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!
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!
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)
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.