Weeds, what weeds?

Well Spring has sprung! Bringing lots of goodies with it! Now, I know a lot of people who read this blog live in an urban setting, rather than out in the woods like myself. Well, today I thought I would talk about something that EVERYONE has access too, is one of the most versatile plants, and you probably had no idea you could eat it!

What is it? Well, Dandelions! I bet you have gone into your yard and seen them scattered about, and mostly just tried to get rid of them. But this year, why not try harvesting them!

Fresh Picked Dandelion. Check out those roots!
Dandelions, or Lion's Tooth, can be used in hundreds of recipes, and you can use every bit of the plant. Roots, Leaves, and flowers.
Dandelion leaves can be eaten raw, but are usually very bitter. If you ask people who frequently eat raw dandelions as a salad, they usually coat them with oils, bacon, or vinegar to delute the bitterness.
You can cook them up like spinach as well, but you will have to “boil the bitter out” first.

Coffee in the morning? Try this instead! You can dig up roots of the dandelion, chop it up, roast it, and make a fantastic alternative for coffee beans. You get a simlar coffee taste without the caffeine, and with a lot of great nutrients. For a more in depth, step-by-step process of this, check out this great video!
Dandelion Fritter
You can also seep the roots which make for a very nice tea!

Dandelion flowers are also great in the kitchen! You can eat them raw, sprinkling the petals onto your salad. You can also fry them up in a nice batter and have Dandelion Fritters!

If you have patience, and time, you can use the flowers to make a Dandelion Wine. This is about a 6 month process, but is well worth it in the end!

While I was searching for recipes, I discovered a lot of health benefits from dandelions. They have been used for hundreds of years in Europe and China for medicinal purposes. Check this out:

“It helps to make the gall bladder normal. It is a diuretic. It can purify the bloodstream and liver. It can abate the amounts of serum cholesterol and uric acid. It can heighten the work of the kidneys, pancreas & spleen. It is very helpful to menopausal women. It is useful to treat abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, hemorrhoids, gout, rheumatism, eczema, and cirrhosis of the liver. It has a beneficial effect upon the nervous system. Helps with indigestion. It has a beneficial effect on bladder stones. It is effective for urinary tract infections.”

Now, I’m not saying it’s a cure-all plant, but the vitimans alone are definately good for you. If you do decide to use it for medicinal reasons, I would suggest talking to a doctor first if you are on medications, just in case. And like all other foods, try a little first, and make sure you do not have a reaction to it.

Who knew that this little weed could be put to so many uses!
So get out in the yard and start digging! And until next time, happy hunting!

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