dandelions

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Dandelion Root Coffee

By |June 11th, 2012|

dandelion coffee

  1. Find dandelions which should be easy. The best plants are at least two years old because big roots are the best. Autumn is a good time to harvest as they have been storing nutrition in the roots all summer.
  2. Dig up dandelion roots using a narrow trowel or you can use a shovel to loosen the roots. If there is not enough in your lawn, go to a country place where weed killers are not used. Best not to go to city parks as they often do use weed killers.
  3. Soak the roots in water to loosen the soil. […]

Dandelion Flower Syrup

By |June 3rd, 2012|

This is a great treat from your weeds and it is so easy to make.

Pick your dandelions before mowing the lawn or digging them up for dandelion coffee. Or go out into the country and pick them in the wild away from pollution. Never use ones that have been sprayed with weed killer. My hands get all yellow from the picking.

Dandelion Flower Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup of dandelion flowers
1 cup water
1 cup honey
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Wash the flowers and spin dry them like you would lettuce.
  2. Cut their base to detach the yellow petals from the green leaves; you only want the petals as the green part is bitter. You can do this by hand but it is faster with a knife.
  3. Place the flowers in a pot with 1 cup of water; I use filter water.
  4. Mix well until all petals are covered.
  5. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Then simmer on very low heat for 25 minutes.*
  7. Strain the liquid from the flowers into a second pot.
  8. Add honey and stir till melted.
  9. Now mix in lemon juice.
  10. Let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator; the honey acts as a preservative.

* OR Out in a jar and put in the fridge overnight to steep like tea, bringing the flavours out of the flowers.

Make Dandelion Flower Cordial for a refreshing beverage.

Check out Dandelion Flower Cornmeal Pancakes

When we see dandelions in the spring it is time for a Spring Cleanse

Cooking With Wild Plants

By |July 30th, 2011|

cooking by barockschloss at flickr

When the weather get  warm I get excited about picking wild greens (also known as Weeds) and wild berries as saskatoons are my favorite berry.

All of my life I have eaten wild plants. My father would bring in dandelion greens and boil them up for us. (sometimes it was out of necessity as there simply was no food in the cupboards).

Benefits of  eating wild plants:
•     Full of more nutrition than the same plant grown domesticated.
•     Are fresher than store bought as vegetables and fruits are shipped long distances to market, sit on shelves, losing flavour and nutrition. […]

Dandelion Flower Cornmeal Pancakes

By |June 3rd, 2011|

This recipe really is my version of pancakes as you will notice that it has no milk or eggs in it.  I developed it when I was unable to eat eggs or milk at all due to food sensitivities.  Interestingly whenever I make these pancakes no one seems to notice the lack of these two ingredients.

This is perhaps one of the only recipes that have wheat flour in it at this moment. I apologise if this doesn’t work with you. I am working on a wheatless version.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup Soft White Whole wheat flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour or soy flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cups water
1/4 cups dandelion syrup
1/2 cup dandelion flowers (yellow part only)
Almond oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients.
  3. Pour water into the center.
  4. Mix together with a large wooden spoon.
  5. Mix only until moistened – taking care not to over mix (small lumps are normal).
  6. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the batter into a hot oiled frying pan.
  7. Fry on medium heat.
  8. Turn when bubbles form on top and brown the other side.
  9. Serve with dandelion syrup.

Other recipes with dandelion flowers:

Dandelion Syrup

Dandelion Flower Cordial

The Man who Tried to Eat Canada Thistle

By |July 11th, 2010|

Randy Does It Again

randy holding mouth small


I have had various experiences with the wild plants in my yard and garden. Some of them are pleasant experiences, and some of them are not.  This story falls into the second category.


During our recent set of interviews with Health Tribe Forum, Diana was talking with Stephen Buhner, a world plant expert. He explained that THISTLES are actually quite good for your health. He also explained in the same breath, that Chickweed (or Lamb’s Quarters) is just wild spinach. 


It happens that Chickweed and Canada thistle are some of the healthiest plants in my garden.  I like eating chick weed so was very interested in the thistle idea. I was intensely curious whether you could actually take away the prickles. I couldn’t imagine how this could happen.  Visions of millions of happy Canadians feasting on enormous salad bowls of this prickly plant filled my mind. I wanted to ask about Canada Thistle in particular but didn’t want to interrupt. Perhaps I should have.


I had also heard that you can either cook or blend thistles.  Blending is easier so that is what I tried. I pulled out several young plants (because that is what you are supposed to do) and just threw them in water and blended.


Amazing – the prickles were gone.  I could not feel them with my fingers in the blender or the few cautious drops in my mouth.


But the SMELL! It started drifting up even when I first started blending and got even stronger as I went along. Imagine blending up someone else’s smelly socks knowing you were going to eat the mixture! How does your body feel as you imagine this?  This is how my body feels several hours after I tried this.

bad smell food

The taste was not AS bad. It didn’t have a lot of taste to begin with but the aftertaste closely resembles the smell. BAD!  I did not throw up but was well on my way!


OK so I’ve learned I can’t eat Canada thistle like this.  But what was Stephen talking about? I will certainly ask him and do some research but perhaps you, as a member of the Health Tribe Forum or Real Food for Life, can help me?  Please leave your comments below. (You can even comment on how dumb I have been.)


This is what the Health Tribe Forum is all about – combining our own direct experience and inner intelligence with the knowledge gleaned by mankind over the ages and combining it with modern scientific understanding.


Questions that come up in my mind:

  • Does my reaction mean Canada thistle is not good for me, ever?
  • Would cooking or blending with something else balance this effect?  Maybe if the thistles were fried in butter and onions and a dash of salt!
  • Is there some particular compound in Canada thistle which causes this kind of reaction?

What do you think?

Good Weed…Bad Weed

By |August 15th, 2009|

lambs-quarters-small-3 I’ve had an on /off  relationship with weeds recently (see Dandelion Madness) and now I’m at it again.

My attention has now gone to yet another weed called Lamb’s Quarters.

This one’s not so pesky to your lawn and it tastes much better.   Actually it tastes almost exactly like spinach – particularly when cooked – and again, it has all kinds of nutritional value and … it’s free.

You can also call it Fat Hen, Nickel Greens, pig weed, dung weed or White Goosefoot.  Some of these names I also don’t love.

Benefits and Facts about Lamb’s Quarters

  • If allowed to mature, Lamb’s Quarters produces a head of thousands of black tiny seeds.
  • Seeds are highly nutritious since it’s species is closely related to the superfood, Quinoa
  • It has been eaten,  perhaps unknowingly,  since the iron age.
  • One cup raw leaves contianes 11,600 IU of Vitamin A
  • Also high in Vit C, phosphorus, Calcium, Riboblavin and Iron.

It now grows wild in North America – and probably most people unknowingly just pull it out of the garden. You can recognize the plant when young because the center of the top is feathery looking with a purple tint. The picture is of a younger plant.

Caution: 
Like every food and plant – there is no PERFECT food that is 100%  good. There is always some small (or big) aspect that is not good for the body. 

That is why it is best to eat a large variety of foods and to know how to combine and prepare foods properly so that that negative effect is reduced.

Greens have such high levels of so many nutrients that it is not surprising that this particular green has its own particular problem .  This means you shouldn’t eat TOO much of it.  This is not likely considering how little people eat weeds but just so you know – it has high levels of oxalic acids in it.  Oxalic acid can bind with other minerals in the body causing mineral depletion and in its worse case – kidney stones.  Many foods contain this ingredient so if you are even relatively healthy there is not cause for concern.

A few raw cups of this thrown in your salad therefor is no problem – or even if you ate several cups cooked but if you were using it a lot over a long period of time than be aware.  If suddenly you are NOT attracted to eating it –  follow that advise from your body and take a vacation.  I personally liked it best when the plants were just big enough to have a head of green seeds. Seeds contain all the vitality of the whole plant.  When green and steamed they have a very delicate flavor. When they start to get brown they have a much stronger taste.

The season is getting along but I encourage you to find some young plants and try it out.  You may like it ……..and of course its free!

canadian-thisle-smallCanadian Thistle

Another weed grows in my garden  in my garden even better than Lamb’s Quarters.  I won’t mention its many nutritional qualities now.

No this is really just a rant.

This name ‘Canadian Thistle’ is even more inappropriate than the previous weed. There is NOTHING Canadian about this weed. Canadians are polite and friendly and always saying ‘sorry’ and ‘eh’.

This weed doesn’t say anything even when it pricks you with its MILLIONS of prickles and overruns your garden. It can also be called the creeping thistle.

I am told that you can […]