Your produce doesn’t have to be cultivated on a farm! Discovering the many uses of dandelions is a fun way to introduce the concept to your family that wild foods can be edible. Dandelion cookies, anyone? Kids: you can help by picking dandelions, then learning how to pull the petals off by holding the green flower base firmly with one hand and pulling the yellow parts off as a group with the other hand. Wash them with clean water and pat them dry. Now you’re ready to make dandelion cookies!
Dandelions are only one type of edible wild plant. All parts of the dandelion plant are edible, not just the flowers. Some other edible plants are nettles and garlic mustard, but there are many more. If you plan to begin eating wild plants, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of the poisonous plants in your area first. Be very careful, because they can sometimes be hard to identify.
You may think of dandelions as weeds, but their nutritional content is exceptional. They’re high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as many necessary minerals like calcium and magnesium, and one cup of dandelion greens contains only 35 calories! Dandelion root can be dried and used by herbalists, who believe it helps to detoxify the body, treat digestive ailments, and acts as a natural diuretic.
DANDELION FLOWER COOKIES
½ cup oil
½ cup honey
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup dandelion florets
Combine oil and honey and beat in the two eggs and almond extract. Stir in flour, oatmeal and washed dandelion florets. Add teaspoonfuls of batter to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Article by Jennifer Needham
Jennifer is a homeschooling mom to five kids, and works from home as a Nutrition Educator. She's currently a grad student earning a masters degree in Nutrition. View her website, full of free lesson plans to teach children about nutrition and health, at Nutrition For Healthy Kids.
Jennifer has written 15 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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