Weedy Wednesdays! DANDELIONS

So here we are! On my first Weedy Wednesday! Thanks so much for coming by and checking it out!

I had a bit of trouble deciding what to write about, this first time round. I had my mind set on either Garlic scapes or Lawn Daisies, since I am working with the latter and the former will come into season here pretty soon.

I went back and forth and then my friend Louise sent me a link to a recipe for Dandelion jam! That settled it!

THE DANDELION

Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale

Synonyms: Priests crown, OR Swine’s Snout

Parts used: Leaves, Roots and petals

Common (almost a nuisance) in the northern temperate zones, it does not occur in the southern hemisphere.

Appearance: Thick tap root, dark brown, on the outside and nearly white and milky on the inside. Long, jagged leaves, coming directly from that root radiating out, laying close to the ground. The leaves are smooth and the edge is serrated.  The flower is bright yellow and has a multitude of petals radiating out from the centre like a sunburst. It can easily be spotted in a field. The stem of the dandelion is hollow and has a white, milky “juice” when you pluck it. The milk is bitter.
The blooms are very sensitive to weather. When the weather is fine, the blooms are fully opened, but when rain threatens, the bloom closes up. It also closes against the night dew. Around 5 o clock in the afternoon it will begin to “close shop”, opening again at around 7 am. When the flower has matured, it will close up again in the green bracts and re-open a few days later with fluffy white “umbrellas” that have the seed attached at the end. One good gust of wind will disperse the seeds over big areas and insure the next generation of dandelions. Kids always have the greatest fun blowing the dandelion seeds away. In Germany the plant is now called “Pusteblume” literally translated into: blowing flower.

The Dandelion is rather an important plant in the honey production, so please don’t be so fast in totally dismissing them from your yard! Bees need them! We need Bees for honey! Bees are on the verge of extinction! Leave a few dandelions in your yard (do not spray them with weed killer, that kills the bees as well) and bee happy when you see a honey-bee.  Pun intended!

Dandelions are a beneficial weed! Not just for honey production! It is a great companion plant, as its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to soil and release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen. You may want to think of this, before eradicating them from your lawn.

Dandelions are used as a food source by a number of moths and butterflies as well!

Medicinal uses:  Dandelions are considered a rather safe and effective general tonic for strengthening the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, spleen,  intestines and stomach. Improving bile flow and reducing inflammation. Dandelion is also a mild, natural diuretic, so use with care! The white sap of the plant can be applied directly and it will ease the pain from sores and bee stings.

CAUTION: Due to its high potassium level, dandelion may also increase the risk of hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics. If you are allergic to Dandelion, please stay away from it altogether!

Culinary uses: Dandelions are a great spring green! The young leaves are full of Vitamins A and C, more beta carotine then carrots and more potassium then Broccoli or spinach! It also delivers a great dose of iron and copper for you! The young leaves are great on sandwiches instead of lettuce, or in salads. I personally also put them in my pasta dough, instead of (or mixed with) spinach, when I make pasta (just use your favourite recipe for spinach pasta and replace it with Dandelion leafs)

Use the flower petals of the plant to make wine, jelly’s or cookies!

The root of the dandelion can be dried, roasted and ground, then used like coffee grounds! (Dandelion coffee how to) Dandelion roots are also an ingredient in Root beer!

Dandelion Cookies made by me

I am making dandelion wine this year, so check back for my updates on that as it happens. I made Dandelion cookies just the other day as you can see and they were delicious. I am going to leave them in the oven just a tad longer next time, to make them more crispy and I will also put in some pecans if I get a hold of some, other then that, they were delicious! I will write out the recipe below. I also have a link for Dandelion Jam! Thank you, Louise! 😀

There are herbal beer recipes, that include dandelion and of course you can make tea from the leaves and petals, just remember it is a diuretic!!!!

Dandelions are the emblem of White Sulphur Springs, a town in West Virginia! The town celebrates spring with an annual Dandelion festival!

The dandelion is also the official flower of the University of Rochester. “Dandelion Yellow” is one of the school’s official colours and the Dandelion Yellow is an official University of Rochester song. 🙂

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider. Please use common sense when using herbs!

Dandelion Cookie recipe: (this is my variation of a recipe found in a bunch of places online)

1/2 cup of organic vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 cup of organic honey (local is best)

2 eggs

1 cup of flour

1 cup of dry oats

1/2 cup of dandelion flower petals (ONLY the yellow ones! don’t put any of the green in, or any stems, they are bitter and nobody likes a bitter cookie! 😀 )

1 teaspoon of lemon extract (or a bit of juice from a fresh squeezed lemon and you can even put in a bit of the lemon peel chopped finely)

optional: a few of your favourite type of nuts, chopped

Pre-heat over to 375 F, mix ingredients until well blended. Place on a lined, or greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Further reading:

University of Maryland medical centre page on Dandelion

Alternative nature “Dandelion”

How to make Dandelion tea (video)

Dandelion wine recipes

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26 thoughts on “Weedy Wednesdays! DANDELIONS

  1. If I end up having enough dandelions left after making my jelly, I am going to have to try out those cookies! They look and sound good!

  2. Oh, me thinks me gonna love Weedy Wednesdays!!!! LOL!!!! This is an awesome post, with so much information!!! So interesting!!!! Actually, it is a rainy, cold day today, but as soon as they are reaching for the sun, I will be out there picking and baking cookies. In my house, though, if I tell my picky, loving husband what is in them, he won’t even take a taste…..so, I will just tell him I made some lemon cookies and then after he praises them (he is a junk food junkie and praises all sweets), I will confess. He is so much fun to do this with. 🙂
    Thank you, Bridgett!!!! This is fun and I look forward to Wednesdays more than ever, now!
    ~Louise

    • I told my husband right away what they were. He is PICKY when it comes to stuff like that and he ate them. He said they were ok. (He also put frosting on them)
      So glad you like the post. Right now I am going to make it once a month, so it’s not too much information to process and new stuff to try out.

  3. I really enjoyed this post and enjoyed the background on the dandelion as well as the reminder of how much fun I had with my kids in the garden and outside. One of my daughters has a pusteblume tattooed on her side, seeds blowing. And I regularly pick dandelions for my rabbits, (and horses, if they happen to spot me pickin’) a favorite food. I worry about the health of my two old rabbits and dandelions are good medicine! Thanks so much for a wonderful post.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post! A tattoo! That is sweet! I am thinking of engraving some on our drinking glasses….. we will see. I will need a bit of practice on the dremmel for that. (haven’t done it in forever)
      We used to pick dandelions for our rabbits too, when I was little (my Grandpa bred Rabbits) It was fun to have them. I loved the little ones in spring. (He kept them all and at one time we had 25 rabbits!!!)

      • I won’t clog up your dandelion post much, but I just wanted to say, that “they” have figured out that two rabbits after one year, = four hundred rabbits, if left to do what they do…
        What a nice memory for you. Sweet!

      • You’re not clogging anything up! I like comments and I don’t mind it one bit! 🙂 Yes, rabbits are.. um… prolific ahahhaha… Grandpa kept them strictly apart. He planned on having that many rabbits… we had the room and we made our own hay for them and grew their food. So it was all good That was as much as we could support, so he stopped there. but he started with just two does. He went and took them to a place that had rams. Never used our own…

  4. Made my jelly from the recipe I had and it does taste very much like honey. Yummy! I was a little disappointed as my recipe only gave me 5 pints of jelly. Do you know how much the recipe you have yields? I have more dandelions growing in the yard so I should probably get picking. I really need to do the cookies next though.

    • I haven’t gotten around to making it yet. I was going to this weekend, but … well.. honestly? I was too lazy yesterday hahahha…. I will definitely let you know once I get around to it! Now that you told me it tastes like honey. I might just get off my lazy behind and do it today…

  5. just a quick question. when harvesting the pedals of the dandys i noticed that the ends were white and a little soft, obviously the bits that will become the blowing seeds. Do I bread that part off and only use the yellow part of the pedals?

  6. “Common (almost a nuisance) in the northern temperate zones, it does not occur in the southern hemisphere”
    Sorry, but incorrect. I live in Australia, and Dandelions grow here very very well, as prolifically as the Northern Hemisphere! My yard is full of them!

  7. I have never head of eating dandelions. This is going to be a little bit of a hard sale to my family. I think I’ll just bake them, serve them and then tell them the ingredients afterwards. I’m looking forward to trying this out.

    • My kids don’t have a problem with trying new things, my husband is another story lol
      But after 16 years and many peasant surprises to his pallet, he has finally given up trying to figure out what I am up to now and just tries what I give him lol Good luck!

  8. Pingback: 24 Reasons To Go & Pick Dandelions Right Now

  9. Pingback: 24 Reasons To Go & Pick Dandelions Right Now | Best Home Natural Remedies

  10. Pingback: 24 Little-Known Uses for Dandelions From Baking and Pain RELIEF to Quickly Removing Warts : The Hearty Soul

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