Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Free For All >> Dandelions Everywhere...
They are everywhere! Cropping up in lawns, weeds to be eliminated RIGHT? Well, actually you can cook up the leaves, eat the flowers and even use the roots...They are quite nutritious.

Dandelions are a great dietary source of calcium, vitamins A and K, plus the antioxidant lutein, which is important for healthy vision. Dandelions are natural diuretics and detoxifiers.

Traditionally, dandelion leaves are eaten as a spring tonic, to gently cleanse the body with the change of seasons, but they are also edible in summer and fall.

Dandelion Recipes
The first rule of thumb when foraging for anything wild is to take the utmost care to ensuring that the plant is free from pesticides and chemicals. As dandelions are considered an evil scourge by those who know no better, steps are often utilized early on to eradicate them via weedkillers. Harvest dandelions only from those areas that you know to be free from any chemical toxicity.

As well, the milk contained within the stem is very bitter, so be sure when picking the flowers to snip them above the stem. Rinse the flowers thoroughly before using in any recipe.

When to Gather Dandelions
Opinions vary, but mid to late afternoon is best, as is collecting on sunny days when possible, which produces a drier, fluffier flower. Pick only blooms in their golden yellow prime - small buds will make the end result more bitter. Eschew the dried, fluffy white heads. Remember - the entire plant can be used for other medicinal tinctures and teas.

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