March 25, 2014 at 11:56 am #2488
Before we get to the dandelion coffee, let’s learn a bit about dandelion.
Volumes could be written on the many uses of Dandelion, indeed they have been!
This common weed is often hated and poisoned by those preferring a “weed free” lawn, while those of us in love with dandelion and its many uses happily support it taking over our lawns.
This plant was purposefully brought to North America by Europeans not wanting to leave this valuable resource behind.
Every part of the dandelion can be used as food or medicine, making back door herbalism simple and easy, as it should be.
When the first spring leaves pop up out of the ground they can be harvested heavily and eaten fresh with salads, made into a delicious pesto, or dried for tea.
The leaves are highly nutritious, containing large amounts of vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and many more vitamins and minerals.
The French call this plant pissenlit, which alludes to its strong diuretic properties.
A tea of dandelion leaves is a great way to flush excess water from the system. (Of course, before using this effective remedy we always want to make sure the water retention is caused by a non-serious condition like sitting on an airplane too long.)
When eaten with meals, the bitter taste of the leaves helps to promote digestion by stimulating bile to relieve indigestion and other digestive disturbances.
The root is a great ally for the liver. It can be eaten fresh in a variety of recipes.Dandelion root can help clear up acne and other skin disruptions with the root cause being a stagnant liver.
Most herbalists agree that long-term use of dandelion is needed for best results.
The flower can be eaten in salads, or fried up as fritters as below. An oil made from dandelion flowers is warming and can be applied externally to relieve arthritis and other aches and pains.
Lastly the latex, or sap, from the dandelion stems can be used topically on warts. Apply several times daily for best results.
My favourite way to enjoy dandelion is by making dandelion coffee with the roots. This beverage doesn’t contain the caffeine found in coffee, but does have a rich, dark taste similar to coffee.
Like burdock, dandelion’s strong diuretic activity makes it an inappropriate choice for someone with low blood pressure or excessive urination.
Prior to decocting the dandelion root, roast the dried chopped root in a cast iron pan until it fragrant and has changed colour from being off-white to light and dark brown.
For each 8 oz of water you are making, use 1-2 teaspoons of the roasted root.
Add the root to simmering water and continue to simmer while covered for 7–15 minutes
The resulting brew will be darkly coloured.
I enjoy my dandelion coffee with cream, and many people enjoy adding honey as well.
This time of year, one of my favourite activities is making and eating dandelion flower fritters. The simple dandelion is one of my favourite herbs.
Did I just say herb in reference to dandelion Yep! This plant is tenacious, despite many peoples best efforts to eradicate it from their lawns, and thankfully so since she has so much to offer.
But, I was going to tell you about fritters.
First of all I love gathering the dandelion flowers – just the tops for fritters.
They are easy to pick and so bright and cheery on a sunny day. Usually, I want to pick more than I need, just because the gathering is so fun. Pick them in the sunshine when they are open, and when you have time to make the fritters right after gathering.
Bring your basket of flowers inside, find a bowl, and mix together one egg and one cup of milk. Stir in a cup of flour and your fritter batter is ready to go.
(If you like your fritters sweet you can add a little maple syrup or honey.)
Now, prepare a skillet on the stove with gently warmed olive oil – keep it over medium heat.
Take one of the flowers and hold it by the greens at the base of the flower petals. Dip the petals into the batter and twirl until the flower is covered.
Drop it into the skillet, flower side down. Continue dipping and dropping flowers, checking the first ones every once in a while to see if they are brown.
When they’ve lightly browned, flip them over and brown them on the other side.
When they’re brown on both sides remove them from the skillet and drain the excess oil on paper towel.
For a sweet treat, drizzle them with maple syrup, honey, jam, or powdered sugar.
For savoury fritters try dipping in mustard or adding some savoury herbs to the batter.March 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm #2555
Dandelion is my favorite plant – it is the most amazing one in the world, and I am so happy to see your thread! Another great use is dandelion wine – easy and delicious and like having summer in a bottle!
Here’s a simple recipe that anyone can do. Remember not to use dandelions from roadsides, as they accumulate carbon build-ups from exhaust (and rinse thoroughly in case the neighborhood pets have been at your beds ): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dandelion-wine/March 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm #3022
Another great recipe Anika thank you. I have some more on dandelions which I shall post.March 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm #3078
Gypsy Wanderer HuskySurvivalist
Believe or not Dandelion is a food staple here in Newfoundland. Every spring us country folk search out our treats and bring them home wash them up and freeze them so we have them year around!!
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonMarch 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm #3094
I’m going to have to try a few of these. I really enjoy learning more about which plants/herbs are useful, and how to go about using them for different purposes. Thanks!
As an aside, Gypsy Wanderer Husky, I never expected to see a fellow Newfoundlander here, especially on the first day I arrive! Cheers!
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.