I’ve been reading a few posts lately from Diary of a First child on foraging for food, which in all honesty is something that I never even contemplated doing.
Her posts are fascinating though – I had no idea there are so many edible things all around us!
Feeling some trepidation but still up for adventure, I decided to give it a try with something easy: Dandelions!
Apparently, dandelions are awesome for us. Who knew?
“Dandelion is a source of potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. The leaves are a richer source of Vitamin A than carrots and contain some amounts of Vitamins B, C and D.” From Harry’s Teas
According to The Leaf Lady, dandelion as part of your daily diet could:
“…prevent or cure liver diseases, such as hepatitis or jaundice; act as a tonic and gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, dissolve kidney stones, and otherwise improve gastro-intestinal health; assist in weight reduction; cleanse your skin and eliminate acne; improve your bowel function, working equally well to relieve both constipation and diarrhea; prevent or lower high blood pressure; prevent or cure anemia; lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half; eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods; prevent or cure various forms of cancer; prevent or control diabetes mellitus; and, at the same time, have no negative side effects and selectively act on only what ails you.”
Well, I was convinced…so I decided to give it an experimental little try.
And as I picked dandelion flower tops from my front yard, vaguely wondering what the neighbors might be thinking of me, I was reminded of a somewhat amusing story told to me by a friend…
A long time ago in the spring someone knocked on their door. Her mom answered – it was a woman unknown to her. The woman said, “I just had to ask you – how did you get all of those beautiful yellow flowers to grow right in your lawn like that?”
The flowers, of course, were dandelions.
And on that note, here is how I made my dandelion flower tea:
I gathered a large handful of dandelion flowers (open, yellow ones – not the white fluffy ones). I picked them from my front yard because I know it is free of pesticides (very important) and that we don’t ever take the dog there to do his business.
I rinsed them very well in a colander, then used kitchen scissors to cut the petals into my mug (you don’t want to use the green part).
I then steeped in boiling water for 20 minutes and strained the petals out through a mesh coffee filter.
I tried it without a sweetener (most sources recommend that you add one) and it was OK, but had a somewhat bitter taste. I added a bit of honey and it was perfect.
And that was it!
Maybe next time I’ll try another part of the dandelion, along with doing more research on edible plants – I would love for the Bean to have an understanding of such things!
Do you or would you forage for food?