Nothing keeps those pesky yellow weeds occasionally appearing in your garden, not even picking or poisoning them. They always come back.
So maybe now is the time to accept the persistent dandelion and all of its benefits.
Dandelion’s Health Benefits
Throughout the years, dandelion has been used in the treatment of various health problems, such as kidney disease, liver problems, appendicitis, and heartburn.
Starting from its roots, up to its blossoms, dandelion is completely edible. It’s extremely rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and minerals like potassium, iron, and zinc.
Several benefits of consuming your weeds:
- Its leaves contain higher amounts of beta carotene than carrots, so they are excellent for eye vision.
- The greens supply our body with 535% of the recommended daily vitamin K intake, crucial for avoiding cognitive decline and strengthening bones.
- Tea from the dandelion root was shown to cause the death of leukemia cells, but not on healthy cells, according to a 2011 study.
- Dandelion is a diuretic that assists kidneys in the elimination of excess water, salt, and waste through the production of urine. Maybe this is the reason why kids in Europe are said they’ll wet their beds if they pick dandelions.
- Dandelion contains high amounts of antioxidants, thus warding off cancer, premature aging, and other diseases provoked by oxidative stress.
- Many studies on animals proved that the root and leaves of dandelion balance cholesterol levels.
- Dandelion extract is proven to increase the immune system and fight against microbes.
- This plant can also aid the digestive system since the root can function as a mild laxative, while fresh or dried dandelion can settle the stomach and stimulate the appetite. This was Pioneer Thinking by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
24 Incredible Dandelion Uses
In the Kitchen
Since this plant is completely edible, it can be combined in various ways in the kitchen.
1. Sautéed Greens and Garlic
Dandelion greens contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, and therefore are a healthy addition to any meal. If you sauté them with garlic, or capers, or ginger, you will balance the bitterness that sometimes can appear from their leaves.
Dipping them in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds will lower the acrid taste. Don’t use mature dandelion leaves since they can be unpleasant. Click here to see this delicious recipe.
2. Pumpkin Seed Dandelion Pesto
The pesto prepared with dandelion greens, pumpkin seeds, parmesan, and lemon juice is a nutritious and delicious one perfect for sandwich spread, simple pasta, or veggie dip. Here’s how to prepare it.
3. Tempura Blossoms
Separated dandelion flowers from the green parts can be fried and dipped in seasoned batter. You’ll get an attractive and delicious side dish or a snack. Check out the recipe here.
4. Herbal Vinegar
Prepare a dandelion vinegar by soaking its flowers in apple cider vinegar. Allow them to stay 4 weeks, and then strain and keep them in a dark place for about 12 months. You can use this vinegar in dressings, stews, soups, sauces, salads, or drink it as a revitalizing tonic. Here’s how to prepare the infusion.
5. Vegetarian Risotto
Use the dandelion flower to make a jewel-like vegetarian risotto. They provide a mild sweet taste and visual appeal, while the wine, onion, parmesan, and creamy yogurt add a rich flavor and smooth texture. Follow this recipe here.
This is an alternative side dish to the Korean kimchi prepared with cabbage. Instead, this one uses dandelion greens, which are fermented with herbs, green onions, spices, and soy sauces, as explained in the recipe.
7. Savory Muffins
Dandelion petals can be used for the preparation of savory muffins, together with oatmeal, whole wheat flour, and honey. The best way to serve them is with springtime soups like green pea and asparagus. Here’s how to make them.
8. Petal Sorbet
Use fresh dandelion blossoms together with honey, sugar, and lemon juice to prepare a tasty iced treat during the hot summer days. Check out the full recipe here.
The jelly from dandelions is sweet and delicious as honey. You can use it on top of crumpets, toasts, etc. Keep it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but make sure you use it at least in the first week. Here’s the full recipe.
10. Pancake and Waffle Syrup
The pancake syrup is really delicious but full of preservatives and artificial additives. In order to avoid them but still keep the lovely taste, you can make your own syrup from dandelions, honey or sugar, and lemon in 2 days. The whole process is explained here.
11. Dandelion Blossom Cake
It’s a delicious sweet and a bit tropical cake prepared with dandelion syrup, cinnamon, blossom petals, walnuts, pineapple, and coconut. We’re sure your whole family will enjoy this healthy dessert. Check out this recipe here.
You can make another treat based on dandelions, in addition to oats and organic local honey. The recipe for the healthy lemony cookies is rather quick and simple.
13. Dandelion Root Coffee
We already mentioned that all parts of dandelions can be used in the kitchen. The greens can be sautéed, the blossoms used in desserts, and now the roots can be used in the preparation of an alternative coffee free from caffeine. To get a deep and earthy flavor, roast the roots before grinding. Learn what to do here.
14. Dandelion and Iced Lime Tea
Kids enjoy this dandelion and iced lime tea, which is natural, refreshing, and beneficial for our skin. For the preparation of this tea, blend a quart of dandelion flowers with fresh juice from limes, a dried leaf from red raspberry, and stevia leaves or other sweeteners. Here’s the full recipe.
This amazing plant can be even used in the production of a fine country strong and medium sweet wine. Take a gallon container and go straight to your backyard, or countryside, and pick up enough full flowers to fill it loosely. Ferment these flowers with water, raisins, and lemon zest for several months before consuming them. Learn everything about this process here.
16. Danish Schnapps – Two Ways
Besides country wine, you can make your own Danish schnapps with the dandelion flower heads. They will provide aromatic and mildly sweet flavor excellent with a combination of cakes, sweet desserts, and chocolate. If you want spicy, dry, and very aromatic schnapps, brew it together with the dandelion roots. This drink goes well with roast meat and similar robust flavors, or you can enjoy it on its own. Here is Real Cures Recipes.
For Health and Beauty
Due to its incredible properties, this plant can be used even outside the kitchen, in the treatment of minor skin ailments, and in the reduction of pain and inflammation.
17. Pain Relieving Oil
This plant possesses one of the most beneficial properties for the treatment of aching muscles and joint pain. Just soak the dandelion flowers in oil, and use this mixture to rub your sore muscles and joints. To prepare it, fill a small jar with freshly picked dandelion flowers, and pour them to the top of the jar with a base oil, such as olive or sweet almond. Allow them to stay for 2 weeks in a warm place, and then strain the oil and store it in a sterilized jar in the fridge.
18. Pain Relieving Salve
You can turn the dandelion infusion into a soothing lotion that you can carry in your gym bag or purse, or keep it close to you in your office or car. Use a double boiler and blend the infused oil with the beeswax. Then pour it into a tin or jar and let it cool before start using it. Click Leahy Bee Keeping to see the exact instructions and measurements.
19. Lotion Bars
Lotion bars are much less messy than a salve. They moisturize and reduce inflammation and soreness thus helping the worst cases of dry and cracked skin. If you often do manual work such as gardening, just rub the bar over your hands a few times a day. To prepare these silky and healing bars, you need to blend infused oil from dandelions with shea butter, beeswax, and lavender essential oil. You can see the full process here.
20. Wart Remover
Dandelions possess the secret weapon against warts, and that’s the white sticky resin that comes from its leaves, stems, and roots. Your warts will soon be gone if you apply some of this sap directly on them, once or a couple of times a day.
In-Home and Garden
You can add color to your home, or provide nutrients to your garden with the help of dandelions.
21. Floating Table Centerpiece
You’ll need only reclaimed wood, small nails, and of course dandelions to make the cool centerpiece. To make a centerpiece that seems as floating, make a wooden box, hammer the nails through the underside, and glide the dandelions on top. Click here to see this process in detail.
22. Natural Yellow Dye
You can make your own natural yellow dye to brighten up fabrics by cooking dandelion heads. Click here to see more of this alternative to chemical-based dyes.
To provide your garden with nutrients, make this simple weed tea, or liquid fertilizer. The most nutritious dandelions are the deeply rooted ones, so brew them up and spray or pour them on the vegetable gardens and flower beds.
24. Food for Goats
Anyone who keeps goats knows that they require diverse, vegetarian food. So instead of weeding the annoying dandelions, just let the goats do the whole job, and they will be full and happy.
Don’t Forget the Bees!
While picking dandelions for your own purposes, remember that they are bees’ first food of the season, so make sure you leave some for them.