In lieu of Earth day I am bringing you an article about gardening. Well, not really. I don’t have a garden. But I do have a yard with a ton of dandelions in it! Okay, so its not really my yard…its my neighbors yard, and she was happy enough to let me dig up some of these detox powerhouses. I would have used my yard, which is right next door, but unfortunately my flowers are filled with dog pee. (Thanks dogs! LOL) Some people may despise them as a weed, but honestly nothing makes me happier then sitting in a green field speckled with yellow flowers. Dandelions are completely edible. From the yellow flower to the root. It is mother nature’s way of saying its time to spring clean…your body.
Before using any part of the dandelion, please make sure to wash it off well, and don’t be afraid of any bugs that might be on it. There is no food that you buy from the store that hasn’t once been touched by a bug or worm of some sort, so getting squeamish over seeing them personally is just silly. I spray all my produce with a vinegar/water mixture, or I put some vinegar/water in a bowl and swish them around for a couple minutes, then rinse it off under cold running water.
Go out in your yard (just make sure its pesticide free) and snip off the yellow flowers. Now just like you were to brew tea, put the flowers in a cup and let them steep for 20 minutes. Add some sweetener (I use stevia, but you can use honey) and enjoy a natural immunity boosting drink. You can strain the flowers out, or eat them.
When picking leaves for tea, you want to find the young tender ones. Snip them off right at the root.
Wash them, chop them up, and place them, just like you would normal tea, in hot water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. The leaves tend to be a bit bitter if you steep it too long. The leaves have more beta-carotene then carrots. The leaves are also excellent in salads, and the french have been sauteing them for years. They contain more iron and protein then spinach, and are overly abundant in vitamin K.
Dig deep down for the roots, which are also amazing to detox the liver. Dandelion coffee is one of my favorite drinks besides green tea. To roast the roots, you need to wash them VERY well.
You want the water to run clear, usually after about 10 rises under cold water.
Cut the roots up into tiny little pieces, or do as I did and put them in a food processor. Place the pieces on a cookie sheet and place in a preheated 300 degree oven for 2 hours. Nothing smells as sweet as dandelion roasting in your oven!
Let steep for 10 minutes at least. I steep about 2 tsp and serve sweetened with stevia and lightened with whatever non-dairy milk I have on hand. It is a great replacement for coffee! (sans the caffeine)
I hope you all have a wonderful Earth day, but remember, in truth, everyday is earth day!