We all know that the little fuzzies that blow into the wind are actually seeds that can pretty much propagate anywhere: sidewalk cracks, potholes and baby ears [wtf?]. They can take over your whole yard seemingly overnight and they are nearly impossible to get rid of. If you insist on ridding your yard of the yellow invaders please don’t let them go to waste—these little yellow guys have all sorts of uses and health benefits!
1. Toss 'em in a Salad: Dandelion greens, crowns and flowers can be eaten right out of the ground.
Dandelions are super healthy and pack a hardcore vita-punch of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K.
Pick the earliest greens, they’ll give you the best flavor and can replace spinach greens in your salad.
The crowns (the tightly closed flowers) are the sweetest parts of the plant.
The flowers (Mama had a baby and her head popped off . . . ) can be eaten directly off the stalk and have a bitterish taste.
2. Seep 'em: Dandelion root tea has been used in Eastern Medicine for thousands of years!
I keep dried dandelion root stocked in my herb cupboard for anytime tea, but the fresh flowers have the added benefits of awesome antioxidants. And dandelion root's powerhouse antimicrobial properties can treat pretty much any ailment you can contract.
Bonus: Dandelion helps with digestion, boosts the immune system, aids the liver and kidney, slows the spread of cancer and helps with skin problems like acne and eczema.
3. Bake 'em: Cookies!
You can add dandelion petals to any baked good for added color and nutrition. Try these dandelion-enhanced oatmeal cookies!
4. Drink 'em: Dandelion wine is just fine.
If you have some extra time on your hands you can always whip up some Dandelion Wine. Cheers!
Fly away little seeds! Image: Flickr.com