So I have an entire back yard FULL of dandelions. Since I’ve planted my first ever garden back there, I’m not too thrilled with the thought of having to weed dandelions forever. Additionally, I’ll admit, I’m downright embarrassed about the appearance of the backyard and also worried that it means dandelion hell for my neighbors. Seriously, how does one make themselves a target of the Dandelion Invaders? Why doesn’t my yard look like my neighbors? Oh yeah, I forgot. My mom used to tell me “if the grass is greener on the other side, it usually means it’s better cared for.” *grin*
My dilemma is that I don’t want to kill the grass nor do I want to propose a threat to “the girls” who go out there several times a day to relieve themselves. They are smaller dogs and thus close to the ground. Perhaps I’m being overly worrisome about the matter, but I wouldn’t be a good dog-mom if I wasn’t, would I? Anyway, I may have stumbled onto a solution after hours of research, but I’ve got to tell you, I never knew that I could get so much good out of dandelions! I thought that they were just one of those painful curses that God warned Adam and Eve about as he cast them out of the Garden of Eden. Hey, there’s a lot you can do with them. I found all kinds of recipes and tips and just had to share them with you guys!
You can make
One of my Facebook friends even told me about making jelly with them! Who knew!
Here I have an entire yard full of dandelions only to find out that folks are actually PAYING for these in the health food stores! Geesh. Have I been living under a rock or what? Mind you, the greens should be harvested before the flower on the plant blooms or else you’ll have a very bitter taste. As it turns out, the roots of the dandelion can also be eaten like any other root vegetable.. You’ll want to be sure to select the bright, unblemished leaves for your mealtime feast in order to get the best flavor.
Come to find out the Romans, Gauls, Celts all ate dandelion weeds and even used them medicinally to make a tea to heal headaches, relieve stress and tension, etc. Believe it or not the Vitamin A content of a dandelion is greater than that in a carrot with 14,000 IU per 100 grams vs. carrots at 10,000 IU. Who knew they also provide Vitamin C, several B vitamins, as well as minerals such as calcium, copper and iron. You all probably all knew this and just assumed I did, but seriously, my jaw is a droppin’ folks.
Dandelions have actually been proven in trials to enhance the liver function which makes it helpful for jaundice, hepatitis, gall stones and other liver conditions. It also promotes the healthy growth of bacteria in the intestines.Here's an article telling you how to store them:
Here’s a litany of other health benefits for which they’ve been used.
While I’m not a drinker, I hear it makes some pretty dang good wine. Some have even mastered the making of dandelion coffee—a viable solution for those of you who have just got to have the stuff, although it comes without the caffeine hit.
It can be use either fresh or dried (losing about 30 percent of it’s nutritional value), The dried leaves can be stored just like dried herbs and will last easily for a year—longer if you keep it cool and dark. Apparently, the best way to eat dandelion greens is to boil or steam them until just tender and garnish them with butter or lemon juice. The unopened blossoms can also be cooked as a tender vegetable.
Mind you, you can’t use them from areas that have been sprayed with pesticides and such. But otherwise, here in the Northern Hemisphere one shouldn’t have any problem finding them in the spring and summer.
Huh. Who knew? Mind you, I’m not thrilled about them being in my garden, but perhaps I’ll have a different attitude in watching them grow in my back yard in the future.
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