Medicine for the People
By Harvey Walks With Hawks
Cooking and Eating
With the official first day of spring
past and when you look around you see these little round
yellow flowers that some people hate; Oh Well they are
called dandelions. While everyone else is looking for a
place to spade or plow the garden I am looking for the
beautiful little blooms. Not feeling up to planting and
tending? Take the slacker route and start foraging.
Depending on where you live, the season’s first
dandelion greens may already be busting through the
ground, just waiting for you to pick ‘em. I like to use
the bloom early in the spring.
Fried Dandelion Blossom Recipe
I remember my Paw Paw pulling out his
pocketknife and carefully digging up dandelions in the
yard. Never mind the pretty yellow blossoms. Dandelions
were weeds, and they had to go — root and all.
Granddaddy would probably have a really good laugh if he
knew that I grub up some my dandelions, cook them and
Dandelions are very versatile herbs.
You can use the roots for teas that cleanse the liver
(and also keep yeast infections at bay), pick the new
leaves for salads, or fry up the blossoms for a unique
taste treat that will impress your friends. To make
Fried Dandelion Flowers, you must first gather your
blossoms. You want newly-blossomed dandelions,
bright-yellow in color and not the puffy white seed pods
that are fun to blow but not good to eat.
If you have kids, they love to go
collect the little yellow blooms. Just send them out
with a bucket and let them pick away. You'll need
between 2 and 3 cups of dandelion blossoms for four side
dish servings. Be sure to wash the flowers and clip the
stems down to the edge of the flower head. The stems
(and older leaves) have a bitter taste, so you don't
want to fry those. Wrap the blooms in paper towels. This
will absorb the water that collects in the flower heads.
While the flowers drying, you can heat up a pan of oil
(350 - 375 degrees) and mix up your batter.
Fried Dandelion Flowers
2-3 cups of dandelion bloom
1 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Optional (other favorite seasonings
like garlic powder, onion salt, or seasoning salt — go
light on the seasonings until you're sure you like the
flavors with the blooms). Beat the egg and add the milk.
Whisk in the flour and seasonings. You can dip the
flowers and fry immediately, but the batter stays on
better if it's refrigerated for a half hour or so.
When the batter is lightly browned,
lift the flowers out of the oil and drain them on paper
towels. Fried Dandelion Flowers are good served as
appetizers or as a side dish with ham.
Medicinal Values of the Dandelion
(Bloom, Leaves, Stems & Roots)
Phytochemicals: Chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acid,
harpagide, harpagoside, kaempferol, luteolin, oleanolic
Calcium, Iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus,
potassium, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, and
Actions and Uses: Acts as a diuretic.
Cleanses the blood and li8ver, and increases bile
production. Reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid
levels. Improves functioning of the kidneys , pancreas,
spleen, and stomach. Relieves menopausal symptoms.
Useful for abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors,
cirrhosis of the liver, constipation, fluid retention,
hepatitis, jaundice, and rheumatism. Believed to help
p0revent age spots and breast cancer.
Leaves can be boiled and eaten like
spinach. (Young leaves can be used in salads). Caution:
Should not be combined with prescription diuretics. Not
recommended for people with gallstones or biliary tract
Walks With Hawks Harvey Doyle/BSNH