Dandelions – Friend or Foe?

With log tap-roots and large seedheads, dandelions can rapidly multiply in the garden. According to the RHS their Latin name is Taraxacum and over 200 microspecies have been identified across the British Isles.

We have given up trying to get rid of them and now focus on them as a food supply for us and more importantly for bees as they are one of the earliest flowers that provide nectar and pollen in early spring.

But food for us, that sounds surprising right? According to Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, which is quoted by this chef, dandelion leaves have eight times more antioxidants, two times more calcium, three times more vitamin A, and five times more vitamin K and vitamin E than spinach.

In fact there are mutliple nutritious and medicinal uses of dandelions including as a diuretic.

The blanched leaves can be added to salads, roots are used to make dandelion ‘coffee’ and dandelion wine is made from the flowers.

There are lots of interesting recipes here: moralfibres.co.uk/dandelion-recipes-how-to-eat

We tend to use the leaves in cooked dishes, raw in salad or in a dandelion and sundried tomato pesto.

 

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