yards are stuffed with the brilliant, sunny look of dandelions. Well, not less than I believe they’re brilliant and sunny. Many individuals view the widespread dandelion as a weed, and wage a small struggle to eradicate the plant from their lawns.
Personally, I welcome the looks of spring dandelions for one cause: I like to eat them.
I do know, it sounds unusual. Why on earth would somebody need to eat dandelions?
Well, this innocuous “weed” is definitely one of essentially the most nutrient-dense vegetation you may eat. It blows superfoods like spinach and kale out of the water. Everything, from the flower all the way in which down to the roots, is edible. And, dandelions additionally occur to be scrumptious. The style of dandelion resembles a barely bitter inexperienced like arugula. You can eat them recent in salads, or cook dinner them on the range.
The better part about consuming dandelions simply is perhaps the worth. Since they develop wild just about all over the place within the nation, you could have a very free meals supply proper in your yard.
Nutrients and Health Benefits
Dandelions have been utilized in natural drugs for a whole lot, if not hundreds, of years. The advantages of this widespread plant will in all probability shock you.
For occasion, one half cup of dandelions include extra calcium than a glass of milk, and extra iron than spinach. One cup of dandelion greens accommodates 19 mg of Vitamin C, and the leaves include extra Vitamin A than carrots. And for those who want some Vitamin Ok in your life, there’s no higher supply than dandelion leaves; 55 mg of leaves include a whopping 535% of your every day worth.
Dandelions are additionally chock full of different important minerals similar to potassium, folic acid, and magnesium.
And that’s not all. According to The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey, dandelion leaves are a fantastic supply of fiber (which helps relieve constipation). The excessive fiber content material additionally makes you are feeling full, making it a fantastic meals to eat for those who’re making an attempt to minimize energy and shed weight. They additionally assist stabilize your blood sugar, making it a fantastic meals for diabetics.
Dandelions are additionally extremely excessive in antioxidants, and since they’re a diuretic, they assist cleanse your physique of toxins.
So, are you satisfied but? This sunny little weed is superior, and I look ahead to harvesting them each year. So how precisely do you do it?
How to Harvest Dandelions
Although dandelions develop by the autumn, the perfect time to harvest dandelions is within the spring. Dandelions get bitter the older they get, so for those who can pluck them younger you’re going to expertise a sweeter taste. However, I ate dandelion leaves all final spring and summer time, and loved all of them.
The cool factor about dandelions is their distinctive look. There’s actually no different plant or herb that intently resembles the dandelion, which is why many herbalists contemplate it to be one of the most secure vegetation to harvest wild. The distinct, jagged leaves and brilliant yellow flower is acquainted to all of us.
Now, there are a couple of phrases of warning about harvesting dandelions.
- Never harvest any dandelions shut to a street. They can decide up air pollution.
- Never harvest dandelions from an industrial lot, or any space the place previous air pollution may need been a problem.
- Never harvest dandelions from a yard the place pesticides and fertilizers have been used.
Dandelions usually develop the place land has been disturbed. So, roadsides and medians are widespread locations to discover them. I all the time decide dandelions proper out of my very own yard (since I by no means use pesticides or fertilizers), however I additionally decide them from an enormous area in my neighborhood. I do know the sector (which is owned by the native elementary faculty) is rarely sprayed by chemical substances, so it’s one other secure supply.
Dandelion Leaves & Greens
Now when it comes to harvesting, you need to attempt to decide the youngest leaves, which will probably be positioned on the within of the expansion. The oldest (and bitterest) leaves will all the time be on the surface. You’ll get the perfect greens from dandelions that haven’t but produced a yellow flower.
To harvest the leaves, merely pluck them out of the bottom and accumulate them in a basket or bag you could have with you. They’ll preserve for a day or two within the fridge, however personally I like to take them proper inside and cook dinner them instantly. They’re so scrumptious!
If you occur upon a plant that simply produced a crown (a densely packed circle of small leaves which are nearly to produce the yellow flower) then by all means decide it. Crowns are the sweetest components of the plant!
The flowers are additionally edible as properly. To harvest the buds, merely pluck them off the inexperienced stem. Try to separate the flower from the inexperienced base, which could be very bitter.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you too can harvest the basis. Yes, dandelion root is edible and also you is perhaps amazed at what you are able to do with it. Dandelion root might be roasted and used as a espresso substitute. And sure, I’ve drank dandelion espresso many instances; I’ve a bag of roasted dandelion root in my kitchen proper now. Heated and served with milk it’s wonderful (and way more nutritious than common espresso)!
The finest time to harvest dandelion root is within the spring, since that is the place all of the nutritional vitamins and minerals are saved throughout the chilly months. Simply dig out the lengthy tuber roots, clear them totally within the sink, and chop them into items simply as you’d a carrot.
So, now that you’ve got a basket full of dandelion flowers, leaves and roots, how do you cook dinner them? In the following half of this sequence, I present you ways to cook dinner dandelions (together with roasting the basis for espresso), and I move alongside some of my favourite dandelion greens recipes for you to attempt!
First, although, I’d love to hear again from you. Have you ever eaten dandelions? Would you ever give them a attempt?