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With all the dandelions gracing our property (and our neighbor's property, and our other neighbor's property...) I'm wondering just exactly what are the (good) uses for dandelions?

My mom said that sometimes during the depression dandelions were the only vegetable on the plate. (Not a veggie, but that's the way they thought of it.) She said they're bitter, but that back then you didn't notice the bitterness when you didn't have anything else to eat.

I'm not so conditioned. I like things that taste good. :)

So is there a tasty way to utilize dandelions? Or a medicinal benefit? And if so, what do you pick, and when, and how do you store it?

Thanks for your help!
 

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performing monkey
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try THIS thread:

http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f36/almost-unknown-edibles-1002/

Dandelion greens... If you don't treat your lawn, this can be done easily.

From mid-April through mid-May the best for harvesting wild dandelion greens at their young and tender best. Although dandelions can be found throughout most yards, I've discovered that the best ones grow in the wildest of places, safe from the punishing foot traffic of pedestrians and the whir of the lawn mower blade.

As they pine trees bordering my property have grown they've created a fringe forest ecosystem. The soil there is particularly rich due to the accumulation and decomposition of pine needles and windswept autumn leaves. Just enough sunlight passes through for dandelions and other opportunistic plants to thrive.

My thinking is that if the land is prepared to offer up free food in the form of salad greens, mushrooms and berries, one would be silly to refuse. Embraced throughout human history and across cultures and cuisines, the dandelion has been cast as public enemy No. 1 in postwar, suburban America. An estimated 80 million pounds of pesticides are used each year on home lawns to eradicate them. Yet each year, the scrappy plant returns, thumbing its sunny yellow nose.

For me, letting dandelions grow wild and pesticide-free in my yard is not just about frugality and ecology, but also gastronomy. They also serve as a useful reminder that good foods are closer than we may think, even as close as our own back yard.
All parts of the dandelion are edible and have medicinal and culinary uses. It has long been used as a liver tonic and diuretic. In addition, the roots contain inulin and levulin, starchlike substances that may help balance blood sugar, as well as bitter taraxacin, which stimulates digestion. Dandelion roots can be harvested during any frost-free period of the year and eaten raw, steamed, or even dried, roasted and ground into a coffee substitute. The flowers are best known for their use in dandelion wine, but they also can be added to a salad, made into jellies or dipped in batter to make dandelion fritters. The leaves are rich in potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. Dandelion greens can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, sautéed or braised. For use in salads, greens should be harvested from new plants while still small and tender, before the first flower emerges. Larger greens tend to be tougher and more bitter, and better suited for cooking.

Wilted Dandelion Greens Salad
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and dried, stems removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fry bacon bits in a skillet until they are crisp and have rendered all their fat. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and return the skillet to the burner. Add onion and stir in the sugar and cider vinegar. Pour the hot dressing over the greens, tossing the greens so as to coat them with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simple Sauteed Dandelion Greens
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and dried, stems removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until it becomes translucent. Add the greens and saute 2 to 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. If your greens are tough, you may want to cover the pan and steam them for a minute or 2 more. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dandelion Salad with Fresh Goat(?) Cheese and Apples
(If you don't have any apples stored from the winter, substitute any firm fruit that's in season)

2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable or nut oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and dried, stems removed
1/4 pound fresh white goat cheese, crumbled into pieces
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper together. Pour over greens and toss lightly. Top with goat cheese, nuts and apple.

Dandelion Mushroom Calzone
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 pound mushrooms (button, shiitake or baby bella), sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and dried, stems removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound pizza dough
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the dandelion greens and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll or stretch the dough to form two 10 inch rounds. Transfer dough rounds to a floured baking sheet or pizza pan. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on half of each round, leaving a 1-inch border. Add the dandelion and mushroom mixture to the cheese layer, and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling, forming a half-circle. Press and crimp the edges together to seal. Using a knife, poke a hole or two in the top. Brush the calzones with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake for about 11 minutes or until the calzones are crisp and turning golden. Cut them in half and serve hot.
 

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I've picked the blooms when they are open in the daytime and we rushed them inside and dipped them into Drake's mix and deep fried them with as little stem as possible-almost like deep fried morel mushrooms.
Also I have blanched some really big leaved dandelion in my garden one year(there were 4 of the biggest and most lovely leaved plants I had ever seen so I couldn't just pull them) I put some dark colored empty planting buckets over them and let them go for a week and then picked the leaves and lightly blanched them in boiling water and then put them in pretty much the same recipe as above-bacon and onion and a bit of good vinegar and wilted them down like greens-very nice--I have been thinking about saving some seed this year and planting them for greens on purpose this fall in a cold frame.
 

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Reverend Coot
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Dandelion wine a course! Let me know if yer interested an I'll get yall a recipe! Good stuff.
 

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I'm done - gone
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I'm thinking maybe you can save some of the seed and try growing them in a sunny window in the winter for fresh greens.
I use the very small first leaves of the year in my salads. And the wilted greens is a very oldtime recipes. I think everyone knows that. Just substitute spinach for the dandilion. LOL
The rabbit goes crazy when I start feeding him the wild greens from the yard. Dandilion,chickory,landcress. When those are young leaves I use them in the salads also, but once the chickory gets bigger it gets bitter, but the rabbit seems to enjoy it anyways.
I never use chemicals on my yard much to my fussy neighbor next door dismay. He's even gone so far as to get a lawn service out to his yard LOL
As long as I do nothing about the wild greens, then he's going to keep having them pop up in his "pristeen" yard!
 

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Scavenger deluxe
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With all the dandelions gracing our property (and our neighbor's property, and our other neighbor's property...) I'm wondering just exactly what are the (good) uses for dandelions?

My mom said that sometimes during the depression dandelions were the only vegetable on the plate. (Not a veggie, but that's the way they thought of it.) She said they're bitter, but that back then you didn't notice the bitterness when you didn't have anything else to eat.

I'm not so conditioned. I like things that taste good. :)

So is there a tasty way to utilize dandelions? Or a medicinal benefit? And if so, what do you pick, and when, and how do you store it?

Thanks for your help!
Let's see..

Good source of greens,cooked or salad wise,make a nice bottle of earthy tasting wine too.
 

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RockyMountainCanadian
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Roasted and ground, the roots, make a good coffee substitute. about as close tasting as i have sampled
 

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I'm thinking maybe you can save some of the seed and try growing them in a sunny window in the winter for fresh greens.
I use the very small first leaves of the year in my salads. And the wilted greens is a very oldtime recipes. I think everyone knows that. Just substitute spinach for the dandilion. LOL
The rabbit goes crazy when I start feeding him the wild greens from the yard. Dandilion,chickory,landcress. When those are young leaves I use them in the salads also, but once the chickory gets bigger it gets bitter, but the rabbit seems to enjoy it anyways.
I never use chemicals on my yard much to my fussy neighbor next door dismay. He's even gone so far as to get a lawn service out to his yard LOL
As long as I do nothing about the wild greens, then he's going to keep having them pop up in his "pristeen" yard!
Both of my neighbors(across and next) are fanatics about their yards and yet have the worst looking grass ever. They mow and weed kill(sprays of course) and mow some more and water and still have huge dead spots in their yards.. Now me on the other hand have thick green lush looking yard mostly all summer-it isn't all grass but it sure is green and soft and lovely. The biggest thing they don't seem to get is that grass likes to be about 3 to 4 inches tall to thrive(on it's own without having to pour tons of "stuff" on it for fertilizer) they mow their to military haircut height!:eek: poor stuff never had a chance... They have both asked why my lawn looks so nice and how I get it to grow under the trees.. I've told them and they just shake their heads and walk off, mumbling about how that just ain't right. My yard mix-white clover, white man's foot, chickweed, oregano, mint, lemon balm, walk on me plant(mother of thyme-it smells like thyme but not as tasty as thyme) and probably several others besides that, and of course my dandelions. It sure does smell good when I mow and since I don't mow more than 4 or 5 times a summer my lawn is thick and a bit tall. There are better things to do than mow all summer-our small town reminds me of the Red Green show, with chainsaws and mowers running in the background all the time..:rolleyes:
Had a recipe for Dandelion Jelly, now I can't find it. Can anyone help?
On my other forum there is a gal who makes all kinds of jellies and wines with natural products I will run and see if she has a recipe to share.;)
 

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Eat just the yellow blossoms and they are not bitter. Wash the roots and roast in teh oven with oil and salt and they are nutty and delicious. The greens are bitter but good for you. Every part of the plant is edible.
 

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Okay! Got the information from my friend Sheryl and she said that she uses this recipe from this site here. And she said that I could put a link to her thread on making dandelion syrup making here too.
Dandelion syrup.
 

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Family Gopher
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If you have rabbits, they absolutely love the dandelions, then they'll reward you with some wonderful manure, then you take the manure and fertilize your garden, then you can grow some really decent palatable greens like kale or mustard or collards or chard or Salad Bowl leaf lettuce or spinach or........ anything but dandelions.
 

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Member
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Roasted and ground, the roots, make a good coffee substitute. about as close tasting as i have sampled
I am so going to give this a try! Our backyard is simply covered in dandelions. We had some city friends visit one time and their daughter asked if we had planted all the pretty yellow flowers!
 

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Winston Smith Sent Me
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The root word of dandelion in french translates to "wet the bed". Dandelion leaf has been used as a diuretic as long as they've been around. I think they make a tasty addition to a salad. The roasted root coffee substitute sounds really interesting. I may have to try that :)
 

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Okie from Michigan via Alaska!
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The root word of dandelion in french translates to "wet the bed".
Huh?

dan·de·li·on
[dan-dl-ahy-uh n]
noun
1.
a weedy composite plant, Taraxacum officinale, having edible, deeply toothed or notched leaves, golden-yellow flowers, and rounded clusters of white, hairy seeds.
2.
any other plant of the genus Taraxacum.
Origin:
1505-15; < Middle French, alteration of dent de lion, literally, tooth of (a) lion, translation of Medieval Latin dēns leōnis, in allusion to the toothed leaves
 

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Winston Smith Sent Me
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Really. Darn nutrition teacher told me a fib! She said the translation was actually wet the bed in french. Guess I should have double checked that one. Thanks for pointing it out so I dont make an a$$ out of myself in front of someone that actually speaks the language :)
 
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