Every Springtime, I look forward to the Delightful Dandelions to make their appearance. For several years now, I have been foraging in my front and back yard for greens to add to salads, stir fry, and smoothies. Recently I was telling an acquaintance of mine how I look forward to this foraging every year. Her response? “Are things really that bad financially for you?” After I wiped the shocked look off my face, I explained how dandelions are a super food that just so happen to grow in abundance in my yard because I refuse to spray them with harmful pesticides. I will definitely direct her to this article series. Part One gave a brief introduction to my love affair with the dandelion and some gardening tips In Part 2 –The Greens, will discuss with you ,dear readers, on the foraging, preparation, and storage of Delightful Dandelions‘ greens.
Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits of The Delightful Dandelion
Dandelion health benefits
- Dandelion greens, flowers, and roots contain valuable phytonutrients that have anti-oxidant and health promoting and disease prevention properties.
- Greens have just 45 calories per 100 g. The greens are also good source of dietary fiber (provide about 9% of RDA per 100 g).
- The root as well as other plant parts contains compounds Taraxacin (bitter glycosides that are used as a diuretic). Further, the root also contains inulin ( a natural storage carbohydrate) andLevulinic acid. These two compounds work together for various therapeutic properties of the dandelion.
- Delightful Dandelion Greens provide 10161 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 338% of daily-recommended intake, one of the highest source of vitamin-A among culinary herbs. Vitamin A is fat-soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant (required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin and vision).
- Greens are full of flavonoids such as carotene-β, carotene-α, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Dandelion Greens are good source of potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin -E and vitamin-C .
- Dandelion greens provide 58% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin-C.
- Dandelion is probably the richest herbal sources of vitamin K; provides about 650% of DRI.
Dandelion Greens can be picked throughout the spring and summer. Some people recommend picking the leaves of the Delightful Dandelions before the flowers open because the leaves are less bitter. I personally like them either way. Chose a spot that you know for certain hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. I like to bring my storage container with to put the greens in so I save a step when I rinse the leaves. Since we share the earth with a number of beautiful creatures who also eat dandelions, take care not to clean out an entire area.
Dandelion Greens, like other greens and lettuces, store longer if not washed previously before refrigeration. They will last about a week to a week and a half in your crisper or the bottom shelf in your fridge.
Dandelion Greens and Eggs Recipe
2 cups foraged dandelion greens (rinsed)
5 organic mini bell peppers (sliced–about 3/4 cup)
1/2 small organic onion (chopped)
3 TBS Amish salted butter
2 local eggs
1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the peppers and onions and cook until onions are all most translucent; then toss in the Dandelion Greens
3. Slide vegetables and greens aside and add the eggs.
4. Cook eggs to your liking and enjoy!
Recipe make 1-2 servings
300 calories/serving, 4 g carb, 29 g fat (could be less if you use and alternative oil or cooking spray, I just prefer butter), 7 g protein
More Delightful Dandelions’ Greens Recipes
Next week in our Delightful Dandelions series, we will discuss that beautiful yellow flower!