I admit that those bobbing yellow heads irritate me when they pop up in my carefully kept lawn. And, for those neighbors that make no effort to control the growth of the dandelions in their yards that are so close to mine, I have unkind thoughts. But sometimes, especially when my grandchildren visit, I remember when I couldn’t wait to run out and pick those beautiful little flowers for my mom. Or sit with my friends and rub them under everyone’s chins to see who liked butter. At one time, I knew how to weave them into a lovely tiara and pretend to be a fairy princess, but I think that skill has gone. Then, as a teenager, my friend’s dad made dandelion wine that didn’t taste very good, but was a forbidden pleasure.
But not everyone outgrows their love for these little spots of sunshine. From Mother Earth News: “All parts of the dandelion are edible and have medicinal and culinary uses. It has long been used as a liver tonic and diuretic. In addition, the roots contain inulin and levulin, starchlike substances that may help balance blood sugar, as well as bitter taraxacin, which stimulates digestion. Dandelion roots can be harvested during any frost-free period of the year and eaten raw, steamed, or even dried, roasted and ground into a coffee substitute. The flowers are best known for their use in dandelion wine, but they also can be added to a salad, made into jellies or dipped in batter to make dandelion fritters. The leaves are rich in potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. Dandelion greens can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, sautéed or braised. For use in salads, greens should be harvested from new plants while still small and tender, before the first flower emerges. Larger greens tend to be tougher and more bitter, and better suited for cooking.”
And they make lovely tiaras for little girls!
Posted by Vicki