Wild Food: Load Up My Omelette with Dandelions Please!

in ecotrain •  9 months ago

Dandelions!!!

are one of my favorite wild foods. I sure do like the hunt and discovery of less common native and wild foods that get me out into nature and exploring. But there's something to be said about the dandelion.

Dandelion is STRONG! And resilient. Highly nutritive. That is the kind of food and energy I want to be ingesting today.

Have you noticed how common dandelion is? It can take just about any soil condition lush or arid. It grows well with just about any other plant out there. It can grow in tight crevices, between big plants or spread out its leaves if there is space available.

You can pick a dandelion's leaves over and over and it keeps growing them right back!

"Just try to eradicate me! Just try to over harvest me!" says the dandelion.

There's a reason this plant is called a weed - because no matter how hard we try we can't get it out of our lives. Maybe there is a reason it is all around us.

Dandelion, please lend me your strength!

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The garden is alive with dandelion flowers!

Spring brilliance leads the way into the seasons of abundance. Amidst the grass the flowers point the way where I can search out hearty dandelion leaves.

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This dandelion went to seed and before the little fluffs could be carried off into the wind birds came by and picked off all the seeds.

Wow! Dandelions are providing food for the birds in a massive way!

Not to worry there are SO many dandelions that many seeds will be produced and spread around so we don't have to worry about our food security and still share with the birds!

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Last fall I helped to clean out my landlord's greenhouse of weeds and delighted to see all the many dandelions dark green leaves smiling up at me.

I was grateful for each dandelion I dug up and the weeds went in my bucket.

I was about to preserve them for fresh eating in the winter. But not freezing, canning or drying... I kept them alive in this bucket. I separated dandelion roots into layers alternating with layers of soil and took it to the cellar where it would spend the winter for access to fresh, live food all winter. *Meanwhile I took the massive amount of leaves off of them, rinsed the dirt off and made creamed spinach curry - a bunch went in the freezer for enjoying later- which I sure did ;P)

While I ate much of the saved roots last winter I was blessed with ample nutritious food I was able to preserve and store. I have so much gratitude for the nutritive food I had through the winter.

And so on the other side of winter some dandelion roots remained uneaten. The dandelion bucket came with me to my new home and has been living on the porch with a little water if the soil dries out.

Now with spring the weather warmed up a little and surprise... now I have fresh greens just out the door of the kitchen!

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Well with so many dandies in the garden I figure I'll cook up some of the stored dandelions!

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Reaching into the soil I see that they are still as happy as can be.

They have been slowly growing all winter in the root cellar, now their growth is accelerated with the warm weather and it shows in the roots.

In case you are curious for a contrast to the above photo, here is what they looked like in the middle of last winter.

I had grabbed these roots out to cook up.. probably to put in chili or stew, knowing me.

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Notice the leaves were blanched since they were in the cellar with no light.

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Chopped up last fall they were a little more tender... and sweeter as well coming out of the cool fall weather.

Now the roots are noticeably more bitter. This time of year the new leaf growth is typically less bitter if the dandelions have had sufficient water and not stressed.

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Dandelions sure do clean up nice!

Some roots from the bucket and some flowers from the garden. The great thing about dandelions is that you can eat every part of it. Root, leaf, flower and all!

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Today I am frying them up to put into an omelette! I add them into the pan with some garlic and fry them up.

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I added some water to simmer them for a little bit to get all parts of the dandelion cooked nice and soft and to help break down the plants cell walls.

Season to taste. I just added a little vinegar, salt and dried pepper. Once they were soft enough and the water simmered out it was omelette time.

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I really like dandelions in eggs because the eggs take away a bit of the bitterness but they do not mask it. I like to get some of that bitter taste and taste the dandelion in my food.

Its interesting that over the past few years as I have wildcrafted more wild foods into my diet my palate has become increasingly accepting of bitter flavors. Well the great thing about empowering ourselves with the skill of cooking is that we can take any ingredient and prepare it to your own individual taste.

Its like discovering that inside ourselves we each have our own personal chef just waiting to cater to ourselves!

I find that some dandelions are not very bitter at all and some are pretty bitter. You can taste a little bit and decide how much you want in your food... or if you don't want any bitter flavor you can include them in robust meals like chilies and stews. Even in large quantities stronger flavors completely mask the bitterness. I can't tell you how many weird things I've thrown in a big pot of chili that people were thrilled to eat.

Did you know you just ate some plantain, yarrow and comfrey leaves? "Nope!" with a smile :)

As you will see in the next photo I am not shy on the dandelion ratio in my omelette.

Today I was just totally craving dandelion and this really satisfied that craving!

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Thanks for reading!! If you liked this bit on dandelions check out the dandelion quiche I made last fall for some friends.

Learn more about Dandelion from our friends on steemit

Edible Wild Plants – Dandelion [ @fernowl13 ]

Wildcrafted Medicine: The Incredible Healing Properties of Dandelion [ @gardenofeden ]



Who is @sagescrub?

I am a ex-suburbanite turned permaculture homesteader. Follow my journey and I will share what I know and am learning along the way. You can learn more about me in my re-introducing @sagescrub post. Wishing you abundance in your life!

Know that I am likely NOT an expert on the subjects I present. Please do your own research and be your own expert!


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I've heard you can eat dandelion. I always thought it sounded truly awful.

But you have inspired me to dig some up and eat it as soon as possible.

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I am glad to have inspired you :) If it's your first time I recommend trying the new young spring leaves which are less bitter than older leaves. You can cook them into anything like you would with other greens! Add more or less depending on your own taste buds!

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I think I'll stick with an omlette. I always liked spinach in my eggs, I'll try something new next time.

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We have bought roasted dandelion root tea for years. It is a great detox and liver cleanser.......
Now I want to go out and harvest my own!

Hope those dandelion omelettes turn out great for you too!!

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You should try the harvest sometime, it's fun and rewarding :) I had more dandelion in eggs again yesterday with some beets and arugula.. yum!

Very inspiring post @sagescrub. I tried Dandelion once but didn't like it because of it's bitterness. Well after reading your post i want to try it again :)

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Yes, you have to catch them at the right time of the year...conditions too. AND have a higher tolerance for bitter herbs....that is one thing I have grown more tolerant to. Like arrugala in your salad, etc. It is a taste that can be developed.

Peace

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My tolerance for bitter is up while my tolerance for sugar is down. Somehow that trend is connected I think :)

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I'm not going to lie, it can be bitter.. but lots of food are.. if it's too bitter i suggest try dandelion greens southern style with some brown sugar, vinegar, chili, onions and bacon + grease!

Wow! Thanks for that storage tip. I never knew that could be done!!

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You're welcome! I read about storing carrots in sand and I thought why not do that with dandies and parsnips which is what I had abundance of at the time. But I didn't have sand so I just used soil that was available. It worked like a charm! My friend had parsnips she saved in the same cellar just in a box and they ended up molding pretty bad halfway through winter.

Are you sure that's an omelette. It looks a little more like dandelions with sparce eggs. Hehe. This year I'll be eating more dandelions. They're everywhere. Many already awake. It's amazing how fast they pop up after being mowed, too.

I forget, do all parts have to be cooked? Speaking of wild edibles, I made a wild and garden grown scrambled breakfast yesterday with yarrow, chickweed, wild garlic, wild onions, wild garlic chives, tarragon, sage, Genovese basil, and chamomile seeds. I also added nutritional yeast, pink sea salt, and pepper. It was very good. I was surprised how great the chamomile tasted sprinkled on the eggs. Have you ever tried that?

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Wow! That scrambled breakfast sounds amazing!!!

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LOL! Yeah it is an omelette, I should have taken a side pic the eggs are thick. The photo is deceiving :)

None of the parts need to be cooked, but they might be more palatable and you'll get more nutrition out of any veggie if you cook it since the cell walls break down and our digestive system has easier access to the nutrients once they are broken.

Your scramble sounds awesome!! It seems we have similar cooking styles :) Lots of weeds and herbs! Next time you make it I'm coming over :P No I've never heard of, thought of or tried chamomile seeds on food.. I'll have to try it because I still have a lot that I didn't plant. Thanks for that!

Very interesting! Last year I've tried to make a coffee from dandelion roots, but it was not very tasty :)

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Hahah...I tried roasted okra too....also not very tasty!!

But go without coffee for 6months and it might taste decent!?? Either way, it is always fun for experimenting.

We use the Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Root tea for detox (liver and kidney cleanse). It is decent.... But never of the taste where I choose that tea over a more tasty one.

Peace

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I've never tried that myself but have tried roasted dandelion root from the store and it was pretty good.. definitely not coffee though! Maybe there is an art to the roasting.

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Yes, most likely, it's about roasting and picking (need the roots of young plants)

That's put your liver back into tip-top shape! (All that potassium, but especially with the bitter property refreshening this organ.) Your skin must be glowing too! (Silicium). I am currently taking a shot of dandelion elixer every morning. Birch elixer also works very well around this time of year.

The closer you are to nature the more easily your body will "crave" for certain power foods in an appropriate fashion: now is most assuredly the time for bitter (ur-spring detox).

You most certainly have drawn out the bright, radiant sun of our bitter little common weed flower and contrasted it with its moon white seed head. Both are tapped into the earth deeply (by that impressive, stubborn root lawn owners hate so much). This makes them untameably lionesque (perseverant weeds) (löwenzahn=dents de lion= teeth of/dandelion: a sunning fluffy pussycat with a bitter=vitalising rosette of sharp teeth, cut by forces of air and light.

It is so true, that you can acclimatise the palet to bitter; and it's a shame we modify our (supermarket) vegetables until they only taste sweet (there is a move to bring back a hint of tartness to tomatoes fortunately). People even eat baby leaf now to avoid the merest hint of bitter. The darker outside leaves of bitter lettuces are especially the most nutritious.

As ever, your posts are massively inspiring to trust all that lives in peace and harmony off the grid! We can even join you in partaking of it when it comes to such common weeds, which urban culture cannot so easily eradicate.

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Yes I think my liver is smiling now :) How do you make your elixers @sukhasanasister? I've never tried birch, but I take some dandelion root tincture most days and am enjoying it.

You totally hit it, I definitely crave certain plants... especially herbs & greens right now... Im going to have to find a neighbor with a nettle patch!

Thank you for your helpful comment... you have a lot of wisdom with plants I can see :)

So glad that we humans can all connect and relate with the dandelion which is found so many places.

Anyone on a paleo diet who isn’t eating weeds needs to check themselves. The edible weeds are usually the true super foods. Every vegan and environmentalist that isn’t eating weeds needs to check themselves, there is nothing more sustainable than getting your food from the plants that require more energy to kill than to grow. Dandelion is the quintessential weed, strong, bitter, relentless and so nutritious. Have you done a post on plantain and daisies?

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Nice to see you again @theferalone, thanks for your comment! I don't know about asking people to check themselves since most people are doing the best they can, after all our own bodies are at stake in our life choices. I am glad we can learn and grow together with plants as our teachers. There is always more to learn! I love plantain and no I haven't done any posts on it, but there is so much growing here I should! I can't say I am all that familiar with daisies ... thanks for the suggestion I look forward to developing a relationship with them :)

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Just slang from the hood. I grew up in the Bronx, so my demeanor and language can come off strong. What I meant was before one makes claims that they are eating the diet of their ancient ancestors or one that will save the earth, they should check their information and challenge themselves to go a step further and really get out of their comfort zone. Weeds are miracle foods of the future.

Daisies are edible, all parts I believe, but I only consume the early leaves in the year. They are really palatable with a nive tang. Great alone or to add to salads. Super hardy and come up early in the year.

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Its true, getting out of our comfort zones is so difficult... how can we know what the reward is like if we didn't get out of it in the first place? I am pretty sure I am in many comfort zones at the moment even though I recently got out of some comfort zones. What a dilemma!

Thank you for the info about daisies and inspiring me to learn more :) I visited a park today with some beautiful daisies that were white with a purple tinge on the edges.. I should have taken a photo to share.

Wow...This is really really something! Just find your post into qurator, but let me tell you! This is mind blowing!! I never ever thought to eat the whole dandelion. I eat their leaves, or make green juice of it. Or have some dandelion tea. But this is something else! It is insanely healthy!!! Take care and thanks for sharing. I will definetely bookmark this.

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Hey @missdeli, I am so glad you are inspired to try incorporating more dandelion into your diet! It totally is healthy and fun to forage your own food!

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Yeah....I'll try to have this soon! cause dandelions are everywhere this period of time! It's all yellow here, from danedlions!

Awesome info! Gon'na try it soon.

Namaste, Jaichai

Yellow is an awesome color. Love your photos.

I had always been warned off dandelion, even as a child, as it is a diuretic.

When I was young I was told if I touched dandelions I would wet the bed!

I will definitely give them a try now - we have plenty here in Wales.

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So many herbs are classified as diuretic. Some stronger than others.. but no point in being scared of peeing! Peeing feels great. I think our bodies get used to wild foods over time and you crave it, just don't over do it all at once and your body will adjust... and maybe no yellow dock root infusion before bed or a long drive ;) Actually I find I pee way more from caffeine than I do from wild food like dandelion, but everyone's body is different so your miles may vary :P Thanks for the comment @pennsif :)

Ah sage scrub, one of my favorite articles of late! If only the United States grew to sing the praises of dandelions as you are doing here! I’ve been thinking about a billboard educating people about them instead of marketing for herbicides to kill them.

Truly an inspiring post. Will be resteeming @the-hearth in the morning. I love your lived experience you share here, your obvious passion, and all of the fantastic health tips and anectdotal evidence. I love this plant feature and the fact that you really tapped into its strength and resilience! Steem on brother!!! 😊

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Right!??? I think monSATANo would sue the billboard owner just to spite you and them. But it would be oh so pleasant of a change.....instead of always seeing dandelions as bad. They are beautiful!! I just dont get it!!

Peace

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Yeah! Who wouldn't want beautiful golden flowers shining up from their lawn :P

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Thank you @mountainjewel! It's nice to step outside and find food to fuel this body growing all on its own with or without human intervention :) Great idea with the billboard! It is interesting to see dandelion greens in some healthfood markets now... but for those that want to become closer to their food.. its all around us! Thanks so much for the resteem & support & positive vibes :)

Wow! That is dandelion dedication - keeping them in the cellar all winter! You really must love them a lot. They look so delicious simmering in the pan!

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I do love dandelions... if you saw me weeding my garden beds, I leave the dandelions in place :) Totally.. dedicated! :)

This is pretty amazing. I have to say I have never been a huge fan of bitter foods though I know I need more of them in my life. I do love dandelions strength and resiliency, I look forward to harvesting that energy this summer.
Thank you for this great read ☆

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Thanks @amymya! I'm glad you are inspired to harvest more dandelions this year :) They won't let you down!

wow...it can be eaten, I see the root just like ginseng, I think we have different kind of dandelion in Indonesia

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What is your dandelion? Is it the same species? We do not have ginseng here but I would like to grow it one day :)

I didn't realise the birds like to come in and eat the seeds that might be what happened to the ones I tried to plant! They struggle to grow here a but more than they do in England. I actually have to try to encourage them!

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I didn't know either until I witnessed it the other day from my dining table! They just swoop in, peck peck peck peck peck and swoop out! Do they struggle because there's not enough water? I'm pretty sure that's the only time I've seen a dandelion struggle.. but usually it still doesn't kill them :P

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I suspect it is because of less water. But even by the creeks there aren't many, although the ones there get nice and big. We can go for months without rain too though, so that really can kill any away from a water source. May as well put them in a dehydrator! If the birds enjoy the seeds too then that will probably impact the spread of them. Summer is a hard time for any living thing here. I suspect that's why we get so many visitors to our garden. We're the only ones with edibles growing!

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Wow that's so cool that your garden attracts people.. like pollinators hopefully they spread the idea and seed of gardening into their lives and others. So great that you can do that in your community :) I wonder if dandelions are scarce from the aridity what edible weeds are thriving in that environment?

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The only people it tends to attract are those already gardening. Sorry, I realise what I wrote was ambiguous. Our main visitors are birds! Although we do have occasional people visitors.

In summer our main edible weeds are purslane now that the birds have shared some seeds with us. Winter brings more variety with Australian mallow, nettles, wild lettuce and chickweed being my favorites. We get sow and milk thistle (Australian version again), but they're more medicinal in use or great fodder. We get a LOT of soursobs in winter too.

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LOL! OK I understand what you meant now, thanks for clarifying :) I am into all the weeds you mentioned, except I have never heard of soursobs... I looked it up and realized I had heard it called sour grass before. I have only tasted it once and it's so fun! Kinda like sorrel. Last year I was weeding chickweed for someone and there was a whole bed's worth. Unfortunately it choked out a lot of the garlic crop, but fortunately for me I dried it all and drank it as infusions all winter long... I just drank the last bit of that dried chickweed yesterday :)

Definitely one of my favourites too!

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Nice one @sagescrub, I will have to try this soon. As ypu know, just a few weeks left 'till I can start gaining a wildfood experience!

Thanks again for sharing your passion