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:
- joint inflammation
- fluid retention
- urinary disorders
Dandelion root tea is a:
- great liver stimulant
- has been used to treat alcoholism
- stimulates bile flow
- 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.
Delicious 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 in the spring.
- Gather up the whole plant in your hand and cut 2″ above the ground, or
- Pull (loosen the soil along the side first) 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.
- Toss the dandelion greens into 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.
- Serve hot with roasted or steamed potatoes.
- Traditionally, it was often served with a dash of homemade vinegar and salt and black pepper.
This is a delicious, inexpensive, healthful and gluten-free meal.
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 the weather gets hot, and the leaves get bitter and tough. I hope you enjoy eating for life!
Other God-Given Wonders of Dandelions:
1. You can make a dandelion tincture.
2. 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.
3. Dandelion can lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half.medicine chest.
4. 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.
Note: 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