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Dandelions: Just a Pesky Weed...right? Wrong!

Updated on November 27, 2017

What wild herbs are edible?

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"When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money."

Cree Prophecy




Dandelions are super weeds and SUPER FOOD!

I can't help it. I cringe and nearly bite my tongue off when I hear people complain about the dandelions in their yard. What really irks me is the amount of poisons we put into our soil and environment to get rid of these "weeds".

Why? People, you have a FREE source of a nutrient-rich vegetable growing right in your front yard. Just one serving of dandelions contains a percentage of your daily value of:

  • Vitamin A-112% (three times more than one serving of baby carrots)
  • Fiber-8% (twice the amount than one slice of wheat bread)
  • Vitamin C-32%
  • Calcium-10%
  • Iron-9%

Dandelions also:

  • Contain powerful antioxidants.
  • Are a good source of beta carotene, potassium and vitamin K.
  • Are Liver detoxicants

PLUS:

  • Some studies claim that it helps prevent breast cancer and other types of cancer (note: my family have been eating dandelions for generations; not one person in that lineage of three generations has gotten breast cancer)

Health food stories are selling Dandelion tea and pills for big bucks. Seriously.

It's a super vegetable, and it's available in unlimited supply. So, obviously, we must destroy it!

Ok, if you want to be a crazy, like me, and actually harvest and use this wonderful source of nutrients, there are several ways to do so.

Important: make sure you harvest dandelions that haven't been sprayed with lawn chemicals or weed killers. Always wash your greens thoroughly.

Or boil them up and dress them with salt, butter, and maybe a little apple cider vinegar (Ayuh, that's what us Mainers do).

Every part of the dandelion is ebible, even the flowers. My girls and I made a wonderful Dandy Bread last spring. We went out early in the morning (for the best flavor), and plucked the heads off a dozen or so dandelions. (I know the neighbors were watching us and thought we were totally crazy. I say, crazy like a fox!) Then we used this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/dandelion-bread-377973. Spread on the butter...yummy!

So next time you see a dandelion with its friendly yellow face, please don't reach for your weed killer! Reach for a fork instead! :)

Dangers and problems of Roundup weed killer

  • Studies have shown that Roundup's main ingredient, glyphosate, has the capacity to kill human cells.
  • Studies have also linked Roundup use to birth defects in animals and people. (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/24/roundup-scientists-birth-defects_n_883578.html)
  • Weeds are building up an immunity to our lawn chemicals, such as Roundup. This means you need to use more and more chemicals to kill the weeds. If you don't care about the health side-effects, you should at least care about the cost!

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    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks so much Pamela N Red! I appreciate you stopping by and spreading the word.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Dandelions are natures best kept secret. I posted this on Twitter for you. Enjoyed reading.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Agreed Healthy Pursuits...and thank you!

    • Healthy Pursuits profile image

      Karla Iverson 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      I think people fight dandelions because the plants are too successful, so they're considered a pest. But then, we would be considered too successful if there was a life form above us, too. And we think we're valuable. Great hub! Thanks for the cooking tips. I've considered making dandelion wine before, so the link is especially appreciated.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thank you Good Lady! The "Cicoria" dish sounds yummy, thank you for sharing that!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Nice one. Thanks.

      Yes! Foods you pick and glean and find growing wild in hedgerows, fields and along the shores are fun to find, great to eat, I do agree.

      We pick the dandelion plant (which we call cicoria in Italy.)

      In season, we cut it where it clusters at the root (before or after it's flowered) with a small knife, wash it, boil it, drain and squeeze dry, toss it in olive oil and eat it between two pieces of hot pizza bread (a dish from Le Marche).

      I might write a Hub about it.

      Anyway, I think yours is a very interesting Hub and it is good of you to enlighten like this.

      Hope a lot of Hubbers read it!

      Voted up!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Pollyannalana and Dani: Thank you!

    • Dani Katarina profile image

      Dani Katarina 

      6 years ago from California

      I didnt know all this about dandelions! thank you for sharing, this was very useful...I really wanna try out the tea.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      6 years ago from US

      I know I feel just like you and they have them on salads in restaurants, don't people recognize them. Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and all kinds of animals love them too! Now we do have to watch for yards that animals run in, I sure wouldn't want any of those! lol

      Great hub.

      Polly

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks for reading, tammyswallow! I grew up on dandelion greens, and never thought a thing about it. I've never tried dandelion wine, but heard it's an acquired taste. Maybe someday I'll make a batch.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow.. I didn't know they were edible. My father is a bootlegger and he makes dandelion wine, but I didn't know they could also be eaten. Wonderful!

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