We’ve already determined that dandelion really is a special plant, if you can change your thinking toward it you can begin to reap the benefits of this herbal ally. But before you start picking leaves and eating them (something I do frequently on our homestead) make sure you’re picking them from a clean area.
Make sure you haven’t sprayed toxic chemicals on your lawn to kill weeds in the past few years. The dandelion’s long tap root can pull those toxins up into the roots and leaves. If you have sprayed, you’ll need to wait a few years before harvesting. But don’t worry, they’ll still be there when you’re ready to pick them. ♥
The leaves are the mildest tasting in early spring, but are edible throughout the summer (albeit quite a bit more bitter, but we all need a little more of that in our lives, right??) If you really want to keep them milder tasting, you can do what’s called “blanching” and cover the plants with buckets or bowls, keeping them from getting sunlight. This causes the plants to become a little less green and a lot less bitter. Remove the cover one day before harvesting.
Worried about over-harvesting this plant? Don’t. You simply can’t. It will come back again and again whether you like it or not! 🙂
Don’t be afraid to add some dandelion leaves to your salads, sandwiches and soups. They make a health-boosting, tasty (and FREE!) addition with the additional benefit of liver and blood detoxification (mild).
And that’s just the leaves! The other parts of the dandelion are also edible and health building, but we’ll cover that at a later date. 😉