Can you eat dandelions?
This may or may not be a question that you’ve asked yourself before. Yet, if you are trying to live a healthier, more self-sustained, or natural lifestyle, then you might want to ask this question.
Since these little flowers seem to pop up everywhere, wouldn’t it be great if they were actually an edible weed that could provide lots of nutrients for your body and it wouldn’t cost you a thing?
Well, that is what I’d like to share with you. You can live a more informed life and hopefully, make some healthier and more self-sustaining decisions along the way.
Here is what you need to know about eating dandelions:
In case you didn’t know, there are some weeds that grow in your yard that is edible. Dandelions happen to be one of those weeds.
But what makes dandelions so unique is that the entire plant (from root to flowers) are edible and good for you.
Yet, you might be wondering how good they are for you? There are lots of things in this world that are edible, but they still don’t provide many nutrients.
Well, dandelions are not one of those plants. They pack a ton of nutrients that our bodies need.
First, dandelions are really high in vitamin K. This is the vitamin that helps our blood to clot. So if you are on blood-thinning medicine, then you definitely need to talk to your doctor prior to consuming dandelions.
Second, dandelions contain a lot of vitamin C, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, and iron which supports healthy red blood cells.
Then dandelions also bring a lot of potassium to the table. This is a nutrient that helps our bodies regulate both heartbeat and blood pressure.
Also, dandelions offer manganese, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.
Finally, dandelions also help boost our immune systems, balance out blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and they can also soothe digestive issues.
So the next time you see those little yellow flowers pop up in your yard, remember how many good things they can bring to your body.
How You Can Use Dandelions
After realizing all of the health benefits that dandelions can offer you, you may be wondering how you can consume dandelions to get the benefits.
Well, it is actually quite simple. The whole dandelion flower from root to blossom can be consumed raw or cooked.
Actually, the dandelion will not lose any vitamins or nutrients even when cooked. So whether you consume it raw or cooked, you’ll get the same benefits. Not many foods in the world can claim that.
But I’m actually going to break down how you can use each part of the plant so you’ll have a better idea of what to do with a dandelion if you decide to eat it.
The root of the dandelion plant is usually dried out and roasted. Some people actually used dried dandelion root as a healthier coffee substitute.
Or, you could use this dried root in any recipe in the place of other root vegetables. It could be a healthier and more frugal alternative when cooking.
The flowers are obviously the yellow part of the dandelion. They are known to be the least bitter part of the plant. They actually have a sweeter more crunchy flavor.
Now, these can be used to make dandelion wine, or they can be eaten raw. But some people will actually bread them and deep fry them, sort of like you would a pickle.
The Dandelion Leaves:
The smaller leaves are said to have a less bitter flavor. Though the larger leaves are more bitter some people actually prefer to use them in a salad for a little extra flavor.
But you can also steam the leaves and add them to a soup for a different flavor, or you could add them to a stir-fry as well.
Probably one of the most famous ways to eat dandelions is to use the stems and use them as dandelion greens. You fix them like you do most any other greens by blanching them for a few minutes and then cooking them in bacon grease.
So as you can tell, dandelions are extremely versatile and can be used in a lot of different ways.
How You Can Store Dandelions
Dandelions can be stored like you would most any other herb. You will wash them in cool water to make sure that there are no bugs or dirt left on them.
Then you’ll wrap them in a damp paper towel. You can then place them inside an open plastic baggy and place them in your fridge where they should last for around 3-4 days.
Storing your dandelions isn’t a difficult task. And now you know how you can utilize your weeds instead of battling them all summer long.
How You Can Grow Dandelions
One of the most common questions about eating dandelions is where do I find them?
Well, you can pick them out of your front yard if you desire. Just remember you are taking the same chance that you are when you forage for any of your food. If the food has been contaminated in any way you will most likely get sick.
So if you do decide to forage for your own dandelions, try to pick the flowers that have not turned yellow, are not wilted or limp, and do not have the larger woody looking stems. Those are either old or diseased, and you are upping your chances of falling ill.
But what if you want the health benefits of eating dandelions, but you are turned off by the idea of foraging for them?
Well, you don’t have to give up on the idea of eating dandelions. Instead, you can grow your own. It may sound kind of odd to grow your own weeds, but if you plan on consuming them it might actually be a wise idea.
Here is how you grow your own dandelions:
1. Form Your Set-Up
You’ll want to begin by gathering a medium to large sized pot. Then fill it with quality dirt and compost. Remember, the better the quality of what you plant it in, usually the better your plants turn out. It is their source of nutrition.
So when you feel like you have your soil at a good quality level, then you’ll need to plant the dandelion seeds. You can buy those here. When you have your set-up ready, then move on to the next step.
2. Plant Your Seeds
When your set-up is complete, it is time to plant. You’ll do this by pulling back some of the soil in the pots.
Then you’ll sprinkle the dandelion seeds where the dirt has been pulled back. Next, you’ll cover the seeds.
Finally, you’ll need to water the seeds thoroughly after planting.
3. Wait for Production
Once you have planted your seeds and watered them, you simply need to wait. You can grow dandelions indoors so you’ll want to place them in a sunny window to make sure they get what they need as far as that goes.
Then you just wait until the dandelions are fully grown. If you feel like your dandelions are growing poorly make sure that you are not overwatering them. A good reference for water is when the top soil is completely dry then you know they need to be watered.
But if you aren’t overwatering, then you’ll want to make sure that the dandelions aren’t too crowded. They don’t need a ton of space to grow, but if you feel like this is an issue, then be sure to thin them out.
4. Pick and Repeat
After your dandelions are full grown, then you pick them like you would any wildflower out in your yard. Be sure to pull gently so you don’t damage the roots of any other flowers in the same pot.
But remember, you want to be sure that you pick the dandelions when the flowers are still small and not completely yellow.
Also, make sure you don’t eat the dandelions that have gone limp or have wilted. Nor do you want to eat the dandelions that have woody stems. This is something you should use as a reference when picking dandelions.
Make sure that you pick them when they are young and still tender. And that is all there is to growing your own dandelions.
Then you’ll just repeat the same growing process again and again.
A Few Dandelion Recipes
If you are eager to get started on utilizing the dandelions you have at your disposal, then you might want a few recipes to get you going in the right direction. Here are a few dandelion recipes to help you along the way:
1. Dandelion Jelly
This jelly is what originally peaked my interest about dandelions. It has a unique yellow color and is said to taste identical to honey.
So if you’d like to create a sweet jelly for very little money, then you’ll definitely want to consider this dandelion jelly.
2. Dandelion Bread
When your yard begins to take on a yellow glow you probably know that the dandelions are popping up for the year.
Well, don’t rid your yard of them. Instead, make this delicious bread. It requires only a few basic ingredients and looks delicious.
3. Dandelion Pesto
Do you love adding pesto to your sandwiches and other flavorful dishes? If so, then you need to consider this recipe.
Not only does it make a delicious pesto, but it is also inexpensive to make as well. Go ahead and enjoy it!
4. Dandelion Fritters
I had mentioned earlier how some people will take the blooms from the dandelion, bread them, and then deep fry them.
Well, this is a recipe that will help you to do that. If you think it looks delicious then give it a try.
Well, now you know that DANDELIONS ARE EDIBLE! That is great news, right?
And even better news is that they are super healthy for you and can be cooked into a bunch of different delicious recipes.
But I want to know, do you regularly consume dandelions? What is your favorite way to eat them? What health benefits have you gained from doing so?
We love hearing from you so leave us your thoughts in the comment box below.