What could be better than homemade cookies? How about homemade cookies jazzed up with dandelion petals?

Dandelions, aka Taraxacum officinale, are sadly considered by many to be only an annoying weed to be eradicated from the lawn. Those in the know understand that dandelions – from the top of the flowers all the way down to the roots – are actually a source of nutrient-dense (and FREE) food and medicine. Just make certain that your dandelions are clean and come from a place that is not sprayed with pesticides!

Not only do the mildly sweet petals make these shortbread cookies beautiful to look at, but they also add an antioxidant and nutrition boost – particularly in the form of lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid responsible for dandelion’s sunny yellow color (the word lutein comes from the Latin luteus, meaning “yellow”). Lutein is sometimes referred to as the “eye vitamin,” and is protective against diseases of the eye such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Conveniently, lutein is best absorbed with eaten with a bit of fat, so go ahead and eat your cookie without guilt! ??