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!
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.
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!
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!
Well with so many dandies in the garden I figure I'll cook up some of the stored dandelions!
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.
Notice the leaves were blanched since they were in the cellar with no light.
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.
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!
Today I am frying them up to put into an omelette! I add them into the pan with some garlic and fry them up.
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.
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!
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
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!