This is why you should start eating dandelions

by Phil Lowe
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As a child, we referred to dandelions as ‘pee in the beds’. This is because we were told that if we picked dandelions we might end up accidentally going to the bathroom while asleep. We were told that dandelions were strangely powerful and that this was the result. That was of course false. It is far more likely that parents told their children not to pick dandelions because they are a weed that is easily spread and they wanted to protect their lovely gardens from the habits of young children. However, whether parents knew it or not, they were right about one thing, dandelions are strangely powerful. Read on to find out why.

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Dandelions are a powerful plant because they have an incredibly high nutritional value. When you consider how much kale and spinach cost in your local supermarket it makes you wonder why you are weeding all those dandelions and putting them in the bin. Dandelions have a very high nutritional value and according to some nutritional bodies, they are the fourth-best leafy vegetable in terms of total nutritional score.

Dandelions are excellent because they are incredibly rich in vitamin A. Health-focused individuals work very hard to ensure we are getting enough vitamin A. Cod liver oil and beef liver are fantastic supplements for vitamin A and they are the only two foods that are richer in vitamin A than dandelions. Not only these but they rank highly for B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and iron. It appears that the benefits of dandelions have been unknown until now but in reality, they are used as a healthy tonic ingredient in many cultures. If this is sounding like it is all too good to be true and you think I must be talking about dandelions different to the ones growing in your back yard, you are wrong. You can dig up the dandelions in your yard, give them a wash, and enjoy.

Ok, there are a few more steps to preparing your dandelions but it really isn’t too difficult. Start by heading to your garden where, if you are as bad at weeding as I am, they are running riot. Take the dandelions in one hand and with a sharp knife remove the dandelions from the ground, trying to cut under the roof. Once you have the dandelion give it a gentle but strong shake to remove the dirt that is on the root.

You will need a bag full of dandelions so spend some time gathering as much as you can. Dandelions wilt when cooked so what looks like a large quantity will end up as quite a small amount. A large pot of dandelions will fill about two cups once cooked.

Ensure that you clean the dandelions thoroughly. If pesticides have been used in your garden then you are best to avoid eating the dandelions at all. However, even if you haven’t sprayed your garden with chemicals they will need a thorough wash.

Fill a large pot with the dandelions and add hot water. Add some baking soda to take away from the bitterness and keep it on the boil. After about five minutes you should drain the water and replace it with fresh water.  Continue to boil until the dandelions become soft. This process will help you to remove the bitterness as well.

The best way to serve these dandelions is very hot with some butter on top and a dash of salt and pepper depending on your taste preferences. As mentioned before you can also turn your dandelions into a fantastic and healthy tonic if you prefer that route. Enjoy.

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