Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Delightful (and delicious) Dandelions

Waste not want not!
Dandelions grow in abundance in our lawns and they're fantastic, hardy plants for the bees 
-- and for us!


Did you know dandelions have been used in medicinal remedies for years? They're rich vitamin A, C and D, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, organic sodium, and phosphorus. So basically, everything. For some reason, we huff and puff at these bright, sunny plants and mow them down. This is possibly because we just don't know how to reap the benefits. 

To help us out, I've compiled some delicious and healthy recipes for food and salves for you to enjoy and try at home for the cost of going outside.

Dandelion Tea
This is the most popular method of consuming dandelions. It's easy, tasty and a great way to get all the goodies into you. It aides digestion, too! 

You'll need to dig the whole plant out for this one, because we want the root. 
Give it a good wash and cut the roots off the plant and dice them - you'll need about 2 teaspoons (save the rest of the plant! you'll need it soon). 
Bring one litre of water to boil in a saucepan, add the diced roots and cover for one minute.
Remove the saucepan, and leave the mixture to steep for 40 minutes.
Strain mixture into glass and you're ready to go!

Warm before drinking for a restful hot beverage, or add some fresh lime juice and ice blocks for a refreshing Summer tea.

dandelion root

So, what to do with the greens? When I say greens, I'm referring to the the leafy base. We will not be using stems in any of these recipes as they contain a milky substance that is extremely bitter.

Dandelion Greens Salad
Just when we thought salad couldn't get healthier, dandelions save the day again. This salad is a sure fire way to impress your dinner guests and give them a vitamin boost at the same time. Get the kids to help you pick the dandelions and prepare the salad and you might even convince them to eat a salad tonight!

If you skipped the tea, you'll need to remove the roots, and the flowers. Keep the flowers though because there's even more we can do with those!
You'll want around 200 grams dandelion leaves, 1/2 of a chopped red onion, 2 chopped tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon basil.
Mix it all together, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Once you get a taste for the greens you can start experimenting with what to add to the salad! Comment below if you've got your own recipe for me to try.

Boil dandelion greens for 2 minutes and add them to the plate with the rest of your veggies! Pan fry them with some beans, tomato and onion for a delicious stir fry.


dandelion greens

So we've got our salad appetizer, stir fry dinner, lime infused iced tea on the side. What about dessert? Dandelion dessert?!

Dandelion Flower Cookies
You only want the yellow part of the flowers for this recipe. Pick the petals off separately if you wish, or pinch the green underneath very tightly and pull just the yellow centre out. Wash the flowers thoroughly.
You'll need 1/2 a cup of dandelion flowers,
1/2 cup of honey,
1/2 cup olive oil,
2 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla
and 1 cup dry oatmeal.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Add the oil and honey to a bowl, blend them and then beat in both eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, the oatmeal, and of course the flowers.
Place evenly on a baking tray into small cookie lumps and bake for 15 minutes - checking at 10 minutes for browning.


dandelion flowers (also ft. gazania)

Alright we're feeling fed and satisfied. What else can we do? A dandelion salve can be effective for chapped lips, rough skin, sore muscles, and some people have even claimed it's had positive effects on their arthritis symptoms.
This might be the best plant, ever.

DIY Dandelion Salve
Pick some flower heads and let them wilt for a few days - laid out flat on a paper towel. This decreases water content to prevent our oil infusion from going slimy.

You'll need a glass jar for this, size is respective of how many flowers you have. You'll also need some olive oil or sunflower oil, and some beeswax.
Fill the jar about half full with dandelion flowers, and cover with oil.

You'll need to sit this jar in a pan of warm water over low heat for several hours, then you are ready to strain it.

100 grams of this oil and 15 grams of beeswax will make a nice salve.
Add them both to a heat proof container, and into a pan of warm water. Slowly bring the temperature up to a low-medium heat until the mixture is melted.

Once melted, carefully remove from our make-shift double boiler and pour into jars to set.

All done!

We're fed and cured and happy.

It's always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding something to your diet, so please consult them before trying any of these. It's also important that you don't forage dandelions from anywhere they may have been treated with a poison. Oh, and don't forget to leave some for the bees! Dandelions are often their first food source after a Winter hibernation.

Do you have any dandelion tricks up your sleeve? I'd love to know! Comment below or tweet me your blog post!

Until next time, happy cooking!

❤ Daynah Rose

2 comments:

  1. Great information on Dandelions. I don't see them as often as I used to and I'm sure our bees aren't very happy about that!

    ReplyDelete