Dandelions- More than just Weeds

Dandelions- More than just Weeds

Carol Mund

Show of hands, how many of you have a yard full of dandelions this time of year?  Well, if you don’t treat your yard chemically, you are probably blessed with hundreds of these weeds.  But these perennials are more than just weeds; they’ve long been noted as a resourceful plant for eating because the entire plant can be consumed.  For example, the root can be boiled or stir fried as a vegetable.  Its flowers can be sautéed.  The leaves (greens) can be enjoyed in a salad in its raw state or it can be cooked, like spinach.

Dandelions also have been prized for their medicinal qualities as they are chocked full of vitamins A, K and C.  Well known for their laxative and diuretic properties, the greens help to boost digestion.  They also have been noted to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Some Thoughts:

  • Only used dandelions from clean areas where no pesticides or herbicides may have been sprayed.
  • Pick the leaves before the plant flowers, as they will be tenderer and less bitter.
  • Rinse and dry with paper towel.  Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer for three to four days.

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