Don’t You Hate Dandelions?

If you hate nutrition, you should hate Dandelions. If you hate Free food, you should hate Dandelions. If you have something against a decent wine, then Dandelions aren’t for you. If you can’t stand delicious sweet syrup with a flowery side note, then don’t even consider Dandelions. We won’t even mention they are a pretty darn good coffee substitute, or apparently I will mention it.

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Dandelion, Purple Dead Nettle and Hairy Bittercress.

After all that, study it’s medicinal value and you may never look at the Dandelion the same again. Starting with nutrition, use this link to compare cooked Dandelion Greens to cooked Spinach. Overall, I give Dandelions the edge, but you be the judge. Now for most, Spinach isn’t exactly cost prohibitive, but for some, dinner can be pretty bleak. No one has to know you are struggling. Tell nosy pants that you enjoy the zen of harvesting wild food. It’s not that much of a stretch. I happen to like Wild Greens because I know where they came from. I know the person last touching them washed their hands after using the restroom. Gross right? Think about it.

I have had Dandelion Wine, but I have never made it. The wine was pretty drinkable though. I’m pretty sure it would have complimented a sweet desert.

Speaking of sweet, Dandelion Petal Syrup is delicious. It really isn’t that hard to make either. See instructions below. At first, it’s like an early Spring batch of Maple Syrup. Very clean. Then you realize that’s not maple flavor, but a flowery flavor. Very clean, sweet and unlike any syrup you have had. I have heard it referred to Dandelion Honey. Your choice.

Now, Dandelion Root Coffee is pretty darn good too. The more you roast it, the more robust it will be. It has a nutty flavor that you won’t get from actual coffee. You also get nutrients to boot. I really like Dandelion Root Coffee mixed with Chicory Root Coffee (Foraged of course).

Wild Greens (like Collard Greens)                                                                                                              2 lbs of wild foraged greens (dandelion, etc.)                                                                                      1 can diced tomatoes.                                                                                                                           Good hand full of wild garlic. 20160411_132605                                                              Salt and Pepper to taste.                                                                     Spice it your way.                                                                                  Chop the greens and garlic into 1/2 to 1 inch lengths.  Add water to cover. Cook on low heat covered with a lid until they are completely tender. (think Collard Greens cooked till done) When done, drain most of the liquid out (save the liquid for other uses).                                                                                                Add a couple table spoons of butter and a couple splashes of either lemon juice or vinegar. Delicious. Just ask anyone in my family except my wife. She doesn’t like any cooked greens.

Dandelion Flower Petal Syrup                                                                     Talk the kids into picking about 4 quarts of Dandelion Flower Heads. Use scissors to trim off the petals into a container. Don’t worry if some green sepals get in there too. No big deal. This will take about 10 minutes for 2 people. You should end up with about 5 cups of petals.

If not, send the kids back out. Put the petals in about 10 1/2 cups water and boil. Boil them good. Really pull the color out. Push the petals into the water until they are all getting boiled. Once this is done. Strain the petals out. Don’t filter the water, just strain. You should have a good 10 cups of what amounts to Dandelion Tea ( which isn’t all bad either). Add sugar at a 2 parts water, 1 part sugar ratio. IE, your 10 cups tea needs about 5 cups sugar. Boil this on medium heat until it thickens. Check out a recipe on making simple syrup. That’s really what you are doing, only using strong Dandelion Tea instead of water. The syrup will turn a fairly dark brown with a yellow tint. It is delicious. Use this link to leave a comment. 

*Sorry about the text misalignment. Having issues with the programming.

About Nature's Access

I am a Grandfather of six and father of three. I have been married for 32 years. I am a veteran of the Army with eight years of service and one combat tour. I have a bachelors degree in History and Military Science. I love the outdoors. I am a proud Christian. I have many interest and love to research anything that I lack knowledge in. Wild edibles/herbal medicines and survival are passions of mine and I love sharing what I know.
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