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Dandelion Preparation

Admittedly, the first time I harvested dandelion for this purpose was late March in 2020…. neither did I have any idea how to prepare it for optimal medicinal benefit.  Fortunately, this has been a well loved herbal treat, and research shortly yielded a wealth of options.  I’ve harvested for you a few of my favorite finds, complete with the author’s annotations and link  – help yourself to these treasures.

Every part of dandelion is useful. I harvest leaves, flowers, and roots in the season when they are most vital.

In early spring leaves quickly shoot up and gather sunlight. This is when they are most tender and can be eaten fresh, cooked, or dried for tea. As the leaves age and are exposed to sunlight, they can become intensely bitter.

To preserve leaves for tea, harvest on a dry day. Use a rubber band to bundle small bunches then hang to dry, or dry leaves in single layers in baskets. Store in a glass jar for up to a year.

Buds appear at the base of the leaves in early spring. These can be eaten fresh, cooked or pickled. Buds open into flowering heads. These are best gathered for food or medicine on sunny days when they are dry and fully open, usually in April or early May. Drying the flowers is nearly impossible since they go to seed quickly.

Root medicinal properties vary a little from season to season. In spring, they are more bitter and have optimal medicine as a digestive stimulant. In the fall, they are sweeter and higher in a carbohydrate called inulin, which is excellent for diabetics. Be mindful that when you dig dandelion even the smallest piece of root left in the ground will grow into a new plant.

 

Dandelion — Wild foods and medicines. (2020, March 3). Wild Foods and Medicines. http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/dandelion/

  1. Place four cups of clean dandelion flower, leaves and root in a sauce pan.
  2. Cover with about four cups of water.
  3. Bring water to a boil. 
  4. Allow the tea to infuse for three hours.
  5. Strain out the dandelion and reserve the liquid for your tea.   

 

Rose, Amanda. “Dandelion Tea for Fluid Retention, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and More!” Fresh Bites Daily, 26 Apr. 2018, freshbitesdaily.com/dandelion-tea/

2  Roasted Dandelion Roots

3 cups filtered water

2  dates pitted

1/8 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

 

  1. Add water, roasted dandelion tea bags, and dates to a small pot over high heat. Allow to come to a rolling boil, then turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags from the water and discard. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into two glasses and serve warm.

Amy Myers MD. (2016, July 15). Dandelion root cafe Lattéhttps://www.amymyersmd.com/recipe/dandelion-root-cafe-latte/

  • 2 tablespoons roasted dandelion root
  • 1 ” piece of fresh ginger root (cut into thin rounds – no need to peel)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (broken into several pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (lightly crushed)
  • 5 whole cloves (lightly crushed)
  • 4 green cardamom pods (lightly crushed)
  • 1 whole star anise (lightly crushed)
  • 3 whole allspice (lightly crushed)
  • 3 cups cold water
  • whole raw milk (or milk of your choice)
  • raw honey or maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

 

  1. Combine the dandelion root and spices in a saucepan. Add the cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove the dandelion and spices by straining.
  4. Fill mugs 3/4 of the way full. Add milk to fill the cup and sweeten to taste with raw honey, or maple syrup.

     

Roasted dandelion root chai. (2020, March 26).  https://learningandyearning.com/dandelion-root-chai/

  • 4 cups fresh dandelion flowers
  • 1-2 cups sugar or honey
  • 4 lemons

 

  1. Place the freshly cleaned dandelion in a stove top pot with in about 4 cups of water and let sit for about an hour.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the temperature down, place a top on the pot and continue to simmer for at least one hour.
  3. With tongs, remove the dandelions from the pot. 
  4. Strain the remainder of the  dandelion brew into a gallon container.
  5. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and remaining water.  You can also substitute honey for some or all of the sugar.

 

Dandelion lemonade. (2019, April 26). Creative Homemaking.  https://creativehomemaking.com/recipes/drinks/dandelion-lemonade/

  1. Pick dandelion flowers during the daylight while in full bloom.
  2. Soak the flowers in cold water for five minutes to allow time for any insects to exit.
  3. Remove the petals, then measure the petals only. Discard the center of the flower and the stem.
  4. Place the petals in a heavy saucepan along with the water, lemon slices, and vanilla bean.
  5. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 6 hours.
  6. Strain the dandelion tea through a cheesecloth and discard the solids.
  7. Place the dandelion tea in a heavy saucepan and bring it to a low boil.
  8. Gradually add sugar to the boiling liquid while stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  9. Lower the heat and let it simmer uncovered until it reaches the desired syrupy thickness. This may take up to 4 hours.

Turn dandelions into honey with this recipe. (2007, October 11). The Spruce Eats. https://www.thespruceeats.com/dandelion-honey-recipe-1806823

  1. heat the dandelion infused oil in a bain-marie (a double boiler) with the beeswax.
  2. Stir until the beeswax is fully melted
  3. Add a few drops of your essential oil before removing from heat.
  4. Pour the substance into your glass jar and let it sit for a couple of hours

Merva, V. (2019, November 9). Cracked skin? Check out our two natural solutions using dandelions. SimplyBeyondHerbs. https://simplybeyondherbs.com/dandelion-salve-and-lip-balm/

  1. Pick enough dandelion blossoms to fill your glass container.
  2. Pour olive oil over blossoms until they are fully covered.
  3. Using a wooden handle of a kitchen utensil, or a chopstick, carefully poke the mixture to remove air bubbles.
  4. Cover glass container with a breathable lid, such as a coffee filter or woven cloth, held on with a rubber band.
  5. Place it in the sun to steep for a minimum of 2 weeks.
  6. Strain out the dandelion and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

 

It’s easy to make your own healing dandelion oil. (2008, June 14). The Spruce Eats. https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-make-dandelion-infused-oil-1762145

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • 1 inch ginger – minced
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 4 cups cooked and diced potatoes
  • 2 cups dandelion greens – lightly rinsed and chopped
  • several dandelion flowers
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • oil for sautéing – avocado, olive, coconut, etc
  1. Saute the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger with a drizzle of oil until the onion has softened.
  2. Pour in the broth and add 2 cups of the cooked potatoes.
  3. Puree the potatoes with an immersion blender (this one is my favorite!). Pureeing the potatoes creates a creamy, thick soup and also eliminates any little chunks ginger that may be a little spicy if bitten into.
  4. Add the remaining potatoes, dandelion greens, chives, and salt. Simmer for a few minutes – until the greens have softened.
  5. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with dandelion flower petals.

Enjoy your wild and weedy soup!

 

 

Wild & weedy dandelion soup. (2017, July 23). http://www.lifeinfused.space/wild-weedy-dandelion-soup/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh dandelion leaves loosely packed
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

  1. Place all ingredients except the Parmesan into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. If it’s too thick, slowly add a bit more olive oil.
  2. Add the Parmesan and continue to blend until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
  3. Refrigerate, and eat within 3 days.

Colleen @ Grow Forage Cook Ferment. (2020, March 25). Dandelion pesto. Grow Forage Cook Ferment. https://www.growforagecookferment.com/dandelion-pesto/

 

  • Large bunch dandelion greens, rinsed of dirt and rough chopped with stems
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar 

 

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering in a saucepan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently just until the garlic starts to brown.
  2. Add the chopped dandelion greens in and toss well to coat. Pour in the vegetable broth and simmer, stirring occasionally over medium heat until the broth is almost completely absorbed.
  3. Toss in pine nuts, lemon juice, then add the vinegar and mix to incorporate. Serve hot or warm as a side dish — or make it a meal by serving with a couple of fried eggs.

 

How to cook dandelion Greens. (2015, March 30). E.A.T. http://www.timvidraeats.com/2015/03/how-to-cook-dandelion-greens.html

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 TBS baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup plus 1 TBS sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to a liquid 

1/4 cup honey

1 cup dandelion flower petals

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, honey and coconut oil. Whisk and mix well. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir until mixed without over mixing. 
  5. Fold in the dandelion flower petals. 
  6. Prepare the muffin pan by greasing or lining with muffin wrappers.
  7. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. 
  8. Sprinkle the muffin tops with a light sprinkling of sugar with the remaining 1 TBS sugar.
  9. Bake the muffins at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

 

Dandelion muffins recipe. (2019, October 6). Montana Homesteader – Sharing vintage skills so you can live a simple, more meaningful homemade life- one canning jar at atime!. montanahomesteader.com/dandelion-muffins/

Dandelion Cupcakes:

  • 1-2 cups dandelion petals 
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 2 Tablespoons goat milk butter melted (or oil of your choice)
  • zest from 1 lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup goat milk butter softened
  • 1/3 cup palm shortening pro-forest certified
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or powdered sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest from 1 lemon 

 

 

Processing Dandelion Flowers

  1. First step is to separate out the yellow dandelion petals from the green bitter stems.  I pinch the green base of each flower and gently pull the yellow petals free.  I discard the green base and use the yellow petals in the cupcakes. You want to process picked dandelion flowers as soon as you can after picking, but once you separate out the yellow petals they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days before using.
  2. Preheat oven to 325*F.
  3. Set dandelion petals aside to add in last, and then mix ingredients together in order that they are listed, starting with almond flour. Then fold in dandelion petals for the last step.
  4. Spoon batter into 10 to 12 muffin cups lined with muffin liners. (If you only used 1 cup of petals you may have enough batter for 10 cupcakes.) Note: I also like to bake this in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, like you would a banana bread, and extend the bake time to 40 to 45 minutes, It doesn’t rise a whole lot in the loaf pan while baking, but I still find it incredibly delicious.
  5. Bake for 18 to 22 min at 325*F.  Cupcakes are done when a toothpick poked inside of one comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool while you prepare the icing.
  6. Mix buttercream frosting ingredients together in a mixing bowl using a hand blender or immersion blender. Frost cupcakes after they have fully cooled. I then garnish the cupcakes with dandelion flowers and petals.

 

Wyckoff, A. (2020, February 2). Dandelion and lemon Paleo cupcakes. Forest and Fauna. 

Dandelion and Lemon Paleo Cupcakes

 
For Shortbread Base:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cups Unsalted Butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
 
 
For Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • Zest of 4 Lemons
  • 3/4 cup Lemon Juice or about 4 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Freshly Picked Dandelion Flowers, petals snipped off to yield about 1 cup petals
  • Powdered Sugar, sufficient for dusting.
 
 
For the Shortbread Base:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it mixture resembles a coarse meal. Press into the pan evenly, using the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, until just starting to brown at the edges. Let cool at least until you can handle the pan easily with your bare hands, about 15 minutes.
 
 
For the Filling:
  1. Stir together the sugar and flour. Then add the eggs, zest and juice and stir until combined. Pour over the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is mostly set. A tiny bit of wobbly in the middle is okay.
  2. Cool in the fridge for a few hours, then top with powdered sugar and dandelion petals. Cut into squares with a bench scraper or sharp knife sprayed with cooking spray.
     
     

 

Deitrich, J. (2018, May 1). Dandelion lemon bars-tart and sweet with a touch of the spring wilds. Bakers Brigade.

Dandelion Lemon Bars

FAQs

Again, this is not a cure, and there is no literature or scientific studies to definitively guide the process – just because this is a natural product, there can be health consequences.

Please review the Precautions and discuss with your doctor if this would be safe for you to try given your personal health circumstances.

When you harvest the dandelion, assure that the plants have not been sprayed  with or exposed to chemicals.

When I create the Dandelion Aqueous Extract Tea base, I wash about 30 flowers, plus 2 whole plants with roots, leaves and stem.  I place them into 6-8 cups of distilled water.

I simmer the brew for at least 3 hours, with the lid on the pan to maintain water levels.  When it has turned a Dark yellow-brown, [to approximate the optimal concentration found to be effective in scientific studies, between 2 -5mg/5ml], I consider it ready.   

I remove it from the heat and strain the liquid away from the plant material into a glass vessel.  I store the brew in the refrigerator and use it over 2-3 days.

If I were actively feeling sick, I would begin 1/4-1/2 cup twice a day.  After 3-4 days, I change to drinking it once a day,  1/4 – 1/2 cup of the warmed Aqueous Dandelion Extract Tea, sweetened with a bit of sugar.

The first time I drank the tea, I felt like I was in the beginning stages of fighting off something.  

I had never had dandelion tea before, so only drank about 1/4 cup to assure my body would accept it without adverse reactions.

I was surprised and pleased that it tasted so naturally sweet, and was without bitterness.  It went down easily.  After about 45 mins, I felt like something was unmasked, I had a bit of a cough and began to feel tired.  After sleeping for about 2 hours, there was no cough and I felt a bit better.  After about another three hours I was reminded of the diuretic properties of Dandelion – after urinating, I made sure to rehydrate with my bottled water. 

I had another dose at night and awoke the next morning better than I’d felt in days.  Subsequent doses of the tea did not generate the need to sleep.  There was never excessive diuresis, no more than after drinking coffee.

I continued to drink a small amount twice a day for a week – but day eight I held off entirely, my next dose wasn’t until the evening of day nine.  Similarly, I felt that something had been unmasked, but I didn’t need to sleep.  After several hours the slight upper respiratory congestion that had begun earlier that day had lessened.  

Again, this is not known definitively. 

In general, from the moment our immune system establishes a “priority,” it takes about 3 weeks for it to redirect production, synthesize the appropriate proteins at a high enough quantity to produced sufficient antibodies to successfully defend the body from an invasion….

Again, the dandelion doesn’t kill the virus, it slows it down by keeping it from replicating.  Theoretically, this keeps the virus from overwhelming your immune system and your body – buying time for your own immune system to produce the antibodies needed to defend itself. 

As I said above, it typically takes three weeks for our immune system to get up to speed,  so I will be continuing my daily tea for a total of three weeks to a month.

 

Dandelion harvesting and preparation lifestyle innovation

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