Yes, we love Dandelions! Every part of the plant is edible.
A cup of dandelion leaves give you over 500% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and over 100% vitamin A, and they are packed with vitamin C
Dandelions are part of the sunflower family and up until the 1800’s people dug up grass to plant dandelions!
And it’s not just about food for people – Bees emerge in early spring and need to eat straight away. Dandelions are richer in both pollen and nectar – and bloom earlier – than most other spring flowers and their pollen is a really important food source for the bees.
But don’t worry about having to leave everything for the bees – if you pick the flowers, more will grow really quickly. If you pick the leaves, then more will grow as dandelions have a very long, very robust tap root and the plant will regenerate if you pick a few leaves.
While foraging for dandelions is easy – every kerbside and hedgerow is full of them just now, you do need to be careful that what you are collecting is not sprayed with herbicide! Because they are considered a weed by most people ( and councils), dandelions on public property are often sprayed. So make sure you collect from places you know will be pesticide and herbicide free, just to be on the safe side.
Dandelion greens can be used like any leafy salad crop, in soups, stews, pesto and in salads but how about these recipes
- Fried Dandelion Heads – from theyrenotourgoats.com
- Dandelion Wine – from commonsensehome.com
- Dandelion Biscuits – from homesteadlady.com
If you are going to forage, please follow the simple guidelines:
- Always be sure you are sure of the plant before you pick it and never eat any plant you are unsure of.
- Leave plenty behind for wildlife.
- Make sure you have permission to pick
- Only pick where plants are plentiful