Yep, those little, tenacious weeds that infuriate the average gardener or lawn keeper are actually a delicious and nutritious food.
As I’m writing this flavor for the day, I am sipping some lovely dandelion root tea and enjoying the earthy, bitter complexity. I’m also enjoying knowing that it is tonifying my liver and supporting my digestive function.
Dandelions are nutritionally amazing and sadly under utilized in the culinary world. All parts of the dandelion are edible which makes them versatile for a variety of uses. Dandelion greens in a salad can bring a refreshing complexity by providing a bitter but still palatable back note. The edible flowers can be a delicious and aesthetically pleasing addition to a salad or plate. The greens and the root can be sautéed, added to sauces, soups, and stews and even blended into pesto.
Medicinally, dandelion is a great overall tonic herb. It is packed with Vitamin A, K and C, as well as, potassium, calcium, iron and other fabulous nutrients. Recent research has demonstrated that the chemical compounds found in the pesky, yet oh so fabulous, dandelion are the perfect cocktail in the fight against cancer induced cell mutation. Its efficacy has been demonstrated in studies with leukemia, colon and stomach cancers.
Dandelion is also antimicrobial and antibacterial. Its diuretic quality helps relieve the body of excess fluid while also toning the liver and kidneys. Research demonstrates that it is as effective as several of the typically prescribed pharmaceutical interventions without the adverse effect of depleting potassium and aggravating the cardiovascular system, which is a common side effect of the pharmaceuticals.
My favorite dandelion uses are in salads, sautés, teas and soups... oh and also to make wishes. (: