Spring Forage: Dandelions
The appearance of dandelions is an unmistakable sign of spring. And even though some people loathe the weed, dandelions have amazing nutrient quality and they’re very versatile in the kitchen.
Every single part of the dandelion can be used – the root, the leaves, and the flower. Dandelion roots can be dug up and eaten boiled or roasted. Additionally, you can grind them up and use them as coffee grounds.
The dandelion leaves are great to use as greens for a salad. But as with many greens, dandelion leaves become bitter if harvested too late in the season. Make sure to pick the leaves early and before any flower buds form.
If the dandelion has already flowered or began budding, pick the flower tops and use those as either decorations or make them into dandelion tea. Dandelion tea is said to aid in digestions and helps with disorders like constipation and diarrhea.
The nutritional value of this common lawn weed may surprise you. One half cup of dandelions contain more calcium than a glass of milk and more iron than spinach. And dandelion leaves contain more beta-carotene than carrots. Also, they’re packed with Vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for bone health.