It's dandelion season! For those who don't already love these wonderful wild "weeds", you must know that there are a multitude of benefits and uses of dandelions. The leaves, flowers and roots are all edible, tasty and healthful - the greens make a great salad or steamed dish, flowers can be battered and made into fritters or added fresh as garnish for salads or made into a healing tea that aids headaches, menstrual cramps and more, flowers can also be brewed into dandelion wine or processed into dandelion icecream!, and the roots can be stir-fried or dried and ground into a powder to use for a nourishing hot beverage. Best of all, they are abundant and easily wild-harvested in almost any neighbourhood. Kids will love helping to pick the bright yellow flowers. They are a superb early spring wild food to be gathered, alongside nettles and burdock root. As with all wild-harvesting, be sure you are picking in an unsprayed area and don't overharvest (although with dandelions you probably don't need to worry as much as they self-propogate so freely), and remember to spread health through your neighbourhood by blowing those white dandelion seeds into the wind!
Here is a simple recipe for dandelion blossom fritters:
1 cup milk or milk substitute
1 cup flour
50 large dandelion blossoms, freshly picked
Mix the batter (egg, milk and flour). Heat frying pan with small amount of oil. Dip each dandelion blossom one by one into the batter, and fry briefly until crispy. Eat warm as is, or dip into maple syrup for a special sweet treat. Enjoy!