Dandelion Madness is happening! Every morning, particularly in the spring, you can catch me scampering around my front lawn in my bare feet. Yes this is fun and yes, this is actually good for you (for at least 5 reasons that I can think of) but no, this is not ‘march madness’ nor a ‘spring maypole dance’ thing going on.
The reason I’m out there on my lawn is that I’m harvesting dandelions to add to a breakfast smoothie.
About My Dandelion Madness
There are at least 7 reasons why I am digging up dandelions which include:
1. It keeps my neighbors happy. I think dandelion flowers look great – that perfect solitary yellow bloom against a background of green… but if there were too many flowers, my neighbors who don’t like them, might revolt.
2. It helps the environment. Assuming you do want to stay friends with your neighbors, pulling up dandelions is an alternative to soaking up the ground and water table and general environment with deadly toxic chemicals.
3. I’m thrifty. I don’t have to pay for any expensive herbicides.
4. I’m very thrifty! (cheap) Using dandelions reduces the number of greens I have to buy for my smoothie. Spinach, the main ingredient of smoothies, is a great value considering all the nutrition and benefits but dandelions are … well… FREE! Nowadays you can even buy dandelion greens at the store but why purchase them when you can pick them from your yard for free.
5. I like to feel great. There are tremendous health benefits to dandelions. The dandelions’ scientific name Taraxacum officinale, means the “Official Remedy for Disorders”. It has such a long list of benefits that I have to list them later. There are benefits to the root, the leaf, the flower, and even the stem.
6. Dandelions are tasty. The leaves when young are not too bitter and the flowers are sweet. Even the root, if roasted, is quite palatable. Some people use it for a substitute for chicory to make dandelion coffee with.
7. I’m efficient! (lazy). With one small act, I reduce grocery shopping, I reduce weed killer shopping, I reduce herb remedy shopping, I save money, I get healthy, I enjoy the sun, I enjoy the fresh air, and it feels good on my feet!
A shortlist of the health benefits of dandelion are:
- Prevent or help with liver diseases, such as hepatitis or jaundice.
- Act as a tonic and gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, dissolve kidney stones, and otherwise improve overall gastrointestinal health.
- Assist in weight reduction.
- Help cleanse your skin and eliminate acne.
- Improve your bowel function, working equally well to relieve both constipation and diarrhea.
- Prevent or lower high blood pressure.
- Prevent or help with anemia.
- Lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half.
- Eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods.
- Prevent or help with various forms of cancer.
- Prevent or help control diabetes mellitus.
Just a few days ago I sat down to a meal with friends that had leaves and greens in the salad. Another friend is on a two-week liver cleanse of just dandelion stalks right now and still, another puts dandelion flowers in her omelets. You get the idea.
For my green smoothie, I just substitute SOME of the spinach or Swiss chard for dandelion greens. If you used too much dandelion leaves it would be too bitter. I also add all the flower petals that I dug up.
Learn more about Dandelions
Dandelions Benefits: A Celebration of This Spring Flower – Dandelions benefits cannot be dismissed as they have been used as food and for medicine for thousands of years. Every part of this plant is extremely good for you! There are many dandelions health benefits for us.
10 Health Benefits of Dandelion Roots – The benefits of dandelion roots seem to stem from this weed herb’s tonic effect on the liver. Dandelions are very economical herbs considering that they are weeds that most of us dig and get rid of!
Dandelion Flower Health Benefits – The roots and leaves are more fully researched, but there are many possible dandelion flower health benefits as well.
A final point to note is that Dandelion is just one edible weed (or plant that you didn’t intend to eat) growing in your yard right now. Do you know others? I’m from the Saskatchewan prairie where often the biggest plant is caragana bushes. The yellow flowers taste just like honey. It takes a lot of work to fill up even partially but it is fun trying!
Please post your favorite interesting plant that you eat or have eaten from your yard in the comment section below. I hear that my friend Trudy on the east coast has bamboo growing like a weed in her yard. Too bad it wasn’t sugar cane. I could eat that!
Dandelion Madness Recipes
Dandelion Tea: Made with the leaves — this is perhaps the easiest and fastest way to use a dandelion. You can easily make a dandelion tea from drying the leaves from the plants which are full of nutrition.
Dandelion Smoothie: After almost passing out from a dandelion smoothie, Randy gives some practical tips to keep your dandelion smoothie palatable. Make a healthy but still drinkable smoothie.
Dandelion Flower Pancakes: No milk or eggs, but lots of health and good taste. This recipe really is my version of pancakes. 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.
Dandelion Flower Syrup: You can taste the unique sweetness from the yellow petals in this syrup. This is a great treat from your weeds and it is so easy to make. It is best to pick your dandelions before mowing the lawn or digging them up for dandelion coffee. Or even better, go out into the country and pick them in the wild away from the city’s pollution or away from sprayed lawns. My hands get all yellow from picking so many of these.
Dandelion Flower Cordial: The word cordial sounds tasty, and it’s very appropriate in this case! This is a simple and healthy beverage to make with all of your dandelions.
More Weeds to Eat – Free Food For You
Chickweed, a Tasty, Healthy Weed for Eating – Chickweed is a tasty nutritious weed. Many of the weeds in our garden are food that I include them in my meals and let some of them grow as real food in my garden. ‘Little star in the mist’ is the translation of this weed’s scientific name, Stellaria Media, though “chickweed” is the most common name.
The Man Who Tried to Eat Canada Thistle – Randy has had various experiences with the wild plants in his yard and garden. Some of them are pleasant experiences, and some of them are not. This story falls into the second category, find out more about it.
Good Weed…Bad Weed – Randy has had an on /off relationship with weeds recently and now he’s at it again. This time his 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.