What do you do with dandelions? The first thing I bet you thought was to kill them. Not so fast. They’re totally edible. Sure the leaves can be bitter (most often after the plant has flowered) but balance the bitterness with other flavors from other greens in your salad. Harvest them before they flower in the early spring or after they flower in the late fall. A frost can cause the bitterness to die out.
Dandelions are full of vitamins and minerals (A, some B vitamins, K and calcium) and are used for medicinal purposes in many parts of the world. They are potassium-rich, good for your liver and used to treat digestive disorders, and other health problems. For more nutritional information click here, just read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page you’ll be sent to.
Dandelions are just not highly regarded by many here in the U.S. There are some people that will forage for them or purposely grow them in their gardens. One such gardener has a few lovely plants here in town at the community garden.
Use them in a tea, salad, on sandwiches, in a smoothie, in Dandelion Soup, syrup, dips and desserts. The large taproot is also edible.
A sweet friend of mine, fellow blogger, homeschooler and birdwatcher from Iowa recently shared a recipe for Dandelion Cookies on her blog this week. If I had some dandelions, I’d bake them. I wouldn’t tell my boys the ingredients until they tried it first. Thankfully, she has an abundance of dandelions that are about to seed and has offered to send me some seeds. Can’t wait to get them.
Meanwhile, check out her blog, The Birding Bunch, for the recipe and if you have dandelions, try it. Her blog is lovely, so spend some time with it, then scour the internet for more recipes for dandelions.