Dandelions: The Hidden GemAllison Fiscus
Living in Utah, the melting snow shows signs of spring on the ground. As I walk in my neighborhood, I see neighbors cleaning up their yards and lawnmowers firing up for the first smell of cut grass. As my walk continues and I round the corner to my house, I smile. My lawn is filled with spring and no lawnmower. My yard, and I am very proud of it, is filled with dandelions. Some may feel sorry for me and even leave me notes to help mow. I kindly tell them thank you and wish them a good day. I love my dandelions.
Last year, my friend, Dawn Mikesell posted a blog on the Kitchen Kneads blog about dandelion jelly
and that started my journey with dandelions. Dandelions are, yes, edible — the flower, the leaves, and the root are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dandelion greens can be eaten cooked or raw and are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain vitamin E, folate and small amounts of several minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. One cup of chopped, raw dandelion greens has 25 calories, 1.5 grams protein, 1.9 grams of fiber, and 0.4 grams sugar. The root of the dandelion is rich in the carbohydrate inulin, which is a type of soluble fiber found in plants that supports the growth and maintenance of a healthy bacteria flora in your intestinal tract. They also contain powerful antioxidants, which may explain why this plant has such broad applications for health. Dandelions contain high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is known to provide strong protection against cellular damage and oxidative stress. Go to the sources listed below and learn even more about the health properties of this hidden gem.
Now that you have realized that there is a hidden gem in this weed that most people do all in their power to rid their yards of, perhaps you like me, will smile and enjoy every day of dandelion season. I have so many wonderful recipes, so I want to share dandelion flower recipes with you this week and dandelion greens recipes next week. Some of you reading this blog may live in areas that the yellow carpet of dandelions is turning to white fluff. Others may not have seen them yet if you live in colder areas.
I try to eat as healthy as possible so I did not attempt the deep-fried blossoms. There is a blogger in Montana, homespunseasonalliving.com who has a wonderful 22-page cookbook on dandelion recipes. I am going to attempt a cookie that I make that is healthy and add blossoms, but today I give you bread recipes to pair with the delicious jelly. Kitchen Kneads may not be able to supply your dandelions, but all for the remaining ingredients, stop in and stock up for your delicious dandelion creations.
• 1 cup bread flour
• ¾ cup artisan flour
• ¼ cup barley flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 1/3 cup honey
• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup coconut oil, melted
• ½ cup Dandelion Petals (about ½ ounce)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or small loaf pans.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the honey, milk, eggs, and coconut oil until well blended.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
5. Fold in the dandelion petals.
6. Divide the batter equally between 12 muffin cups or 6 muffin cups and 1 small loaf pan. Fill 2/3 full.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. An inserted toothpick will come out clean and the edges will be browned.
8. Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
9. Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire racks.
Options: I made two batches of these. One just like the recipe and in the other batch I added 1 tablespoon of lavender buds. Both versions are delicious. These muffins are delicious, moist and beautiful. For one batch I also made 6 muffins and 1 small loaf.
• 1 cup bread flour
• 1 cup hard red wheat flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon real salt
• 1 cup dandelion flowers
• ¼ cup coconut oil
• 4 tablespoons honey
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ cups milk
1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl including petals and make sure to separate clumps of petals.
2. In a separate bowl mix together milk, honey, oil, and beat in egg.
3. Add liquid to dry mixture. Batter should be fairly wet and lumpy.
4. Pour into greased bread pan.
5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until done. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.
This bread is delicious. I really like to toast this and use the dandelion jelly.
On a previous blog, I made bread in a bag. Use that same recipe and add 1 cup dandelion flowers and 1 tablespoon lavender flowers. This is a great yeasted bread that I used with dandelion pesto and homemade cheese and fresh chicken pieces. This is the most delicious toasted sandwich.
Try these recipes and enjoy dandelions in a whole new light. You will have a yard like mine before you know it. Watch for next week’s blog for a great recipe with dandelion greens.