Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The First Dandelion Has Bloomed – I am So Excited !!

I hear many of you groaning at the thought of the Dandelions invading your lawn but not me! I am dancing with excitement! You probably think I am a little crazy gushing over a “weed”. However, what is a weed other than an unwanted plant growing in an unwanted location? News flash – I have these delicate looking flowers exactly where I want them. Matter of fact, I wish I had a bigger lawn with MORE dandelions taking root in the chemical-free habitat.

Okay, I will explain my insanity. Dandelion greens, roots, and flowers are edible and are a FREE food source in your yard! The leaves add a nice variety and zip to any salad. Many people like them cooked liked spinach or collard greens. Raw or cooked, they are high in vitamins and minerals and have little or no fat and cholesterol.
Nutritional Information of Raw Dandelion Greens
Nutritional Information of Cooked Dandelion Greens

I have not tried the root yet but a google search will lead you to sites describing many medicinal properties and recipes. The blossoms also have medicinal properties and contain vitamins.

Several years ago, I made Dandelion Wine which is a white wine made with the blossoms. I had never made wine before. It was a fun and tasty experience. Here is the Dandelion Wine Recipe if you would like to try it.

I recently saw a recipe for Dandelion Jelly posted by a wonderful writer, Gail Martin, on eHow. Gail writes about how things were done in “the old days” and a pioneer ancestor in her family passed down this recipe for Dandelion Jelly. The blossoms are used to make the jelly and I decided I absolutely have to try it this year! That is why I was so excited to see the first dandelion blooming in my yard today.

I have also seen some other recipes and I hope I will have enough Dandelions to try those too! There is something intriguing about the idea of Dandelion Cookies or Cream of Dandelion Soup. Comfort food from a weed?

So this year, why not let your Dandelions grow? Save money on weed killers and your food bill. Take advantage of the health benefits. Oh, and stop by my blog to share your Dandelion experiences or recipes.

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