While the sight of the stubborn yellow flower spreading all around your garden may make you frown with anger, the dandelion plant actually has a long background of medicinal and culinary uses.
The dandelion isn’t only used in teas and tinctures, but the plant can also be used in everyday dishes to complement eggs, goat cheese, bacon, potatoes, and so on. Yes, think of it as of just another vegetable on your plate!
Though it may be considered an annoying weed, the dandelion is rich in vitamins A, K and C, potassium, iron, zinc, as well as eye-healthy beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Studies have shown that the dandelion root benefits can kill leukemia cells, fight bacteria and boost immune function.
It has been used in traditional Native American, Chinese and European medicines to treat swelling, skin problems, heartburn, upset stomach, appendicitis, fever, diabetes, and breast problems. Both its flowers and leaves hold medicinal properties.
In modern herbal medicine, the dandelion is used to alleviate PMS symptoms, lower cholesterol, fight inflammation, and ease digestion complaints. It’s also a laxative and diuretic which can help prevent kidney disease and relieve constipation.
Dandelion extract side effects
Although rare, allergic reactions to dandelion may occur. Stop taking dandelion and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including: difficulty in breathing, closing of throat; swelling of lips, tongue, face, itchiness, diarrhea, persistent stomach or abdominal pain.
The root of dandelion can taste somewhat bitter, so if you don’t know how to prepare it, here are 21 appetizing dandelion recipes to get some of its benefits into your diet:
1. Dandelion Flower Cookies Recipe
These fun bites are perfect for a springtime tea party or as a party favor!
- 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of organic honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of dry oats
- 1/2 cup of yellow dandelion petals
- 1 tablespoon of dried lavender
- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of lemon peel
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Mix dry ingredients together, and set aside.
- Combine wet ingredient and slowly stir them into your dry mix.
- Spoon onto a greased baking sheet and bake on the top rack for 10-15 minutes.
- For an extra special touch, remove halfway and fresh a few petals on top of your cookie, transferring them to the bottom rack of your oven to continue cooking.
- Let them cool before serving.
2. Dandelion Greens – Garlic Recipe
Use garlic since its pungent flavor cuts the bitterness of dandelion. Just blanch the greens by dipping young leaves in boiling water for 20-30 seconds before sautéing in olive oil, garlic and lemon.
- 1 pound dandelion greens, washed &chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (5 or 6 cloves)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add all spices except garlic and cook for a minute.
- Add raw (or blanched) greens and stock and cover for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and cook until the stock has evaporated and adjust seasoning.
- Add garlic and cook for about a minute, and then serve it with fresh lemon.
3. Dandelion – Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe
You may have heard of avocado pesto or spinach pesto, but what about dandelion pesto?
You can spread it on pasta meals, sandwiches, or as a dip. You can also swap pine nuts for nutrient-packed pumpkin seeds.
- 2 cups dandelion greens
- 3/4 cup unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. (You can skip the first 3 steps by buying roasted pumpkin seeds.)
- Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast for about 5 minutes.
- Remove and let them cool.
- Pulse these with garlic until finely chopped.
- Pulse the garlic and pumpkin seeds together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.
- Add cheese, dandelion and lemon and pulse until thick, making sure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the sides of your food processor.
- As it runs, add drops of olive oil (at a time) until the pesto is smooth. Spice it with salt and pepper.
Note: It makes about 1 cup.
4. Dandelion Crispy Blossoms Recipe
You can actually fry dandelion flowers for a fun summer snack or a party surprise. Once cleaned, the flowers get sweet and delicious.
- 20 dandelion flower heads, stalks and green parts removed
- 2 tbsp corn meal
- A pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of dried thyme
- pinch of dried oregano
- 1 egg, beaten
- olive oil for frying
- Clean your flowers and pat dry with paper towel.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in your frying pan over medium heat.
- Mix corn with seasoning, and set aside.
- Dip flowers in egg and cover with cornmeal.
- Fry the flowers until golden, and set on paper towel to absorb extra grease.
- Let it cool and serve.
5. Dandelion Flower Vinegar Recipe
You can use this infused vinegar to liven salads, soups, and more. It’s quite refreshing and floral.
- fresh dandelion flowers
- apple cider vinegar
- a sterilized glass jar
- a plastic lid
- wooden chopsticks
- Chop flowers and fill your jar about ¾ the way.
- Fill the jar with vinegar, using chopsticks to move flowers and allow air bubbles to rise.
- Close the jar and store in a dark, cool place.
- Leave it aside for a month.
- Strain the vinegar and compost your flowers. Transfer vinegar to a sterilized glass jar and store in a cool place for up to a year.
- Have a teaspoon before meals to help digestion.
6. Dandelion Summer Risotto Recipe
You can enjoy the deep flavor of dandelion with this smooth and creamy vegetarian risotto.
- 150g of dandelion
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- 300g of Arborio rice
- 125ml of dry white wine
- 700ml of vegetable stock
- 125g plain yogurt
- 100g of grated Parmesan
- Wash and prepare flowers, and remove green sepals to free petals.
- Chop onion and garlic finely and cook in olive oil over low heat.
- Add rice and wine and stir.
- As it absorbs the liquid, add a ladle of stock. Continue monitoring and adding stock for the next 30-45 minutes.
- Add cheese and yogurt, and stir.
- Spike it with salt and pepper.
- Serve fresh.
7. Dandelion Kimchi Recipe
Trade cabbage for dandelion greens for more medicinal dandelion interactions with gut-healthy kimchi. These ingredients can be purchased in Asian or Korean grocery stores, or online.
- 1 pound young dandelion greens
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons kochukaru (finely crushed Korean chili powder)
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped into matchsticks
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Wash the greens and chop them up roughly.
- Toss them with salt in a bowl and rub the salt into the leaves.
- Let it sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients in another bowl.
- Taste the greens: if they are too salty, rinse with a little water. If not, remove extra salt.
- Add greens to your bowl of seasoning and mix well.
- Pack the seasoned greens into a jar, adding water if necessary to make sure that they are fully submerged in their seasoning.
- Close lid and leave them on you kitchen counter around the clock (24 hours) to let them ferment.
- Refrigerate and enjoy over the course of 2-3 weeks. (The older the kimchi, the stronger the taste.)
8. Dandelion Garden Muffins Recipe
Try these savory muffins that are delicious and satiating.
- 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup of fresh, pesticide-free dandelion petals
- The night before, mix flour, oats, milk and vinegar.
- Cover and leave out for 12-24 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Rinse and dry dandelion.
- Mix ingredients together in a large bowl and sprinkle baking soda and powder.
- Stir until well combined, and then pour into greased muffin pans.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Cool and enjoy.
9. Dandelion Petal Sorbet Recipe
Though this recipe may seem unusual, the natural sweetness of dandelion flowers actually makes them a great ingredient for a homemade sorbet.
- 1 quart just-picked dandelion blossoms
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup mild honey
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Use scissors to remove yellow petals from the green and white bitter parts of the flower. Set aside.
- Heat water sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once it boils, remove from heat and stir in yellow petals.
- Cover and steep for an hour or more.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer or a muslin cloth.
- Add mixture to an ice cream maker and use per instructions or read the step below.
- Pour mixture in a parchment-lined cookie sheet and freeze until set.
- Break the frozen puree into pieces and blend in the food.
- Freeze again until hard.
- Remove from freezer, and let it soften a little before serving.
10. Dandelion Light Jelly Recipe
This delicate dessert can be eaten on its own, or used as a jam to spread over toast.
- 4 cups dandelion blossoms (yellow parts only)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered pectin
- 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Add water and blossoms to a medium saucepan and heat to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and discard blossoms. You should be left with 3 cups of dandelion tea.
- In a small bowl, combine pectin and sugar. Set aside.
- Place tea back into your saucepan and add 4 cups of sugar.
- Stir constantly and heat to a boil.
- Add pectin mixture and stir to dissolve.
- Add lemon juice and let it boil for 1 minute.
- Skim foam from the surface. Let it cool slightly.
- Pour mixture into an airtight container. Cover with a lid.
- Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
- Serve it cold.
11. Dandelion Pancake Syrup Recipe
You can replace unhealthy corn syrup or pancake syrup with this 3-ingredient homemade syrup.
- 1 1/2 cups of dandelion petals, cleaned and dried
- 3 cups water
- 2 – 3 cups organic cane sugar
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup raw honey
- juice of half a lemon
- Place petals in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to a rolling boil for 30-60 seconds.
- Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep overnight in a cool place.
- In the morning, strain the liquid into a large bowl.
- Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Return the tea to your saucepan.
- Add sugar and lemon, and simmer on low heat for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Check for consistency, and store it in an airtight, glass container in the fridge.