Foraging – Dandelions

February 27, 2016

in Food

At first glance, dandelions don’t seem like a good foraging food source, because it takes a lot of them to accumulate few calories. But when we consider how abundant they are, how easy they are to collect and how useful they can be, the picture changes.

Dandelions contain potassium, iron, copper, zinc and vitamins C, A&D, and a variety of B vitamins.

Dandelion leaves act as a diuretic, flushing water out of the body. This may be useful or not useful depending upon the circumstances and is considered to be an aid for high blood pressure or some liver problems. The leaves also tend to help kidney function and aid in detoxifying the body. Dandelion leaves tend to have a slight bitter taste and so don’t make a good salad all by themselves, but they are an excellent addition to a salad made from other greens. The young tender leaves are less bitter. Pick them before the flowers mature.

Dandelion roots act as a digestive aid and a mild laxative. Dried roots can be roasted to prepare a coffee substitute. Dandelion flowers can be used as a garnish, or cooked into a syrup or aged into wine.

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