There are many dandelion recipes available to help you get the most out of this nutritious spring green. While dandelions are ubiquitous in yards and gardens, they are often under appreciated and under used.
If your yard is like mine, you’ve got a carpet of yellow flowers popping up every where now. If you are little further south, you’ve already seen this flush of nutrition that “roars” loudly as soon as the cold recedes. Before you grab the weed spray (which is entirely ineffective anyway), listen to what dandelions are saying in their annual display.
Dandelion greens are the first to show up in early spring, even before the flowers. The greens are only slightly bitter before the flowers open. These are perfect for spring salads. They are high in minerals, especially potassium, that fire up sluggish digestion, move fluid, and get things back in shape for summer growth.
You can take advantage of these tender greens by harvesting dandelion greens for salad. Use them raw in dandelion leaf pesto or add them to white balsamic vinegar to make a mineral rich salad dressing.
The bold yellow flowers are the dandelion parts that most people think of. Even these are rich in healing benefits. The bees know this and forage dandelion nectar and pollen in early spring to feed their growing brood cells.Dandelion pollen is protein for growing bees. Pollen is also used medicinally by bees to control pests and fungus.
Dandelions on the table:
Dandelions have a lightly bitter flavor before the flowers open, that intensifies in bitterness as the season progresses. Take advantage of the nutritive benefits of dandelions, and their tonic action, using some of these different and varied dandelion recipes. These dandelion recipes cover a wide range of tastes, dishes, and courses so you can find something that fits with your family’s tastes, needs, and schedule.
Savory Dandelion recipes:
While basil pesto is ubiquitous, and interesting variation is to try Dandelion leaf pesto. It won’t be the same as basil, basil isn’t ready when dandelion greens are. But the garlic, and spices add greatly to the value of this easy to make dish.
Sweet dandelion recipes
If your family likes jelly, this Dandelion gelatin recipe is a great option. It gives the benefits of dandelion flowers, and is a beautiful light yellow to orange color without added artificial colors. This is also a great option for when little ones aren’t feeling well, and you need to encourage them to have liquids.
This Dandelion candy is another great sweet option. It also contains ginger and turmeric, adding even more benefits into a sweet package. This candy can double as a temporary cough drop to soothe tickles in your throat too.
Topical dandelion recipes
These Dandelion Bath Bombs are great for soothing and relaxing in the tub. Follow the basic directions for bath bombs, and enjoy adding flowers and flower petals. You can also add some lavender blossoms to add more color and interest. Make sure to use a drain catch in your tub to prevent the petals from sneaking down the drain though.
Based on lotion bars and using dandelion infused oil these Dandelion Lotion Bars are great for sore muscles. Enjoy the topical use of this wild flower, and the relaxing benefit of a lotion bar based massage to help your muscles relax.
This is another topical dandelion recipe. Dandelion Magnesium Lotion combines the benefits of dandelions with magnesium so you get a double benefit when using this lotion.
These flowers also have medicinal benefits for us. You can use them in tea, in wine or mead, or just eat them.
The root is used as a coffee substitute and also as a treatment for cancer. You can read more about those scientific studies here.
Dandelion roots support the liver, one of the body’s main vehicles of detoxification. So drinking dandelion root tea may help the body heal itself.
I make a whole dandelion tincture to use for upset stomach, bloating, and that feeling of fatigue and sluggishness. To make it take flowering dandelion plants, including the root. Wash them well to remove any dirt and debris. Chop them up into small pieces and place them in a wide mouth quart jar. Cover completely with brandy or another edible alcohol It’s important that the plant material remain under the surface of the alcohol. Cap the jar tightly. Shake daily for 30 days.
Stain the herb out of the alcohol and discard. Pour the alcohol into a colored glass bottle to protect the tincture from light.
To use take 1 teaspoon with water up. Dandelion is generally considered safe, but if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription medication speak to your health professional before taking dandelion in medicinal doses. Food use is safe.
Dandelion is anti-inflammatory and analgesic and its useful for joint pain and swelling, muscle aches from over exertion, bruises, and sore backs. To make a salve be sure to fully dry the dandelions before making infused oil with them. The high protein content of dandelion flowers can create some noxious smells when they are used fresh.
Dandelions are excellent medicinal herbs. In fact it’s because of their reputation for healing that they are now all over the world. People carried them from their homes when they migrated over the oceans. They didn’t want to live without these healing flowers.
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