> hey what's for dinner mom?: Just Another Meatless Monday #62 Ode to the Lowly Dandelion

5.29.2011

Just Another Meatless Monday #62 Ode to the Lowly Dandelion

Hey What's For Dinner


I'm one of those people, yes, I let weeds live happily in my lawn. As long as it's green and alive I really don't care what it is. I have no interest in a perfect svelte green lawn. Mine is wild, long, overgrown and annoying to most people. I used to get a real high off mowing my lawn, it was instant gratification but now we have a reel mower that I hate to use, so my lawn mowing pleasure is gone.

With it's exit has come a whole new world though, eating my former rivals. I like to think of it as revenge eating, sort of "you think you get to live here for free and crowd out my grass? disrupt my vegetable growing? check it out I'm going to eat you" And we do. In Alaska you can eat: nettles, dandelions, lambs quarter (we called it pig weed when I was little), chickweed, clover and shepards purse, talk about gardeners revenge!

Today I took my camera out in the sun to play in the dandelions, I was planning on picking some for a quick salad or stirfry but those plans were waylaid by planting the garden. We have about 90 days of guaranteed frost free days up here, so when the end of May swings around the only place to find folks is in their garden. And that's where I was most of the day, I have the sunburn to prove it. I should have picked the greens and headed inside for a bit to get out of the sun but no, I stayed outside. Then my mother in law invited our little boys to spend the night and before I knew it dinner time had come and gone and no dandelions were consumed.

But they can be! The greens make an excellent peppy salad full, literally full of vitamin A, more than a full days supply. They have about a third of the vitamin C you need everyday too. Woohhoo. They can be eaten raw when small or when bigger and more mature you can steam them.

The flowers can be picked and made into dandelion wine. There are hundreds of recipe for this, pick one and have a go. Make sure you have the other ingredients on hand though because you don't want to pick a gallon of these


and not have yeast.

The roots can be dug, cleaned, dried, toasted and ground for making a drink like coffee. This is a great liver cleanser but go easy, I've heard headaches accompany more than one cup. I have some roots drying on the counter right now, I'll be drinking a cup of this about once a month from now on. The roots are very long, a tap root, they bring nutrients up from deep in the earth to feed themselves.

The bees love them, as one of the first flowers of spring they provide the first food for bumble bees and honey bees alike. Local to your area honey can lessen spring and summer allergies.

See why I'm one of those? So many good things coming from just one so called weed. I just can't see poisoning things I can eat. And plants that vex you in the garden truly taste better, gardeners revenge.





Peace and Love--


7 comments :

  1. I'm sharing my Very Berry White Chocolate Muffins! Thank you for hosting and have a wonderful week!

    Amy
    http://utry.it

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  2. what a wise and thoughtful post. We have lost the wisdom of people from our past, listening to advertisers brainwashing us to have a "pristine" lawn. People end up poisoning their ground, killing beneficial worms and other life, for an English manor lawn. Weeds can be so beneficial, if we all took the time to learn. My old place was full of weeds and I enjoyed seeing the birds feast on the seeds of the weeds. People used to feed their birds with seeds from their lawns. Everything did NOT come from a store, let alone a big box store that sells crap.
    Oops, guess your wise post touched a nerve.

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  3. Thank you for hosting. I’m a follower, and this hop is found on a page on my site that lists more than 250 hops, memes, and photo challenges… some for each day of the week. Check under the header for the link to that page. I’ve also just started a BlogFrog community that focuses on hops, carnivals, memes, and photo challenges. Go to http://theblogfrog.com/1504201 to visit & participate.
    I hope you’ll visit me soon. I follow back!
    NCSue

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  4. I never eaten dandelions but I feel like I could now! Thank you for a really interesting post and for hosting!

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  5. I wish I could eat the dandelions that pop up in our yard, but the neighborhood like to chemicallize their lawns and there is run off... I think dandelions look beautiful on the lawns and I do buy the greens in the supermarket. I am now followin you. Hope you will visit my blog and follow me back.

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  6. Come on over to the beach party Laura - what happens at the beach stays at the beach! Have a great week and thanks for hosting!

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