Dandelions are one of the first flowering plants to provide pollen for our honeybees. We don’t pick them until our property is covered with the beautiful yellow jewels. By then there are plenty for the bees and for us. Many people think of the dandelions as ruthless weeds, but they actually are quite useful. The tender green leaves harvested in early spring are often the first fresh greens available to anyone and can be added to salads. The blossoms taste mildly sweet and floral, and the roots in the fall can be roasted to make a healthy tea. We picked the blossoms this time, battered and fried them in coconut oil, then dipped some of them in cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat, and dipped the others in honey mustard for a savory treat. To me, they tasted kind of like fried mushrooms. The kids gobbled them up and then, I am sure, amused their teachers and friends by telling them all the ways you can eat dandelions.
Dandelions are loaded with nutrients. Sunwarrior tells us how good they are for you:
Dandelion is a very rich source of beta-carotene which we convert into vitamin A. This flowering plant is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. It is a good place to get B complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and even vitamin D. Dandelion contains protein too, more than spinach. It has been eaten for thousands of years and used to treat anemia, scurvy, skin problems, blood disorders, and depression. – See more at: 11 health benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions grow all over the world, so chances are, if you don’t use chemicals on your lawn, you will have lots of dandelions in the spring. Don’t confuse them with a similar flower that grows later in the year. Find lots of different ways to use dandelions below the recipe!
Learn more about how to use dandelions from these great links!
How To Harvest Medicinal Roots: Dandelion and Valerian from Homespun Seasonal Living
Useful Weed Dandelion from Homespun Seasonal Living
Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots from Common Sense Homesteading
How To Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies from Common Sense Homesteading
How To Make Dandelion Salve from Montana Homsteader
Make Dandelion Pesto and Save the Goodness for Later from Joybilee Farm
Dandelion Jelly from Green Eggs and Goats
Dandelions: Foraging Them, Eating Them and Keeping Them Out of your Lawns from Yearning and Learning