Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

 

Earth Medicine...

July 2011

 

 

Medicine for the People

By Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle, BSNH

 

 

Cooking and Eating Dandelions Blooms

 

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 eat them.

 

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

1-2 egg

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 acid.

Nutrients: Calcium, Iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C.

 

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 obstruction.

 

Walks With Hawks Harvey Doyle/BSNH

 

This information is for educational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advise.  It is not intended to diagnose, cure or is in any way suggestive as far as medicinal advice. Always consult your physician or health care provider before using  alternative medicines or herbs.

  

 


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