Summer is here and the dandelions are already in their third bloom in our neck of the woods. I’ve been reading various books on herbs and herbal remedies and have, as a result, been paying closer than usual attention to the “weeds” in our yard and around our neighborhood.
The dandelion plant is an amazing one. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Different parts of the plant (roots, leaves, flowers) are used to help heal various ailments (liver, digestive, kidney related.) I’ve even read that dandelion extracts have indicated tumor-fighting capacities on lab-induced breast cancers in mice!
Most importantly, the dandelion is safe. There are no known cautionary drug interactions, toxic effects or contradictions for its use. I learned all this and more from a great book I picked up at the library, The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce A. Wardwell.
The other morning, my two daughters and I went on a long walk and gathered about four dozen dandelion flowers. My three-year-old, Indigo, had so much fun harvesting! (And my nine-month-old baby, Hazel, took a little nap in her sling.) On the way home, we stopped at the park to run around and the cutest little boy dumped our entire flower stash on the ground. When we got home I rinsed the flowers really well and shook them off to dry. Then we tried the following delicious recipe with our wild harvest.
5 or 6 dozen Dandelion flowers (we only had 48 and there was enough batter left over for a huge crepe!)
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
Pinch of salt
Olive oil for frying
Rinse and dry flower heads. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Whisk the egg into the milk and then add the flour and salt, whisking until smooth. Dip the flower heads into the batter and twirl to cover them well. Drop them onto a skillet and fry until golden brown, then flip and fry the other side. Transfer to a paper towel-covered plate to soak up excess oil. As soon as they are cool enough, Enjoy!
These dandelion fritters tasted really good; similar to parsley or carrot top tempura, or a zucchini fritter. We ate ours all ways: plain, dipped in honey and dipped in sour cream. They were equally delicious!
*A note about wild harvesting: When you’re out collecting any edible herbs, there are a couple things to keep in mind…conserving the plant community and avoiding any contaminated plants. When you come upon a stand of herbs, don’t pick the entire lot; leave some behind so the plants can recover from your harvesting. Also, be conscious of only harvesting in areas that are not sprayed with pesticides, as you do not want to ingest these harmful chemicals.
Kim Akari is a full-time mom and a part-time crafter. After (and sometimes before) the meals are made and the laundry is done, she enjoys sewing, baking and reading a good novel. Kim blogs about how she and her family spell “Life” with an alternative alphabet at a is for akari.