The habit of making a heaping plate of dandelion fritters in the spring must be left over from my hippie days in college, but it is truly one of my favorite meals! Get brave in the kitchen and try your hand at making some delicious old-fashioned dandelion fritters from the sunny flower heads and then make up a mess of tender sauteed dandelion greens while you’re at it.
The fritters don’t taste like dandelions at all, and the greens are in the tradition of the original Southern greens you would find seasoned with onions, garlic and bacon.
As one of nature’s wonder plants, dandelions appear in the spring just when most of us are in need of a detox. Surprisingly, they are as pleasantly tasty as most other greens when young.
Dandelion is an excellent liver cleanser and blood
builder, and the herb (fresh or dried) is useful in unloading our bodies of unwanted sluggishness due to built-up toxins.
While dandelion flowers do not have as much nutritive/medicinal value as the leaves or roots, they are still excellent for you (and considered a heart tonic in herbal medicine).
We fry them in virgin coconut oil, and that is so good for you, too! This is one way to enjoy fried food without the downside.
Their mild and slightly bitter flavor is curiously addictive! If your yard is as full of them like ours, collecting is a great beginner job for your very young children as you teach about herbs and foraging.
Dandelion Fritters Recipe
Ingredients (with GF, egg-free, and dairy-free options):
- 60-70 Dandelion flower tops
- 3 eggs, preferably organic and free-range OR (sub one-fourth cup (65 grams) unsweetened applesauce to replace one egg).
- 1 cup organic milk OR (sub coconut milk or almond milk for dairy-free)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. fine organic ground cornmeal (some may ever react to organic cornmeal)
- OR substitute 1 c. Brown Rice flour or your favorite GF mix can be used for a GF alternative)
- Virgin Coconut oil OR the oil of your choice – enough for 1/8-1/4″ in your hot cast iron skillet.
- add optional herbs (see below). I added fresh chives growing in the garden
Dandelion Fritters Directions:
- Gather Dandelion tops during the morning when they have opened up their bright and cheerful faces to the sunshine. Leave 1/4″ of the stem as a handle. Harvest only from a non-chemically treated area.
- Rinse in cool water and pat dry on a paper towel.
- Heat your cast iron skillet and melt coconut oil for frying, just a little deeper than if you were making pancakes.
- For the batter, combine egg, milk, and your flour in a bowl and mix to remove lumps. At this point, if you prefer sweeter fritters, add a little maple syrup or honey, or cinnamon and a tsp. of vanilla extract. For savory fritters, you might add fresh or dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, or even cilantro or parmesan cheese. In addition, we like to use a 1/8 tsp. of cayenne powder for a kick of flavor.
- Prepare a skillet on the stove with coconut oil over medium heat. I prefer my cast iron.
- Holding one of the flowers by the greens at the base, twirl the flower into the batter until covered in batter.
- Place it into the skillet, petals down, and continue until the skillet is full. Brown the first side, then flip over to brown the other side. The stems will collapse nicely until you have mini-dandelion pancakes. We like dandelion fritters crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I keep the fritters warm in the oven to serve the family all at once. When finished, serve hot.
For a sweet treat, drizzle with maple syrup or raw honey over your dandelion fritters. We even add a touch of honey to the savory ones!
Serve dandelion fritters with sausage and sauteed greens for a marvelous old-fashion breakfast.
So if you want a sunny way to start your day, there is fine dining to be freely had from God’s pharmacy right outside your door.
By the way, DIY dandelion tincture is a valuable detoxifying tonic to keep oneself strong and clear-minded when taken for a month every spring.
Our 94 year-old neighbor Mary Guffey told me her secret!
“The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world.” ~Anonymous