What to Make with Dandelions

Most people aren’t a fan of wild dandelions growing all over their lawns.  But what if I told you that those weeds growing all over the place have plenty of uses?  If you have an abundance of dandelions you’ll want to keep reading to see what you can do with them!

dandelions

As a mom I have a soft spot for dandelions.  Why?  Because like most other moms, when my kids were very small they would pick me handfuls of those sunny yellow flowers that I’d display on the counter in a glass full of water.  They were so proud of themselves for bringing their mom what they thought was the prettiest flower they’ve ever seen.

And yet, we eventually grow up and realize those pretty flowers are, indeed, weeds.  Weeds that pop up on our front lawns at a rapid rate.  But I don’t know why we’ve been taught to hate dandelion flowers when they have so many benefits.

BENEFITS OF DANDELIONS

Dandelions are powerhouses of nutrition. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium, these vibrant yellow blooms offer a host of health benefits. The leaves can be used in salads, adding a nutritious punch to your diet, while the roots can be brewed into a tea that supports liver health and digestion.  

BEST WAY TO HARVEST DANDELIONS

The really cool thing about dandelion plants is that you can use not only the flower, but also the dandelion leaves, and the roots.  The entire plant is edible and useful!

For the best flavor and nutritional value, pick the leaves in early spring when they are young and tender. Use a knife or scissors to cut the leaves close to the ground. The flowers can be harvested once they are fully open, typically in late morning after the dew has dried. When collecting the roots, it’s best to do so in the fall, when the plants have stored up nutrients. Gently loosen the soil with a garden fork and carefully pull out the entire root. Always ensure the area you harvest from is free of pesticides and pollutants to guarantee the dandelions are safe for consumption.

WHAT TO DO WITH DANDELIONS

Dandelion Jelly

Enjoy some morning toast with this delicious dandelion jelly recipe that will remind you of honey.  This jelly is made from the dandelion petals.

Dandelion Honey

Dandelion honey is another great option for toast.

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea has a lot of potential benefits for your health and it’s quick and easy to make by steeping the flower heads.

dandelion tea

Dandelion Syrup

​Pour this syrup over your waffles or pancakes in the morning.

Dandelion Kombucha

Kombucha is good for the gut, and dandelions added to it makes for a unique drink.

Simple Dandelion Salad

I first came across the concept of dandelion greens in a salad from a woman online who had eaten plenty of dandelions during the Great Depression.

Fried Dandelion Flower Fritters

Let’s be honest – pretty much anything tastes good if it’s fried.  There is a gluten-free option with this recipe if you need it.

Dandelion Wine

I can’t get over the fact that you can make wine with the weeds growing in your own yard!

Dandelion Lemonade

There’s nothing like a cold glass of lemonade in the summer, but adding those dandelion blossoms will take this lemonade to a whole new level.

Dandelion Cupcakes

These cupcakes would be so fun to make for a spring or summer party!

Honey & Dandelion Soap

I love making homemade soap, and this soap recipe is definitely one to add to the list!

Dandelion Salve

If you have sore muscles and joints, this salve will do the trick.

single dandelion

​MAKING DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

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Using dandelions is a great way to be resourceful and use what you have.  These bright yellow flowers don’t need to go to waste!  Be sure to wash dandelion greens and flowers before you consume them as you never know what may have been sprayed on them or what kind of contaminants they have come into contact with.  These edible wild plants are everywhere so there should be no shortage of finding enough of them for the duration of dandelion season.

If you find dandelion greens to have a bitter taste, cooking them helps with that.  However, some people find that dandelions are an acquired taste and the slight bitterness is is pleasant.  The greens is the part of the dandelion that tends to be more bitter, so if you prefer a less bitter taste, stick to the dandelion recipes that use just the flowers.

Another way I like to enjoy this edible plant is by consuming a dandelion root coffee.  I don’t make this myself, as digging up the roots, while totally possible, takes a lot of time and effort, and I would need A LOT for a dandelion type coffee beverage.  However, I do purchase a powder which is called Dandy Blend.  This is a mixture of dandelion root and chicory root and while not real coffee, tastes surprisingly similar. 

dandelion flowers and dandelion greens

So, next time you see the common dandelion, hopefully you’ll see not just a weed, but a plant that is full of possibilities.  These nutritious plants have so many uses and benefits that should not be ignored.  Whether you use part of the plant or the whole plant, let this be the year you take advantage of all the dandelions growing on your lawn.

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