Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Delicious Dandelions!

Never eat any plant you have not have had expertly identified. Please seek out a local expert before foraging any wild plants! Never forage in areas that may have been poisoned or sprayed.

Dandelions are plants brought to the Western Hemisphere by European settlers. They have since gone wild all over both continents. Much hated by lawn lovers dandelions were originally a much valued green  by the original settlers, and soon after by Native peoples also. Packed with vitamins and easy to grow, the dandelion was carried all over the country. Eventually, this wonderful plant fell out of favor with suburban  lawn enthusiasts and is now seen as a intrusive " weed." When I was a kid I helped my Romanian Grandparents harvest dandelions for salads and fried greens. Yum!

Medically it has many vitamins found in green plants. It also has medical uses for the removal of body fluids and is a mild diuretic. So EAT your dandelions!

You can eat all parts of this wonderful plant. Many ethnic  recipes for  "greens" were originally for wild greens like the humble dandelion. The young leaves can be substituted for escarole and endive in green salads. The older tougher and more stronger flavored leaves can be stir fried and added to many ethnic for medleys. The blossoms can be used to make fritters and the famous dandelion wine.

Here are few ideas for you to get started. 

Green Salad:

Use any green salad recipe and substitute finely torn or snipped young dandelion greens for excarole or endive. Easy!

Warm Bean and Wild Green Medley

1 Can of white beans or garbanzos
3 cups of fresh wild greens (can be dandelion or a mixture of wild greens)
One small onion
One clove of garlic

Chop onion and garlic. Saute in oil until soft and translucent. While the onion is cooking, wash and tear the greens. Add to the onion/garlic mixture and cook until wilted. Drain the beans and add at the last minute and heat through. Some chopped tomatoes can be added at last minute. Makes a nice veggie meal with whole grain bread or is a nice side dish for larger meal.

Try and add greens everyday day to your diet to add fiber and healing vitamins.

For more ideas Check out these Frugal Living Books!
Complete Tightwad Gazette
The Complete Tightwad Gazette

Declare Your Financial Independence
Declare Your Financial Independence

Complete Cheapskate
Mary Hunt's Complete Cheapskate

Miserly Moms
Miserly Moms

You Can Afford to Stay Home With your Kids
You can Afford to stay Home With your Kids

Lili Pintea-Reed
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