Dandelions: Don’t Kill ‘Em, Eat ‘Em
The memory of my grandmother’s glee during this time of year is rekindled every spring when the light green shoots of dandelions emerge from the soil. Gram would get out there and dig like crazy before the plants flowered and became too bitter to consume (comfortably).
In Maryland this past Friday, some plants were already popping their yellow blossoms, which Gram would have gathered for her wine recipe (see below).
“They’re good for what ails ya,” she would say time and time again before she launched into a detailed explanation of how the long tap root pulled nutrients from the soil. “It’s spring tonic.”
Inspired by a dandelion and beer festival in New Jersey — could there be a better way to celebrate spring?! — we wanted to post a few links that lead to dandelions’ true purpose . . . to be consumed for nutrition and taste rather than to be killed by toxic lawn chemicals.
DANDELION RECIPES — You might be amazed to know how many foods are enhanced by this versatile plant: http://www.mountain-breeze.com/kitchen/dandelions/.
NATIONAL DANDELION DAY — Did you know the ubiquitous yellow flower has its own holiday? http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/national_dandelion_day.html.
DANDELION WINE — My grandmother just loved this (the only “spirit” she ever allowed to touch her lips): http://www.texascooking.com/recipes/dandelionwine.htm.
DANDELION BEER — I’ve never had this, but I’ve got to try it: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/brewing/fetch-recipe.php?rid=dandelion-beer.
DANDELION FESTIVAL — This event in Ohio is known far and wide (as are many other similar festivals): http://www.breitenbachwine.com/dandelion_festival_1.html.
DANDELION SEED — Yes, people really do plant this on purpose as a harvestable crop for culinary and medicinal purposes: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8211-dandelion.aspx.
DANDELION SOAP — Just about any plant can make its way into a hand cleaner: http://www.etsy.com/listing/56347121/organic-dandelion-french-milled-soap
DANDELION ART — Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of these amazing prints: http://www.art.com/gallery/id–b7360/dandelions-posters.htm.
DANDELION MEDICINE — The plant has been used in herbal remedies for millennia: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dandel08.html
DANDELION TEA — Drink to good health: http://www.dandeliontea.org/.