Foraging for Dandelions
Finding these happy yellow flowers is easy; starting from the beginning of April step outside and look around! Chances are, quite a few specimens will catch your eye. If not, forage for them near the edges large, tree-less fields, such as soccer fields. If you are looking to use the leaves for a raw salad, it is best to pick dandelions greens before any trace of the flower bud emerges. The leaves may get intolerably bitter once the flowers emerge, but are tender and delicious before then.
Many know that dandelion leaves are a tangy way to spice up a salad, but few know that all parts of the dandelion are edible, including the flowers! The roots and stems are also edible, but arguably less delicious as they are much more bitter. However, many enjoy making a tonic tea with the cleaned, dried roots of dandelions.
Health Benefits of Dandelion
Dandelion leaves and flowers are more nutritious than most grocery-store vegetables and outrank several popular grocery-store greens in terms of calcium content, even surpassing kale! Just one cup of dandelion greens provide 10% of your daily calcium requirements. They also are loaded with beta-carotene, surpassing carrots in their beta-carotene contents. You also get vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc by using a tasty, free vegetable that grows on virtually every lawn.
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As mentioned earlier, dandelion greens are a common salad ingredient. However, few know of the most delicious way to prepare this common weed: by creating fritters out of the fully blossomed flowers. These fritters have a juicy, crunchy texture and a satisfying, meaty taste. Follow the recipe below to make your first batch!
Dandelion Flower Fritters
- A bowl of dandelion flowers
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of milk
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 1/2 cup of wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4 tbsp of grapeseed oil
- Break the egg open in a medium-sized bowl and whisk with milk until throughly mixed.
- In another bowl, mix cornmeal, wheat flour and salt.
- Wash your dandelion flowers throughally and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the stems; they are very bitter.
- Warm oil in a deep frying pan or pot to medium heat.
- With one hand, dip the dandelion flower into the egg. Transfer the dipped flower into your other hand and dip them into the flour/cornmeal mix to coat.
- Place the coated dandelion flower into the warm oil and fry until slightly browned.
- Transfer to a paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
- Enjoy while still warm!
Dandelion Fritters Instructional Video
It's around the time when dandelions are coming out, so why don't you jump outside today and collect some dandelions to make a salad with a side of fritters for dinner.