I am a leafy green vegetable.
My flowers, leaves and even my roots are edible.
I am very nutritious.
In fact I am one of the top 10 most nutritious of all vegetables.
…according to the USDA…
I am the third richest source of vitamin A of all foods (after cod liver oil and beef liver)
I am also rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and the B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin.
I have been know to help people with detox, weight loss, fighting cancer and heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of strokes, reducing stress along with many other positive effects.
Oh, and did I mention that I am very cheap (often free). In fact, I grow almost everywhere so am also very easy to find. I am also very easy to grow. Don’t feel bad for me but I am often overlooked and ignored. In fact many householders dismiss me completely and spray me with nasty chemicals to make me go away.
Who am I?
I am Taraxacum officinale, or better known as the humble Dandelion!
Here’s a few ways to use me. But first, a quick word of caution from the farmer:
I am growing my dandelions from seed in my hydroponic tower system. You can pick some from your yard or other area but please be careful in case chemical sprays or fertilizers have been used in the area, or if your dog may have marked it as part of it’s territory. The potential for any health benefits are not worth the risk if you are not sure about how the plant has been treated. Use your common sense.
Try adding a few dandelion leaves to your juices or smoothies for an extra boost of nutrition or here’s my quick version of a Dandelion Salad:
Pick the leaves when tender and young.
Tear up the leaves chop us some red onion and a few chopped tomatoes.
Season with a little salt and pepper and perhaps a little basil.
Dress lightly with a vinaigrette, add a little shaved parmesan and your done.
The word dandelion comes from a screwed up English version of the french phrase ‘dent de lion’ and literally means lion’s tooth, referring to it’s coarsely toothed leaves. My personal favorite name comes from China where it is called, pú gōng yīng (蒲公英), meaning “flower that grows in public spaces by the riverside”.
Give it a try and let us know what you think.