Weed Weekly – Dandelions

One of the most often poisoned and frequent weeds found in the United States is Dandelion.
The whole plant is edible and not to mention delicious.

I get very excited to see them bloom in the spring and fall.  My husband and I go out and pick as many as we can find and make some nummy Dandelion fritters. Here’s our recipe:

Wash all flowers and splay them open on a napkin or paper towel to dry them as best as you can.
Dip the flowers in a beaten egg and transfer over to a bowl that contains a mixture of flour, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Once the flowers have a nice coating of the flour mixture on them (sometimes you need to redip them) place them in a skillet of pre-heated olive oil.
Fry the fritters for about 5 minutes on medium high or until light or golden brown.
Remove the fritters carefully with either tongs or a spatula and transfer over to a plate with a napkin to soak up any excess oil.
Allow to cool and then enjoy!

As many of you may know, dandelions close up late in the day and open with the first rays of the sun.  The best time to harvest them is during midday.  They taste a bit like spinach and are a great colorful addition to a salad.

The leaves are also edible.  They are very bitter though due to the presence of bitter glycosides and tannins.  It helps to cut the tips of as they are the most bitter.  The bitter flavor can be boiled out.  If you intend to make tea, boil the leaves for 5 minutes and then change the water and let it brew for 10 minutes. I often intake them in gel capsules because they are a great for the kidneys (diuretic).  They are also rich in vitamin A.

The roots can be dug up in the second year and dried to use for tea. It is best to boil the roots for 20 minutes using 2 changes of water.  The tea can then be drunk and the roots can be eaten with butter or sauteed in butter.

The roots, flower and leaves are all good for the kidneys and contain  potassium, calcium, and lecithin, with iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and proteins.  They are also loaded with carotenoids, choline, vitamins A, D, C and several B vitamins.

 

So next time you see those dreaded dandelions, and before you pull out the poison,  why not eat them instead?

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