What To Do With Dandelions

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

 

One of the most overlooked wild greens.  People spend thousands each year, killing these plants from their lawns and they should be eating it.  You can eat every part of this plant, raw or cooked.  The leaves make great salads, can be cooked like many other greens.  The flowers can be eaten, made into jelly or wine.  The roots can be eaten raw or cooked and even dried for a healthy tea.

 

  This plant is a diuretic and should be treated as such; do not eat it every day.  It is an excellent detoxifier and can even aid with poor digestion.

 

 

 

              I like to make it into syrup for soda myself:

Dandelion syrup

Gather about two quarts of fresh dandelion flowers, you will now want to clean them and get as much of the yellow parts off as you can. The yellow stuff is what you are keeping to make this syrup.

Next, you will need a good cooking pot with a lid that can hold at least four quarts. 

Add 2 quarts of water covering the flower heads and bring to a roiling boil for at least two minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.

 

Once cooled, it is time to add more ingredients.

You will now add the sweet part, so I will give you some choices here:  You can either use 3 cups of organic sugar or 1 and Ĺ cups of fresh honey, with two cups of water added. 

I add about a half cup of lemon juice or orange juice; at this point, you can use fresh or frozen.

Now we are going to bring the whole thing to a boil again.

Now remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for two to three days now strain off the flowers.

Add by the spoonful to cold seltzer water or over ice, and you have one fantastic soda that does the body good!

You will need to refrigerate this after it has sat for two days.

 

 

Dandelion Jelly

Ingredients

 

3 cups of dandelion heads

3 cups of water

1 tbsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans split

Lemon cut into 3-4 thick pieces

1 teaspoon cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks.

 

Directions

 

1. Bring to a rolling boil, and simmer 30 minutes.

 

2. Turn off, and allow to steep 6 hours, or overnight.

 

3. Strain (using a cheesecloth set in a strainer, over a bowl) until no more liquid is dripping out. I also squeezed any extra out by hand.

4. Return liquid only to the pan, add 4 cups of sugar, and simmer at a low rolling boil for 2-3 hours. Stir ever 20-30 minutes to prevent burning to the bottom.

5. Sterilize jars, and rims, and pour hot jelly into hot jars. Secure lid, and youíre done.

 

6. Store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

 

Fritters

I love making dandelion fritters in the early spring, itís like eating sunshine.

So hereís what you will need.

 

Gather a couple of cups of fresh dandelion flowers lightly wash and allow to dry before using.

You will need one large fresh egg

A cup of milk, yes, any milk, cow, sheep, goat, almond, or any plant based milk.

1 cup of almost any flour or flour blend

 

Now you will need a bowl, a cooking pan and some oil to cook in.  You can use olive oil; just make sure you are really using olive oil. I use Terra Delyssa olive oil. 

 

Now is the easy part, mix the egg in the milk, add the flour, now stir the mix till it is well blended.   

Now back to the pan, I use a cast iron skillet, over med high heat on my 1938 General Electric Westinghouse Electric cook stove, so you might have to play around with the heat on a more modern stove.

Now itís going to get messy, you are going to dip each flower head in the batter mix and put them flower face down in your hot oil in your pan.  Let them sit until the edges turn a little golden brown.  Now flip them over and cook just a little longer till the color is almost even.  Then remover from the oil and drain on a drain board to remove excess oil.

                                                                            

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