Did you know that there's free food right in your backyard. Way to many people spend money to eradicate this very beneficial and tasty herbs. Right now there is a very very common "weed" that is at its prime right now. Well, I should say the leaves and roots are ready to harvest, then the flowers are ready when they first start blooming, then the roots again in the fall & winter, and repeat. This is one of the most renowned herbs by most herbalist.
This herb is Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale). Susan Weed has over 30 pages devoted to the benefits of Dandelion in her book "Healing Wise" and over 16 recipes. Rosemary Gladstar indicated on a webinar that I listened to last year (email me I'll send you the MP3) that dandelion is in her top 10 of favorite herbs. In Rosemary's book, "Herbal Recipes for a Vibrant Health" she writes that "Dandelion, is, I'm convinced, one of the greatest tonic herbs of all time." Now those are some powerful words from such a well known herbalist. Dandelion is one of those herbs that is ready to harvest at the perfect time when our bodies need extra cleansing (As with other herbs, such as cleavers, chickweed, etc, but more on that later). As the winter slows down and spring is right around the corner, the perfect herbs start popping above the ground for us to harvest. Kami McBride says that Dandelion is high in Vitamin A, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, and iron. It's also a bitter tonic herb, which increases the flow of saliva, which results in better digestion and stimulates the liver. Dandelion is even said to improve the enamel on teeth! There are so many wonderful things to say about this wonderful, yet top hated, herbs.
I've been enjoying eating dandelion greens and roots the past few weeks. I gather the plants as I clean out my garden and flower beds. I simple have two buckets; one for yard waste and the other for herbs to dry and/or eat. I had such a tasty lunch today that I wanted to share the recipe so you can also enjoy the bounties of the seasons.
Sauteed Dandelion Greens- 1/2 onion sliced in half moons
- 1 TBL coconut oil
- 1 TBL butter
- 5-10 dandelion whole plant (roots, buds, & leaves) seperated in root and greens
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. sesame seed
- Salt & pepper to taste
Saute onion in coconut oil and butter until slightly brown and soft. Add chopped roots and cook 2-5 min. Add garlic and dandelion greens. Cook 2 min. until greens wilt. Add sesame seeds and season to taste. I thoroughly enjoyed these greens on top of a everything bagel and cream cheese. Oh so good. I might have to have this tomorrow!
Enjoy the early spring offerings that our wonderful land is providing us.
What other recipes and herbs do you enjoy this time of year?
- Juliette de Bairacli Levy (1997). Common Herbs for Natural Health. Woodstock, NY: Ashtree Publishing
- Rosemary Gladstar (2008). Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing
- Kami McBride (2010). The Herbal Kitchen. San Francisco, CA: Conary Press
- Susan Weed (1989). Wise Woman Herbal Healing Wise. Woodstock, NY: Ashtree Publishing
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