SaucyKod

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dandelion

Photo by SK
While the dandelion is considered a weed by most gardeners and lawn owners, the plant has several culinary uses and medicinal purposes. The flowers are used to make dandelion wine, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee-like drink and the plant has been used as food and medicine.
The leaves (called dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soups or salads or even in sandwiches. They are closest in character to mustard greens. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. The leaves are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron, and have more iron and calcium than Spinach.
Courtesy of cookbook :)
Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine - they have also been used in a Saison Ale, called Pissenlit - made by Brasserie Fantome in Belgium. Other recipes give you a nice dandelion flower jam, and then there is also a honey substitued syrum believed to have medicinal value against liver problems. The plant in Canada is principally sold as a diuretic. It is also known for its ability to treat jaundice, cholecystitis and cirrhosis. The dandelion also affects the digestive system by acting as a mild laxative, increasing appetitie and improving digestion.
"Dandelion and Burdock" is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom. The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent, and the milk has been used to treat warts.
Yellow or green dye colours can be obtained from the flowers and the dandelion is also the food for caterpillars and several species of butterflies and moths.
So, next time you view those dandelions growing on your property or in your fields, take a moment and reflect on the fact, that you have a  bit of a pharmacy at your feet, some great vitamins, a nice cool drink or perhaps your morning coffee.
Photo by SK


9 comments:

DJan said...

They are even pretty when young and yellow, Saucy. But when they are nothing but a stalk sticking up in a lawn with its broad leaves, I can see why they might not be popular. I was thinking about how different the seed pod is from the yellow flower, and how there doesn't seem to be anything in between. Does it happen poof like magic, or is it gradual?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for info - great photos

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

In our yard they are not allowed..but they COVER the neighbors yard. Perhaps I should look more kindly on their choice of yard growth. :) I love their color..and they actually are a very pretty little flower.
I wonder why they are not more popular...certainly not in the U.S.
And thank you for your kind remarks about my Fairy garden. I am having such a good time with it..but it is done now. I have found a lovely little tiny concrete birdbath...but..I don't want to over do. I think I will move on to something else. :) Good idea, don't you think? :)

Every drank any Dandilion wine?? I have to wonder what it tastes like. (shhhh..I'm going to sneak over and pick some sample greens. :)
Loved this informitive post!

Red said...

Great info on dandelions. I knew that it had some great qualities but not all these. I've had dandelion wine and it's great.
The dandelion is getting a little better press lately. Your an example of giving better press.

SaucyKod said...

DJan: The flower actually closes up and looks like its withered and then gradually reopens to the seed pod. Kinda facinating really. I have watched them in the back yard. Gosh, they come and go so fast, I do not mind them at all. Thanks DJan
Anonymous - Thanks for dropping by - do come again
Wsprsweetly - Some people up here actually fret over having the WEED on their lawns, so the lawn people come and spray horrible crap all over the their lawns, and you do not want to breathe in this crap - ain't good for your lungs. You see them going with their ?masks ? on???? What should one think? I know you will move on to another adventure when the fairy garden is complete in your mind. Yes, I have had only had Dandelion Wine once and thought it quite nice. Now, Mona, you might want to look up a recipe for Dandelion Greens and I WANT A PHOTO. ha,ha
Red - Thanks for your nice compliments and actually, a maritime favourite is the dandelion stem, picked and steamed before flower pops out.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi, stopped in from reading comments on Mona's Wspersweetly of Cottages blog and enjoyed the dandelion post having done a similar one earlier this spring. My grandparents used to make (and drink) dandelion wine and eat the greens in salads as well. Even though we have many in our yard, we have yet to use as salad fixings.

SaucyKod said...

Beatrice -thankyou for dropping by and enjoyed your comments. Really lovely wedding photos and looks like everyone had fun - just beautiful and congratulations to Bride n Groom. I think if there were less food to choose from in the world, one might wander back to the olde ways :)

Anonymous said...

I never knew they had so many uses. Normally I just use Round UP on them and you will not see them again.
Kenny O

TexaGermaFinlaNadian said...

Ok, not going to lie, would love to try some Dandelion wine! Sounds good, lol. Great post on a flower that's often pulled up or over looked. Hope you have been doing great! I am headed up to Canada in about a week now and really looking forward to it. I've been missing your kinda folk ;)