25 Creative Ways To Use Dandelions

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One of the things I’m most looking forward to when we move to our new homestead is learning how to garden from the elderly Italian gentleman next door. We don’t even live there yet, and he’s already taught us several different ways to use dandelions

The last time we visited our lot, he was walking around his field with a bucket and a trowel, digging up fresh, tender dandelions for his lunch time salad. Aside from intentionally growing acres of his own fruits and vegetables, he also knows how to forage wild edibles! 

The Gardener Next Door has more knowledge of sustainable agriculture than I have in my little finger, and is eager to share with us how to live off the land. He’s already shown us where the best places on our property are for growing watermelons and tomatoes! 

ways to use dandelions

I knew dandelions tasted best when they’re picked before they bloom, and that they’re good for detoxifying the liver, but I hadn’t even scratched the surface of all there was to know about Spring’s most cheerful and very prevalent weed! 

While much of North American society sprays their lawns with chemicals to get rid of the prolific weed, our neighbor, a tried and true homesteader, celebrates their annual appearance and maintains they are good for everything!

Perhaps if we learned what exactly makes dandelions so beneficial, then we’d agree that they’re just misplaced flowers, and make a better effort at including them in our cuisine and self-care!

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

ways to use dandelions

Benefits of Dandelions

The benefits of dandelions extend from its roots to its flower! Yep, the whole thing can be safely consumed, providing an abundance of nutrients our bodies need. 

  • Dandelions are high in vitamin A, K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6
  • Dandelions contain a lot of iron which helps support healthy red blood cells.
  • Dandelions also contain potassium, which helps regulate our heartbeat and blood pressure, as well as other essential minerals like folate, magnesium, and copper
  • Dandelions are immune system boosters
  • Dandelions can help balance our blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and soothe common digestive issues
  • Dandelions can be eaten raw, and, unlike most foods, they don’t lose their nutrients when you cook them! 

Sources: A Better Way To Thrive, USDA 

ways to use dandelions

Creative Uses For Dandelions 

Dandelions can be used to make:

  • tea
  • salads
  • soup broths
  • jelly
  • bread
  • fritters
  • cookies,
  • even deep fry them!

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, dandelions often find their way into skin care products to help infuse your body’s largest organ with nutrients through topical application.

You can use them to make:

  • hair rinses
  • facial steams
  • acne treatments
  • lotion bars
  • salves
  • soap

And of course, dandelions can be used for play (who remembers making dandelion crowns, and curling the tails by peeling them apart??), and to encourage pollinators to visit your surrounding gardens.  

Dandelion Food Recipes

Harvesting Dandelions For Optimum Flavor

Dandelions are naturally bitter, but there are two things you can do to ensure a tasty harvest.

  1. Harvest dandelions from plants that have not yet bloomed. The leaves are at their tenderest before the weed begins to flower.
  2. Dandelion leaves from plants that have grown in the shade are naturally blanched, and less bitter. 

Dandelion Skin Care Recipes

Dandelion Precautions 

Before taking or applying dandelions medicinally, internally, or topically, there are a few things to take into consideration. 

Dandelions should only be harvested from lawns or fields that have not been sprayed with chemicals or fertilizer. 

Also, avoid harvesting dandelions from the side of the road, dog parks, or any other public place where they may have undesirable “flavorings!” 

Likewise, dandelions should only be consumed after a Doctor’s approval if you are:

  • on blood thinners (Dandelions contain Vitamin K, which can interfere with blood thinning medication)
  • pregnant or trying to conceive (although unconfirmed, some studies suggest dandelion root may be a natural contraceptive) 
  • have latex allergies
  • have pollen or ragweed allergies 

Have you ever tried dandelions?

How do you like ’em?! 

Dandelions ready for salad

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1 thought on “25 Creative Ways To Use Dandelions”

  1. I love dandelions! My grandfather used to always pick them, then sauté with garlic, olive oil and a good salt. . He was also Italian so garlic goes with everything
    We love them in salads too!

    Reply

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