Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dandelion Greens

Yeah, you heard right. Dandelion greens.  Now when  you work on your lawn you can kill two birds with one stone because those ubiquitous weeds that plague your lawns are actually very healthy for you.

The whole plant, root, leaves & bloom provide so much nutrition for severe illnesses that are so common in the United States.  On top of that  there's actually a coffee substitute that can be made by roasting the roots. Different people have easier methods of  roasting the roots, I'd recommend looking at several pages.  The pretty yellow blooms have actually been used for fritters.  But for now let's just stick to the leaves.

Here they are in my default greens recipe with onions, garlic & some soy sauce.
Cooked male dandelion greens.
Now I'm not one for bitter flavors but even though dandelions greens are bitter, they're not offensive.  I found them enjoyable enough that I will eat them again.

I've read that they're not bitter if you pick them in the spring before the flower appears & the leaves mature.  I had just learned about them in the late summer so the ones pictured above were picked after the flowers bloomed.

I recommend them.  If bitter flavors don't suit your pallet, I'd try mixing them with other greens first as there really is nothing like eating well for free.

And just a word of caution, if you're going to pick dandelions from somewhere other than your own property, first make sure that they're not sprayed with chemicals (check with the owner).

Now I don't know how true the following is BUT I was told to only eat the male leaves (the ones that look like lion's teeth).  I wasn't told why, so I did some homework on it & this is what I found...
  1. None of the pages I investigated made any reference to leaf genders.
  2. All the pages I investigated only showed male leaves for consuming.
  3. The only pages that showed female leaves were for illustration about dandelions only.  There were no references regarding consuming dandelions.

There's LOTS of information online on the nutritional value & all the medical benefits contained in these weeds.  For something that's so readily available I'd wager that it would be worth your time to google it.