A Dandy "Dandelion" Meal
1st picture: dandelion 2nd picture: dandelion fritters cooking 3rd picture: roasted dandelion coffee 4th picture: a beautiful dandelion meal
Would you like to know more about the versatile ways to use dandelions in your backyard? Welcome to my kitchen as I get creative in a video creating a meal out of dandelion that is chock full of nutrients, liver and blood purifying, fun, and delicious! Who ever said "weeds" can't be beautiful??
The dandelion has so much to offer us! It's rich in nutrients and has more nutrition than most cultivated greens, like kale or spinach. The leaves offer us diuretic properties and aid the liver and kidneys. The root is a hepatic and liver and blood cleanser and has been used for centuries as a highly regarded medicinal herb. The whole plant helps to prevent toxic stagnation in our bodies and keeps body fluids flowing properly. The flowers have many of the medicinal benefits of the root and leaves and also offers us a high amount of antioxidants and polyphenols. Consuming foods rich in polyphenols, such as dandelion, can be used as an important aid in the prevention of degenerative
diseases, particularly cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases and cancer. Remember too from my last post, "Spring Wild Edibles" that dandelion also has potent anti-viral properties...which we can use more of right now. To see the studies view that specific blog article.
Dandelion is a bitter herb. Herbs that have bitter properties help to stimulate digestion. They also help to stimulate the liver and pancreas to assist with the digestive process. Bitter herbs have a sharp, aromatic, pungent taste and smell. When a bitter herb touches the tongue, our digestive system is stimulated to start secreting digestive juices. Bitter herbs also act as a prokinetic and stimulate the smooth muscle of the stomach to increase the rate of stomach emptying, which also helps to prevent vomiting and excess belching. These types of herbs assist the migrating motor complex in the gastointestinal system to serve as a "housekeeping" role and sweep residual undigested material through the digestive tube, making bitter herbs a very helpful aid in those dealing with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Bitter herbs also help to promote health bowel activity and regularity, preventing constipation.
Eating a wide array of wild foods and/or wide array of fruits and vegetables helps to inoculate our digestive system with billions of friendly flora, which supports our immune system and aids in our overall health. Eating a wide array of these foods gives us a plethora of different healthy flora (prebiotics and probiotics) and creates a stronger and more diverse microbiome.
Incorporating dandelion and other edible wild foods and herbs in our diet can help us achieve a microbiome that has a wide population of diverse friendly bacteria.
Please remember the following important information before gathering wild food or foraging guidelines:
Always make sure you are gathering from an area that has not been sprayed or treated with pesticides...including your yard! If you are gathering from other places besides your yard, remember that plants can absorb and accumulate toxins, including heavy metals, which means that contaminated plants can have higher levels of toxins than the surrounding soil. Always harvest at least 30 feet from the road (and only harvest near smaller, less-traveled byways).
Please make sure you are not harvesting in an area with environmental toxicity or herbicides and pesticides. Some fields, including hay fields that appear to be untended can be sprayed with herbicides. Avoid the foundations of buildings, because these are often sprayed with pesticides and may be contaminated with lead paint scrapings (near older homes). Railroads and power lines are typically sprayed heavily with herbicides. If a river is polluted, then the floodplain and the plants growing in it are likely to be polluted as well.
1 cup gluten free flour or flour of your choice (I've used chickpea and tiger nut flour which both turned out delicious)
1 1/8 cup cup nut milk or milk of your choice
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup washed dandelion flowers
1 TBSP dried herbs of your choice (I like oregano, basil, and garlic or an Italian seasoning works great)
Ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, or healthy fat of your choice to fry fritters
salt and pepper to taste
*If you want a sweet fritter, omit the dried herbs, salt, and pepper, and add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 cardamom and 1 TBSP Monk Fruit Sweetener
Mix all ingredients for batter together and dip dandelion flowers in batter, fry in fat of your choice until lightly browned
Roasted Dandelion Tea or Coffee Substitute
Wash your dandelion root well, chop, and dry, either in a dehydrator at 95 degrees F or on a screen in a room with good airflow. When roots are dried, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and bake at 200 degrees F for 30 minutes, then grind in coffee grinder or food processor, then bake at 180-200 F for 5-10 minutes on parchment paper lined cookie sheet to finish.
Take 6-7 TBSP of dried dandelion ground roots and either lightly boil in 2 cups of water for 5-10 minutes or pour 2 cups of just boiled water over grounds and let steep for 35-40 minutes. Strain and compost herbs. May add milk and honey if desired.
Sauteed Dandelion Greens
Wash dandelion greens well and give them a rough chop. Saute in ghee, coconut oil or avocado oil until tender and vivid green. Also, I saute several minced garlic cloves before adding the dandelion greens to saute pan for extra anti-microbial properties and taste.
Wash and chop fresh dandelion greens and place on a salad plate alone or with other greens if you wish. Make a salad dressing from infused herbal vinegar, olive oil, dried herbs, pinch of Monk Fruit Sweetener or Coconut Aminos, and salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Update:Creating a Dandelion Meal (Video)