Dandelions: Just a Pesky Weed...right? Wrong!
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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."
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%
- Contain powerful antioxidants.
- Are a good source of beta carotene, potassium and vitamin K.
- Are Liver detoxicants
- 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.
- Make a tea: http://www.livestrong.com/article/16368-make-dandelion-root-tea/
- Make wine:http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelion.asp
- Make a salad: http://www.ehow.com/how_5847693_use-dandelion-salad.html
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!