Would you believe that, when we lived in southern California, I rarely saw a Dandelion? We lived in such a pesticide-laden area that whenever we did see a Dandelion, we would cheer it on and congratulate it for blooming. Our area was so manicured that “weeds” were a rare sight. Many communities are now seeing the incredible value offered to us by the Dandelion and are encouraging people to let them grow, which is great because they tend to grow where they are most needed. I’m hoping this mindset keeps spreading because we still have a long way to go to improve our collective mindset toward this plant (and others that are considered weeds). Dandelions are helpful for us in many ways, but they are also a very important first food for the bees and we all need to be doing our part to help our bees. So, I challenge you to let your Dandelions grow.
Did you know?
In other countries, Dandelions are purposely planted in protected areas of the garden because they are so valued!
Every part of the Dandelion plant is edible and useful for medicine. The roots and leaves are used as digestive bitters to help stimulate digestive enzymes and improve digestion. They are both mineral rich and the roots also contain inulin, an important prebiotic substance that helps feed our beneficial gut flora. The leaves are diuretic. The flower heads are also rich in vitamins and have been used as an analgesic (pain reliever) and, overall, the plant has been traditionally used for all kinds of skin and digestive system complaints. Today we’re going to focus on the flowers.
Note: When you’re harvesting Dandelions, make sure you’re harvesting them from a clean area where they haven’t been sprayed.
7 Things to Make with Dandelion Flower heads
Infused Carrier Oil and salves, creams, etc.
Allow the flower heads to wilt in a shady area for at least a couple of hours (up to a day or two) before infusing to allow some of the moisture to evaporate from the flowers. Fill 2/3 of a jar with the flower heads, then pour your carrier oil of choice over them until they’re covered by about an inch or so of oil. Allow the oil to infuse for 4-6 weeks, then strain out the flowers heads. This infused carrier oil can be incorporated into massage oils and other oil-based blends (salves, creams, balms, etc.) for skin complaints/inflammation and pain.
Dandelion vinegar is wonderful in homemade vinaigrette recipes. You can also infuse it in raw apple cider vinegar and use it alone as a drinking vinegar, in herbal shrubs, or as a mild, pre-dinner digestive stimulant. Give it a try!
Dandelion flowers can be coated in batter and skillet-fried or baked to make tasty little fritters! They’re crispy and yummy and oh so good.
Spread it on some sourdough toast with some dried Dandelion petals (florets) for a flavorful treat.
Dandelion flower syrup makes a tasty addition to your breakfast pastry or pancakes and can also be used to flavor drinks and drizzled on shortbread cookies.
Dandelion cookies / pancakes
The petals of the flowers can be added to your baking mix when you’re making cookies or pancakes. They’ll contribute a bit of color to the recipe and can also be used to decorate the tops!
Dandelion biscuit butter
Use a butter spreader to fold Dandelion flower petals (florets) into some room temperature butter, then stir in just a bit of raw honey. Store the butter in the fridge and use it on your biscuits!
Do you have a favorite Dandelion recipe? Tell me about it in the comments section below!