Dandelions are more than just weeds in your garden. They are an amazing source of vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as minerals such as iron, zinc and potassium. Here are some delicious ways to add dandelion to your diet!
Who has not seen these pesky yellow weeds appearing in the garden from time to time? And yet, try as best you can, from collecting them to poisoning – nothing holds them too long.
Perhaps it’s time for you to embrace a tenacious dandelion and all the benefits that it can bring?
Health Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelion has been used throughout history to treat everything from liver problems and kidney disease to heartburn and appendicitis.
Each part of this common weed – from roots to flowers – is edible. This is also good, since humble dandelion bursts with vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium and zinc.
Some advantages are your weeds:
- Leaves boast more beta carotene than carrots, meaning they are great for healthy eyes!
- Greens also provide 535% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which is vital for strengthening bones and preventing cognitive decline.
- A 2011 study showed that the root of dandelion tea can induce leukemia cells to die. The researchers reported that tea did not send the same message “kill” to healthy cells.
- The plant is a diuretic that helps the kidneys cleanse waste, salt and excess water, increasing the production of urine – perhaps the reason why European child claims claim that you will wet the bed if you choose flowers!
- With such a rich nutritional value, the plant is filled with antioxidants – it can help prevent premature aging, cancer and other diseases caused by oxidative stress.
- Animal studies have found that dandelion roots and leaves control the levels of cholesterol.
- Studies also show that the dandelion extract increases the immune function and fights microbes.
- Dandelion can also help the digestive system in accordance with the University of Maryland Medical Center. A fresh or dried dandelion can stimulate the appetite and soothe the stomach, while the root of the plant can act as a mild laxative.
24 Wonderful use for dandelions
In the kitchen
Since the whole plant is edible, there are many ways that you can use dandelion for culinary purposes.
Fried green and garlic
Due to its rich mineral and vitamin content, dandelion greens are a healthy addition to any food. Roasting with garlic (or ginger or capers) adds flavor and negates the bitterness often associated with these leaves. Blanching them by immersing them in boiling water for 20-30 seconds helps to reduce this pungent taste. Avoid very mature leaves, since they can be too unpleasant for some. This double recipe for garlic and herbs is delicious.
Dandelion pumpkin seed pesto
This nutritious pesto is ideal for simple pasta, a sandwich spread or a veggie dip. Because dandelion greens have a small bite, toasts with pumpkin seeds, lemon juice and parmesan are vital for achieving equilibrium. That’s how you do it.
Fried dandelion flowers, first immersed in flavored dough, make a tasty, attractive and fresh diner or garnish. After removing all the bitter green parts, you stay with a soft tasting and slightly sweet flowers. Follow this recipe here.
Enjoy the increased well-being by using this herbal vinegar on salads, seasonings, soups, stews and sauces or simply mixing with water and drinking as a restoring tonic. Insist the dandelion flowers in apple cider vinegar for four weeks, strain and store in a dark place for up to twelve months. These steps describe how to make infusion.
Prepare the flowers and turn them into a risotto resembling a precious stone. While dandelions add visual appeal and soft sweet taste, onions, wine, broth, creamy yogurt and parmesan give a rich, deep taste and a smooth texture. Recipe, inspired by the Vegetarian Society, can be found here.
Instead of the traditional sharp and sour Korean kimchi, which is cooked with cabbage, this alternative flavor uses dandelion greens. Eat your way to good intestinal health, fermenting greens with herbs, spices, green onions and soy sauce, as indicated in this recipe.
These impregnated muffins, made from whole wheat flour, oat, honey and dandelion petals, are ideal for soups with springtime, such as asparagus or green peas. Learn how to make them here.
Make a delightful icy pleasure from the freshly picked flowers of dandelion, sugar, honey and lemon juice. It is ideal for a summer day in the garden or served after one of the many main dishes, dandelions with a dandelion! Here you will find the recipe.
This delicate jelly is very tasty and sweet, like honey. Use it on top of toast, grains or anything else that you like. It keeps in an airtight container for up to two weeks – but it definitely will not last that long! Follow the recipe of Martha Stewart.
Pancakes and waffle syrups
Love pancake syrup, but want to avoid the painful sweet culinary variety, which is loaded with unpleasant artificial additives and preservatives? Then this is the recipe for you! This is done only with three components – dandelions, lemon and sugar or honey. Here is described a two-day process.
Cake with dandelion
A sweet, delicious and slightly tropical pie made with dandelion syrup, flower petals, cinnamon, chopped pineapple, walnuts and coconut, this is sure to be a hit of the whole family. Click here to go to the recipe.
Another sweet dandelion based treatment, these healthy lemon cookies include organic local honey and oats. Here you can find an easy-to-use recipe.
As we found out, no part of the modest dandelion is lost. After you fry the greens and used the flowers in your dessert, hang on the roots and brew a caffeinated alternative to coffee. Fry them until grinding for a deep, earthy taste. Find out what to do here.
Tea with ice and dandelion
This pretty icy lime and dandelion tea is so good, even the children will love it. It is also refreshing, natural and has many properties that stimulate the skin. Mix a quart of dandelion flowers with fresh lime juice, stevia leaves or other sweetening matter and a dried red raspberry leaf. Learn how to make this healing tea here.
Surprisingly, these nasty weeds can make a fine rustic wine – rich, strong and average sweet. Go to the countryside (or backyard) with a gallon container and collect enough full colors to fill it freely. Wander them with water, lemon zest and raisins for several months before enjoying. Here the full process of making wine is described in detail.
Danish Schnapps – Two Ways
If the wine of the country is not your business, maybe Danish schnapps sounds more attractive? Do it with flowers for a fresh, fragrant and slightly sweetish taste, which goes well with chocolate, sweet desserts and cakes. Or, for a dry, spicy and very fragrant drink, cook it with roots. Enjoy schnapps on your own or serve with roasted meats and other sturdy flavors. You can see the recipes here.
For health and beauty
The properties of the dandelion go beyond the dining table – they can also be used to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as treat small skin diseases.
Dandelions are one of the most useful plants for reducing pain in the joints and pain in the muscles. Pour flowers into the oil and rub into diseased muscles and joints, or anywhere the pain will hit. To do, simply fill a small mason’s jar with fresh dandelion flowers and pour in the base oil – like sweet almonds or olive – until the jug is full. Leave to stand in a warm place for two weeks before straining the oil and pour it into a sterilized jar. Keep refrigerated.
For a more tolerable version of anesthetic oil, take one more step and turn the infusion into a soothing balm – ideal for wearing in a purse or sports bag or in a car or office. Create a double pot and mix the beeswax with the poured butter. Pour this mixture into a jar or tin and allow to cool before use. Accurate measurements and instructions are here.
These therapeutic lotions help the hardest cases of cracked dry skin, adding moisture and alleviating inflammation and soreness. If you are an avid gardener or often perform very manual work, wipe the bar several times a day. It’s much less dirty than balm! Mix the infused dandelion oil with beeswax, shea butter and lavender essential oil for a silky smooth healing cup. The full process is described in detail here.
Removal of warts
Dandelions are a natural removal of warts. You probably noticed that the roots, stems and leaves of the plant give off a white sticky resin – this is a secret weapon against warts. Apply this juice directly to the warts once or several times a day, and they should soon disappear.
In the house and garden
Use dandelions to add an ass of color to your house or some necessary nutrients for the garden.
Make a stunning and chic central dandelion, simply using the corrected wood and small nails. Collect the wooden box, hammer the small finishing nails through the underside and move the hand-picked dandelions from above – create a center piece that seems to float. Find out more here.
Natural yellow color
Prepare dandelion heads for a completely natural alternative to chemical dyes that can contribute to water pollution. This is especially useful for those who weave their wool, but can be used on any clothing. Here’s how you can use the dye to brighten up your tissues.
Liquid fertilizer, or “weasel tea”, is easy to make and will give your garden nutrients. Deeply rooted dandelions are especially valuable weeds, as they are so nutritious. Since you can not throw them into the compost pile, as their seeds are still viable, brew this organic fertilizer instead and pour or spray it on the flower beds and gardens. Here is a simple process for applying fertilizer.
If you keep goats, then you will know that they need a varied vegetarian diet. Use your unwanted dandelion weeds to form part of this balanced diet. Studies have shown that animals choose what they eat based on their individual nutritional needs, so if you just leave dandelions for goats, they most likely chew on them and save you from weeding!
Save some for the bees!
Dandelions are the first food of the season for bees. When choosing dandelions, make sure not to require them all for yourself. Leave enough for the bees to enjoy.
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