Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dandelion Roars

With all the rain we've been having, I need some sun, so I figured now would be a good time to talk about dandelions!  Seriously, dandelions have got to be one of the most perfect plants in the world!  They are bright and sunny to look at, can be used medicinally, the root, leaves, and flowers are all good to eat at some point, and they are sure easy to grow!  If everyone fully understood how great dandelions were, there would be no market for companies like TruGreen (which I strongly suspect will have an ad running over there -->  Silly AdSense!) to get paid to dump toxins on a perfectly nice lawn!  In fact, a lot of the same people who do have companies like that come out to kill their dandelions, may be paying good money to buy dandelions at the same time.  A lot of storebought salad mixes have young dandelion leaves in them.  Most herbal diuretic pills and detox formulas contain dandelion root.  Yet, millions of silly people continue to dump poisons on this, my favorite flower. 
My middle son was quite distressed when I uprooted a dandelion when digging out garden beds.  He immediately got his shovel out and started looking for a place to replant it.
A couple a years ago, we did a lapbook about dandelions for my son's homeschooling lessons.  During the course of this project, we took our love for dandelions to a new level and made a couple recipes to enjoy the flowers.  Here is one such recipe:

Fried Dandelion Blossoms

young dandelion blossoms (not fully open yet)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
oil for frying

Thoroughly wash dandelion blossoms and remove any excess stem, only leaving enough to hold the flower together.  Completely dry by blotting on a paper towel.  Heat oil deep enough to completely submerge flowers to 375 degrees.  Combine beaten egg, milk, flour, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Dip the flowers into the batter to completely coat and fry until golden brown.  Drain before serving.
This recipe wasn't perfect.  Next time I make them, I will probably put some herbs in there or something to make them more flavorful, but it was still fun to do, the kids loved it, and, anytime you deep fry something and dip it in ranch, it can't be all bad (except for bad for your health).  If I come up with an even better version and/or find the dandelion cookie recipe we made, which was pretty darn good, except that it needed chocolate, I guess I'll have to share more dandelion fun!

Speaking of more dandelion fun, here are some of the things that readers of this blog like to do with dandelions:
  • Mary Beth said "I am eating a bowl of sauteed greens right now!! I dug up bucket fulls today from the herb gardens!"
  • Lindy said " they are yummy! And for a diuretic they are balanced and won't deplete your electrolytes!"
  • Lisa said "I put a little bit of dandelion leaves in my green smoothies when they're 'in season'"
  • Cheryl said "Necklaces and tiaras"
While I was writing this, the rain did stop and the sun came out.  The yard was sprinkled with dandelions.  I've been trapped in the house most of the day, dealing with a sick toddler, but my other children still went out to play in the sunlight and when they came back in, I was presented with this.


  1. I love dandelions too.Here, in the spring there are beautiful fields of yellow or there will be if the sun gets a chance to shine.. Bees buzz all over them . As much as I love them in the grass I work like crazy to dig them out of my garden beds.Life is full of contradictions!

  2. No contradiction. You probably wouldn't be thrilled if a tomato plant sprouted up in a pea patch either. Every plant has its place, but I'd say dandelions' place is in the yard!

  3. I'm blogging tonight about my dandelion blossom jelly! So many incredible things to do with this nifty "weed!" :)

  4. I absolutely LOVE dandelions. To me they are a harbinger of Spring. I do not treat our land with weed and feed. because I want our kids and animals to be able to go outside and not have to worry about getting poisoned. I just thought of another use for your dandelions. We had a little old Italian grandpa as a neighbor who would collect the dandelions to make dandelion wine.

  5. I love dandelions myself! They really are an awesome plant. I'm still waiting for mine to blossom so that I can make dandelion fritters. I'm happily eating dandelion greens though. I actually cured my cat of a fatal disease with dandelion. It's why I took it as my online handle.

    It's great to see others who appreciate that wonderful little weed.

  6. I found this recipe a while ago to make homemade dandelion massage oil. It's supposed to be excellent for arthritic joints - I plan on making some for my father next time we travel up to Wisconsin to visit my dad. He's got pretty severe arthritis, and I think he'd like this. Best part, I can have my younger kids go out picking the dandelions for me!

    (btw I love that site. So many women nowadays look at domestic work as shameful, to be avoided, anti-feminist. I don't see it that way, and I love seeing a site that focuses on the joys and rewards of domestic work.)

  7. When I was a fifth grader My science teacher had us pick them and cook them. I have now taught my children the same truthfully we love seeing them everywhere its a fun thing for me and the children to do.. I've never used the greens just the blooms I would love more recipes.