Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dandelion medicine. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dandelion medicine. Sort by date Show all posts

May 16, 2014

Dandelion Medicine: Using the Common Dandelion Medicinally

The more I learn about the common dandelion, the more I'm amazed at how unappreciated it is. If you're a regular reader, you already know what an excellent food dandelions are. (In fact, I wrote a whole  cookbook packed just with dandelion recipes.) But did you know that dandelions are great medicine, too? In Canada, dandelion is a registered health product, and for many, many centuries, the dandelion has been prized for its medicinal properties.

Dandelion roots, before dehydrating.
Dandelion Root Medicine

Perhaps the strongest dandelion medicine comes from the plant's roots, which are used to detoxify the liver (I can personally attest to how well this works), kidney, and gallbladder. Some believe the root may also help treat diabetes, yeast infections, gout, PMS (again, I've had great success here), and eczema. Dandelion root and the herb uva ursi have also been shown to reduce urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women. (Uva ursi is not safe for long term use, however.) The roots are also rich in inulin, which is a prebiotic that encourages healthy microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, so the root is great for upset stomach, too, and may be beneficial to diabetics.

Perhaps the most exciting use of dandelion root is the treatment of cancer. There are many anecdotal accounts of the root curing cancer (click here to read one), and currently the root is being studied scientifically for the treatment of cancer.

In addition, the roots are packed with beta-carotene, calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.

For medicinal purposes, the roots are usually dried and made into a tea (click here for a complete how to). The dried root can also be ground up in a coffee grinder and added to water or juice. In orange juice, there is no detectable flavor. Drink 2 - 3 times daily.


Dandelion Leaf Medicine

Dandelion leaf.


Dandelion leaves are a scientifically proven diuretic - meaning they increase the amount of urine the body produces, and thereby reduce swelling and bloating. And unlike most other diuretics, dandelion leaves won't cause a potassium deficiency. Dandelion leaves are also thought to improve kidney function and strengthen the immune system, as well as sooth an upset stomach and put an end to constipation.

The leaves also happen to be packed with vitamin A, B, C, and K, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, carotenes, and fiber.

You can eat dandelion leaves, just like you'd eat any other greens (like kale or collards). However, you have to catch them in the early spring, before they flower and become bitter. (Bitter leaves can be made less bitter by boiling them for a minute, then changing the water and boiling again for a minute, then changing the water again and boiling for one minute...but this process also decreases the nutrients and medicinal properties in the leaves.)

You can also puree the leaves in a smoothie, or make an infusion of the leaves. For the latter, Dian Dincin Buchman, Ph.D., writes in her book Herbal Medicine that you should use one pint of boiling water for every handful of leaves (and flowers, if available). Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. If desired, add a little honey to offset bitter leaves. Drink the infusion 2 - 3 times a day. Leaves may also be dehydrated and crumbled into a tea ball to brew medicinal tea.

Dandelion flower.
Dandelion Flower Medicine

Dandelion flowers are a known diuretic and are thought to improve the immune system. The flowers are also packed with antioxidants and are a superb source of lecithin - which is believed to maintain brain function and may slow or stop Alzheimer's disease. Lecithin is also supposed to be good for the liver. Additionally, dandelion flowers are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, and potassium.

For the best medicinal results, use the flowers to make a simple tea that you may drink 2 - 3 times a day. Click here for a how to. The leaves may also be dehydrated and made into tea, but bear in mind older flowers will burst into seed in the dehydrator.

Dandelion Stem Medicine

Dandelion stems are traditionally used on scrapes and cuts, to speed healing. Just break open a dandelion stem and apply the sap to the affected area.


_________________________
Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook
Did you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.


For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It
How to Make Dandelion Wine


Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.





Disclaimer 
I am not a doctor, nor should anything on this website (www.ProverbsThirtyOneWoman.blogspot.com) be considered medical advice. The FDA requires me to say that products mentioned, linked to, or displayed on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this web site is designed for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified medical advice or care. There are no assurances of the information being fit or suited to your medical needs, and to the maximum extent allow by law disclaim any and all warranties and liabilities related to your use of any of the information obtained from the website. Your use of this website does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. No information on this website should be considered complete, nor should it be used as a substitute for a visit to, consultation with, or the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider.  


Apr 27, 2012

Eating Dandelion Flowers (Dandelion Flower Tea Recipe)

To most people, dandelions - with their bright yellow flowers - are just an annoying weed. But I've learned a secret our ancestor's knew well: Dandelions are fantastic food and good medicine.

I've blogged before about foraging for dandelions, eating their leaves ("dandelion greens"), and using their roots as a medicinal tea (sometimes called a substitute for coffee). Today, however, I want to focus on the weed's sunny yellow petals.

Nutritional Information on Dandelion Flowers

Uncovering nutritional information about dandelion flowers is much more difficult than digging up the goods on dandelion roots and leaves (which are both highly nutritious). However, I did find a couple of sources claiming the flowers are a superb source of lecithin - which is believed to maintain brain function and may slow or stop Alzheimer's disease. Lecithin is also supposed to be good for the liver.

Another source says dandelion flowers are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, and potassium.

And if you can't stand the bitterness in dandelion roots or leaves, take note: The flowers are mildly sweet. One caution, however; if you have allergies to ragweed, marigold, mums, daisies, or yarrow, you might be allergic to dandelion flowers, too.

Harvesting Dandelion Flowers

First, choose only dandelions you are certain haven't been sprayed with chemicals. Road side or park dandelions are not recommended. Instead, choose weeds from your own yard, or from a wilderness area.

To harvest, simply pick off the flowers. Wash in a colander under cold, running water. I recommend letting the flowers dry a bit before you attempt to remove the petals, or you'll find the petals stick to your fingers. When the flowers are dry, remove as much of the green parts as possible without making the flowers fall apart. Use as soon as possible.

NOTE: Most sources stress that when using dandelion flowers, all the green parts must be removed. I have found that it doesn't matter a bit if some green pieces get mixed in - and as I explain below, sometimes the green parts actually improve the recipe.


Link

How to Eat Dandelion Flowers: Dandelion Flower Tea Recipe

Link
Tea is a popular way to get the benefits of dandelion flowers. Pluck the petals from 8 to 10 flowers and pack them into a tea ball. Place the tea ball in a cup and pour boiling water over it. Steep for about 10 - 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
I find this tea almost tasteless, which is probably why many people add fresh lemon or lime juice to it. A better solution, I think, is to leave the green parts attached to the petals, following all the other directions given above. This produces a mild tea with a pleasant earthy flavor.

You can also make the tea with dehydrated dandelion flowers. (Dehydrate flowers, with green parts in tact, on 95 degrees F. until completely dry. You may find that some of the flowers go to seed while in the dehydrator; discard those.) Follow the same procedure but use about 6 to 8 dehydrated dandelion flowers. If you prefer the tea without the green parts of the flower, I find it best to store dehydrated flowers with their green parts intact; you can remove the petals as you need them for tea or other recipes.

Frying the flowers
is another popular way to consume them. Mix together about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal, seasoned with salt and pepper, plus a pinch of oregano and thyme. Beat an egg and dip the flowers, one at a time, in it. Then roll the flowers in the cornmeal mixture. Fry in a pan with a little heated olive oil in it.

You might also try dandelion wine (something I haven't tried yet, but hear is good; there's also pink dandelion wine), dandelion flower fritters, dandelion flower syrup, or dandelion flower jelly (see my tutorial here). Some people just put the raw flowers or petals into salads, too.

But if you want the most easy, tasty way to try dandelion flowers, I recommend adding them to cookies. Here's my recipe.

______________________

Ultimate Dandelion CookbookDid you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.



For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Medicine 
How to Make Dandelion Wine
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie


Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.
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Disclaimer 

I am not a doctor, nor should anything on this website (www.ProverbsThirtyOneWoman.blogspot.com) be considered medical advice. The FDA requires me to say that products mentioned, linked to, or displayed on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this web site is designed for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified medical advice or care. There are no assurances of the information being fit or suited to your medical needs, and to the maximum extent allow by law disclaim any and all warranties and liabilities related to your use of any of the information obtained from the website. Your use of this website does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. No information on this website should be considered complete, nor should it be used as a substitute for a visit to, consultation with, or the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider.  
 

Jan 11, 2016

Dandelion Root Medicine - Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It

Dandelion Root Medicine Where to Find it How and Why to Use it
The more I learn about dandelions, the more amazed I am. Not only is this common weed a wonderfully edible plant, but it has great medicinal properties, too. For example, my mom-in-law has had some painful kidney stones. I recently recommended she drink dandelion root tea - a pretty widely accepted remedy for them. Dandelion root is especially good for her, too, since she's a cancer survivor, and there's some evidence (currently being studied scientifically) that ingesting ground up dandelion root is an effective cancer treatment.

I also consume dandelion root daily, in an effective natural treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease called Lipotropic Complex. Dandelion root is one of the main ingredients - and if I ever run out of the pills, I make sure I have a few cups of dandelion root tea a day. Other medicinal uses for this root include detoxifying the body, gallbladder woes, yeast infections, gout, PMS, diabetes, eczema, and urinary tract infections. Dandelion roots are also rich in inulin, a prebiotic that encourages healthy microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. You can read more about the medicinal value of dandelions here.

But here's the thing: I find that many people just never get around to harvesting dandelion roots for themselves. Some people tell me they have trouble finding dandelions except where pesticides are sprayed - or they can only find them by roadways, where the plants leach up fumes and therefore are unsuitable for consuming. I have one friend (who lives in a different state) who says there are no dandelions in her area (!). I even have one friend who gets the heebie jeebies just thinking about digging up and touching live plant roots. Fortunately, there are several options for obtaining dandelion roots - and for consuming them, too.

Where to Buy Dandelion Roots
Dandelion Roots
Dandelion roots fresh from my yard.


Believe it or not, you can buy dried dandelion roots in many places. I've seen them on Ebay and Etsy - but I recommend buying them from a more trusted source, so you can be sure you are getting real, organic roots. Mountain Rose Herbs, for example, sells dandelion roots in several forms. There's also a product called Dandy Blend that combines roasted dandelion root with a few other herbs for a really delicious drink that tastes similar to coffee; I've seen Dandy Blend in health food stores, and on Amazon.

Another option is to look in an ordinary grocery store, in the tea section. The brand I see most often is Traditional Medicinals Dandelion Root Tea. I've found it at Walmart for a little over $4 a box.

And, of course, you can harvest your own roots. Click here for complete directions on harvesting and drying dandelion roots. 

Finally, I've seen dandelion root in pill form. However, not only is this the most expensive option available, but I haven't seen these pills from a high quality and trustworthy supplement company.

Which Type of Dandelion Root is Best for You?

Dandelion root comes in four basic forms:

Dried:

dried dandelion root pieces













Roasted:
roasted dandelion coffee













Powered:

powdered dandelion root











and in tea bag or "coffee" form:

dandelion root tea












Plain dried dandelion root is quite bitter; I actually enjoy the flavor, but many people add red raspberry leaf or a bit of real honey to lesson it's bitterness. Roasted dandelion root tastes a lot like instant coffee. Which you choose is really a matter of personal preference. In either case, though, you'll need a coffee grinder to prepare the roots for medicinal use. (Here's the grinder I've used for years).

Pre-ground dandelion root is, in my opinion, not as good an option, since grinding the root and letting it sit means it's lost more of its medicinal properties. You'll always end up with a better quality drink if you grind just before consuming.

Dandelion root in tea bags or "coffee form" is, in my opinion, the least medicinal option. That's because it's pre-ground, and - in the case of tea bags - none of the power actually gets consumed by the tea drinker. (The powdered root is held inside the tea bag.) Nevertheless, this is the easiest way for most people to get dandelion root into their diet, and if brewed according to the package directions, personal experience tells me it's still pretty effective. To make it better still, considering breaking open the tea bag and following the directions in the next section.

How to Consume Dandelion Root

For medicinal purposes, dandelion root is usually turned into some type of drink. Ideally, that drink allows you to digest some or all of the powdered dandelion root. This is accomplished by grinding the root at least partially and using it to fill one half of a mesh tea ball.  (Whenever you make medicinal tea, steep it covered until the drink stops steaming. Click here to see full instructions for grinding and making the tea.)

ground dandelion root in tea ball
When making dandelion root tea with a tea ball, fill half the ball with partially powdered root.

Or you can completely powder the root 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and place it in a glass of water. If you really dislike the flavor of dandelion root, place the powder directly in orange juice, which completely or mostly (depending upon who you talk to) covers up its flavor.

__________________________________


Ultimate Dandelion CookbookDid you know you can turn dandelion roots into tasty treats, including ice cream, meat marinade, and beer (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions - including the roots - in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.



For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Medicine 
How to Make Dandelion Wine 



Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion root. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.

Disclaimer 
I am not a doctor, nor should anything on this website (www.ProverbsThirtyOneWoman.blogspot.com) be considered medical advice. The FDA requires me to say that products mentioned, linked to, or displayed on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this web site is designed for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified medical advice or care. There are no assurances of the information being fit or suited to your medical needs, and to the maximum extent allow by law disclaim any and all warranties and liabilities related to your use of any of the information obtained from the website. Your use of this website does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. No information on this website should be considered complete, nor should it be used as a substitute for a visit to, consultation with, or the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider.  

Mar 26, 2012

How to Make Dandelion Tea

How to make dandelion root teaDandelions have long been a source of medicine and sustenance. I've blogged before about how They also happen to be packed with beta-carotene, calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.
much my family enjoys dandelion greens, and how some people use the infamous weed's yellow flowers to make wine or jelly. The roots may also be used in stews and such, and are sometimes noted as an alternative to caffeine free coffee (if they are roasted first).

But did you know health food stores sell dandelion roots for medicinal purposes, too? Little research has gone into backing up traditional medical claims, but dandelion root is still used as a diuretic and digestion improver. Some preliminary research indicates the old time use of dandelion root for treating liver woes, gallbladder problems, and inflammation may also hold merit, and one animal study suggests it may help improve blood sugar levels, reduce "bad" cholesterol, and increase "good" HDL cholesterol.

But what really caught my eye is that dandelion root is an herb well known to ease the symptoms of PMS - particularly irritability and bloating. So I had to try it. (If you want to learn how to make dandelion flower tea, please click here.)

Gathering the RootsLink
Dandelion roots are typically thought most palatable in the late fall through early spring, before the plants bloom, but you can gather the roots any time of year. Find a patch of dandelions (ID tips here) that you are certain haven't been sprayed with herbicides or chemicals. That could be your own yard, or it could be somewhere out in the wilderness. For the easiest harvesting of roots, pick a day after it rains.

Dandelion roots are notoriously difficult to get out of the ground, but the moist soil will help. It also helps to bring along a long, flat screwdriver, a dandelion puller, or a garden spade. Stick the screwdriver/puller/spade into the soil, up next to the center base of the plant. Then grab hold of the weed from its base and pull. When I gathered my roots, early in the spring, I didn't need any tools. Also, it doesn't really matter if you get all of the root - unless you hope to eradicate the weed from your garden. (In fact, if you wish to continue harvesting dandelions, you'll want to make sure a few of the weed's roots stay in tact - unless your neighbors have dandelions, too; in which case, you couldn't get rid of the weed if you tried!)

Cleaning and Preparing the Root

Next, wash off as much soil from the pulled weeds as possible. It's nice to do this outdoors; just be sure to have a clean bucket or colander to put the washed plants in. If you'd like to harvest the leaves (which are considered good for reducing PMS related bloating and which are packed with vitamins), go ahead and pull or cut them off and wash them thoroughly in the sink. (Click here for information on how to cook dandelion leaves. You may also dehydrate them in the oven or dehydrator to use later in cooking.) If you don't want to use them, and you have chickens, be sure to toss them to the birds; dandelion leaves are one of their favorite treats. The blooms can also be useful; click here to read about them.

Next, scrub the roots with a vegetable brush, just like you would root crops like carrots or parsnips.

Chop the roots up with a knife; keep the pieces about the same size so they will dry evenly. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will dry - but there's no need to get too precise about this. Also, you'll notice some of the roots may look like this:

You may cut or pull off all those hairy roots, if you like, but it's not necessary.

The process of washing and chopping the roots took me less than 10 minutes.


Drying the Roots

The final preparation step is to dry the roots. The easiest way to do this is with a food dehydrator, but you may also use the oven. To dry them in the oven, place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree F. preheated oven. To use a food dehydrator, use the herb liner (or make your own from parchment paper) and set the dehydrator to about 95 degrees F.


To test for doneness, pinch a piece between your fingernails; no moisture should escape the root.

Place the dried roots in an air tight container and store in a dry, cool, dark location.

Making Dandelion Root Tea


1. When you're ready to make tea, measure out about 1 tablespoon of the chopped roots.

2. Place this amount in a coffee grinder - or dice into smaller pieces using a food processor or a knife. If using a coffee grinder, take care not to over-grind, or you'll end up with a powder.
3. Place the ground/minced root into a tea ball - a mesh container designed for holding herbs or tea leaves. Close the tea ball. (Alternatively, you could wrap the roots in two or three layers of cheesecloth, then tie off the cloth with a string or strip of cheesecloth.)

4. Bring 8 or 9 oz. of water to a boil and pour it into a regular-sized coffee cup. Add the tea ball and steep for 10 minutes.
LinkThe end result is a very mild tasting tea - although if you over-steep it, the tea will become bitter. Feel free to add lemon or spices - or even a favorite bag of tea - to make a stronger-tasting tea. I don't recommend adding honey or sugar, since these can increase the symptoms of PMS. Personally, I enjoyed it without additions.

And does it work? I do believe drinking dandelion tea helps my PMS symptoms - and it generally "picks me up." Plus, it's packed with great nutrition!


______________________

Ultimate Dandelion CookbookDid you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.



For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Medicine 
How to Make Dandelion Wine
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie


Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion root. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.
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Disclaimer 

I am not a doctor, nor should anything on this website (www.ProverbsThirtyOneWoman.blogspot.com) be considered medical advice. The FDA requires me to say that products mentioned, linked to, or displayed on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this web site is designed for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified medical advice or care. There are no assurances of the information being fit or suited to your medical needs, and to the maximum extent allow by law disclaim any and all warranties and liabilities related to your use of any of the information obtained from the website. Your use of this website does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. No information on this website should be considered complete, nor should it be used as a substitute for a visit to, consultation with, or the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider.  
 

Apr 15, 2013

How to Preserve Dandelion Greens (and other greens, too!)

If you've never tried eating dandelion leaves, early spring is the time to try. This amazing food is better for you than any popular green, including spinach. It's packed with nutrients, and a single serving has more calcium in it than a serving of milk! To learn more about nutrition in dandelion leaves, as well as a simple method of eating them, be sure to check out this post.

The only trouble with dandelion greens, as I see it, is there's such a short window of opportunity to harvest the best of the greens. That's because once the plants send out buds, the leaves grow considerably more bitter. There are ways around this (which I'll cover in an upcoming cookbook), but to get the most nutrition from dandelion leaves, you really need to harvest them in early spring, before budding. 

The good news is, dandelion leaves are very easy to preserve either by freezing, dehydrating, or canning. So once you start seeing those toothy leaves popping up, take advantage of the season and harvest as many as you can!  

NOTE: All these methods of preservation work equally well with other dark, leafy greens, including collards, kale, beet greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and spinach.

How to Freeze Greens

1. Fill a clean sink or large bowl with ice water. Fill a pot with water and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

2. Add washed dandelion leaves and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain and place in the prepared ice water. 

3. Once the leaves are completely cool, pat them dry. Place in freezer bags. Write the date and contents on the bag and freeze for up to 1 year.

These frozen dandelion leaves are excellent in any cooked dish, including a simple saute.



How to Dehydrate Dandelion Greens
  
1. Wash dandelion leaves and pat dry. Place on the tray of a dehydrator.

2. Set at 135 degrees F. and dehydrate until completely dry and crisp. Store in an air tight container in a cool, dry, dark location. 

Dehydrated dandelion leaves are perfect for soups and stews, or for crushing and using as a seasoning.


How to Can Dandelion Greens

1. First, be sure you are completely familiar with safe pressure canning guidelines. You will need about 28 lbs. of dandelion leaves to make 7 canned quarts. 

2. Wash a handful of leaves at a time, drain, and pat dry. 

3. Fill a pot with a few inches of water and place a steamer insert on top. (The water should not reach the bottom of the steamer.) Place the leaves in the steamer, cover, and steam 3 to 5 minutes, or until completely wilted. 

4. If desired, add ½ teaspoon of salt to each canning jar. Fill each jar loosely with the leaves and pour fresh boiling water over them. Leave 1 inch headspace. Process pints for 70 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.*

If you like canned spinach or collards, you'll probably like canned dandelion leaves, too. Eat them exactly the same way as those more familiar greens.

* NOTE: If you live at a high altitude, read this important information about adjusting canning times.

_________________________
Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook
Did you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.


For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Medicine 
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It
How to Make Dandelion Wine


Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.


Dec 3, 2013

Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook - now in paperback!

Many readers have asked for a print version of my #1 bestselling ebook The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook. Now it's available!

The print version of The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook has all the same great recipes and information as the ebook, with black and white photos inside. It makes a great Christmas present, too, since the best dandelion greens are just around the corner - after the snow melts!

From Amazon:

"An Amazon #1 Bestseller!
Become a dandelion hunter! 148 dandelion recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even dessert! What if someone told you one of the world’s most nutritious foods is also tasty, can be cooked many different ways, is easy to find, and is totally free? I know what I’d do: I’d run out and grab some! Well, the good news is, there is such a food: Dandelions. Yes, those pesky weeds with bright yellow flowers you’ve grown up thinking are the enemy of perfect lawns are actually food – brought to North America by immigrants who knew how valuable they are.
Every part of the dandelion is edible:
* Dandelion greens recipes are common throughout Europe and often used in salad, quiche, lasagna and other pasta dishes, and many other familiar and less-familiar dishes.
* The honey-like flowers are a healthy and tasty addition to bread, omelets, pancakes, and more – plus they make delectable dandelion wine, dandelion jelly, and dandelion wine.
* The buds are often pickled or added to stir frys and other dishes.
* The stems can be eaten like noodles.
* And the roots add coffee flavor to everything from ice cream and cakes to drinks. And let's not forget dandelion root tea!
The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook offers 148 recipes, plus expert advice and tips, for cooking all parts of the dandelion – one of nature’s best free foods.
Here's what readers have to say about the book:



"5 Stars. Here is what we had for dinner last night: Dandelion noodles, picked with revenge in my garden, and eaten up with zest! So great, and so easy to make this recipe from the brand-new Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook. You can see pictures on my blog."

Caleb Warnock
author of Backyard Winter Gardening and other books
CalebWarnock.blogspot.com

* * *
"5 Stars. I was eager to read this book in order to find out the best ways to harvest, freeze and dry dandelion flowers. But what a delight to discover it also offered a treasure trove of info about the history, nutritional/ medicinal applications and new and traditional recipes for this humble, prolific plant. I was also surprised to learn about the different parts of the plant that could be used in cooking, especially the unopened bud. This book is worth it for the dandelion jelly recipe alone -- but, oh my! I can't wait to try the recipes for stem noodles -- and the dandelion tea . . . and the roasted roots . . . and the ice cream . . . and . . . ! I highly recommend this book to anyone curious about integrating fun and nutritious dandelion recipes into their diet. I consider it essential reading for fans of natural, wild foods and for culinary dabblers!"

Suzannah Doyle
Composer & Musician
SuzDoyle.com
* * *
"5 Stars. Kristina Seleshanko has created a wonderful collection of enticing recipes, all featuring those yellow-top, front yard pests: dandelions. She includes some rather expected dishes, like omelets, salads and soups. Other recipes, however, are likely to catch readers off guard, like pizza, soda, jellies, wine and even ice cream and cookies! What I enjoy most about this cookbook is the abundance of education. The author includes valuable nutritional information, but also instructions on how to harvest dandelions, how to preserve them and store and what alters the taste of these greens. She's obviously very knowledgeable. All in all, this book is an excellent value at a great price."

Tanya Dennis
Writer & Editor
TanyaDennisBooks.com
* * *
 "5 Stars. What a fantastic book! I have seen dandelion recipes here and there, and am determined to try my hand at dandelion cordial, but this book has it all. The author went to great pains to give a very comprehensive book on dandelions in every form. With this book you will learn to use every part of the dandelion to make foods and beverages for every meal of the day. If you are interested in frugal living or just trying something a little different, get this book and get out in the yard and start picking!"

Jennifer Shambrook
Author of I Can Can Chicken!
JenniferShambrook.com


The paperback of The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook is $12.21 on Amazon - and you can still get the Kindle ebook version for just $2.99. Order it today and have it in time for Christmas!

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For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Medicine
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It
How to Make Dandelion Wine
Dandelion or Spinach Noodle Recipe


Feb 2, 2015

Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie

This past month, my family's been enjoying dandelion leaves in all manner of dishes, but one of our current favorites is in smoothies. If you've had a good, hard frost, or if the snow is melted and the dandelion leaves are coming up, you, too can enjoy this super food drink. (If you don't get hard frost or snow, all is not lost. You can blanch dandelions with a box, for example - something I explain in my book The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.)

As it turns out, common dandelion leaves from what most people consider a pesky garden weed, aren't native to North America. They were brought here by European immigrants who prized them as a food source. And no wonder! Dandelions are one of the best greens you can eat, beating out spinach in terms of protein, vitamins A, C, K, Omega 6, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. Yes, dandelion leaves are very, very good for you.

The trick is to catch them before they get bitter. To do that, you must pick the leaves before the plant begins blooming, and ideally after it's been quite cold. Even so, this smoothie recipe will cover up leaves that are slightly bitter. Oh, and if you wish, you can substitute other greens for the dandelion leaves; kale and spinach are especially yummy.

Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie Recipe

To your blender (I use and love the Magic Bullet NutriBullet our Grammy gave us this Christmas):

1. Add about 1/2 cup (packed) of washed dandelion leaves. If you're unused to greens, you may wish to put in a bit less, or just not pack them down in the measuring cup.

2. Add 1 banana, broken into chunks. If you like icy smoothies, use a frozen banana.

3. Add about 3/4 cup of apple (or as much as you can add without going over the fill line). You can also use a ripe pear, instead, but we prefer the smoothie with apple.

4. Add enough liquid to almost come to the fill line. This is a very personal thing; add a lot if you like thinner smoothies, or add less if you like them thick. We like to use unsweetened almond or coconut milk, but you could use any type of milk - or even water (although I think this recipe tastes much better with milk).
  
5. If desired, you can sprinkle in some walnuts, but I don't always do this and it doesn't seem to affect the flavor of the smoothie.

6. Puree and drink drink away. Makes about 1 pint - enough for 2 people as a snack or supplement to a small meal, or enough for 1 person whose not eating anything else.

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Ultimate Dandelion CookbookDid you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.



For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Medicine 
How to Make Dandelion Wine
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It


Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.