Cooking In Season: Dandelion

"Blowing on a dandelion seed puff offers both children and adults cheap entertainment - and, some say, a free wish." - Unknown

Dandelion leaves, strawberry, pomegranate
Photo credit: Eartha Lowe

Did you know that dandelions are spring, summer, and fall greens which grows like a weed (some people think it is one)? So instead of harvesting this free food and medicine, dandelions are sprayed with harmful chemicals to kill them. Why is there this hatred against dandelions? Because dandelions make an area look unkempt?

Many of the herbicides used to kill dandelions are known to promote cancer, poison our soils and waters, and kill countless birds and bees. It's time to embrace this "weed" for its many benefits. If you're picking wild dandelions, pick them as early as possible in the spring and, of course, from a place where no sprays have been used.

Dandelion has the distinction of being among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, containing more protein, fiber, calcium and potassium than any other green; they're also loaded with beta-carotene. When young, it is mild-flavoured; when mature, it is the most bitter of greens.

Taste: bitter (leaf); bitter, sweet (root)

Plant uses: poor digestion, water retention, nourishment, skin eruptions, supporting healthy liver function  

Plant preparations: decoction, tincture, food

Dandelion leaves can be found more and more readily in grocery stores. Dandelions can be eaten in salads when young, but quickly become too bitter to eat raw, and are then best stir-fried, with tamari or garlic and lemon. When preparing dandelion, wash well to eliminate sand.

Reference: Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal by Rosalee De La Foret


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Published: April 3, 2023
Last Edited: April 3, 2023