We made dandelion greens tonight for an early spring dinner, and I thought I would share directions with you. You may have never thought of eating (or drinking as a tea) the leaves of dandelion plants but they are incredibly nutritious. If prepared properly, the leaves also makes a fine tasting dish.
When the old timers made their spring tonics the main ingredient was dandelion. Dandelion is a diuretic and liver stimulant, restoring the system after months of a more sedentary lifestyle during winter weather. Our very spry and alert 94 year-old neighbor Mary told us that eating spring dandelion greens had kept her healthy and strong all these years.
Dandelion greens and roots contain detoxifiers that purge various body poisons associated with constipation, joint inflammation, gout, acne, fluid retention, and urinary disorders. Dandelion root tea is a great liver stimulant and has been used to treat alcoholism. Dandelion stimulates bile flow and aids in fat digestion.
Just one cup raw has 54% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and 188% of your Vitamin K.
Dandelion greens also contain high concentrations of Vitamins D, C, and B, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc, manganese and are one of the richest sources of potassium known to man. Roots are gathered in the fall and prepared like potatoes. The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in tossed salads, though they are a bit bitter. The raw leaves are very alkaline and purify and build the blood, cleanse and regenerate cells.
Directions To Make Dandelion Greens
To serve 4 , you will need:
- ~a big bowl for gathering
- ~ a sharp knife or scissors
- ~ an spray-free yard (with no pets) where dandelions grow
- ~ the leaves of 8-10 big spring dandelions plants, washed and cut to 1 1/2 – 2 “
- ~ 3-4 rounded TBSP virgin coconut oil
- ~ 1-2 big organic onions (we love caramelized onion with this to add natural sweetness)
- ~ your choice of sausage (we used Trader Joe’s Sweet Apple chicken sausage)
- ~4 -12 organic potatoes, depending on size, roasted or steamed in a separate pan
- ~ sea salt, black pepper, or garlic to taste
- ~ Balsamic or organic apple cider vinegar, to taste, drizzled over greens, optional
Double or triple the amount for more people. The leaves wilt like spinach or chard, cooking down quite a lot. I always gather more than I think we’ll need.
Dandelions greens are quite tender and sweeter at this time of year. Gather up the whole plant in your hand and cut 2″ above the ground, or pull if you want the root to make tea for further detoxing.
Wash with Dr. Wood’s Castile Soap or another veggie wash, rinsing several times to remove any remaining grit or unusable leaves.
In a big stainless or cast iron skillet, melt the coconut oil and cut in onion(s). Sauté until the onions get browned edges and toss the greens in the oil to coat and cook tender. Cook the sausage in a separate pan unless fully-cooked. Once you are sure the meat is fully cooked, add it to the skillet and let flavors mix and the sausage brown fully. Use lid to give a final steaming and serve hot with roasted or steamed potatoes.
This is a delicious, relatively inexpensive, healthful and gluten-free meal. I think nutrient-dense foods are more filling and you can eat less. Your body is satisfied.
We will eat variations of this meal several times and make tea until it gets hot and the leaves get bitter and tough. I hope you enjoy eating for life!
Other God-Given Wonders of Dandelions:
~ You can make a dandelion tincture.
~The white sap from the dandelion stem can be used to remove warts (be careful to protect the surrounding skin before application of the corrosive sap). It will require repeated applications to get rid of the wart.
~Dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, which means the “Official Remedy for Disorders.” It is so well respected, in fact, that it appears in the U.S. National Formulatory, and in the Pharmacopeias of Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union. It is one of the top 6 herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest.
~Dandelion can lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half.
* Use dandelion greens with caution if you have gallbladder disease. Never use dandelion if you have an obstructed bile duct or ulcers. Always consult with your doctor before using any herbal remedy.
On dandelions: “If you can’t beat them, eat them.” ~James A. Duke, botanist
Thanks for reading!