When I think of springtime in my youth, I always picture myself at about 6 years old, laying in the grass, blowing the seedy tops of dandelions up towards the blue sky. We lived in a desert area so these precious treasures were few and far between. Whenever I stumbled upon one, I would savor the moment, watching the seeds fly off in every direction.
Little did I know that 30+ years later, I would be frying up the yellow dandelion flowers and eating them as a side dish or adding the fresh green leaves to salads. Nor did I know that I would fall in love with dandelion tea.
When it comes to my daughter, I am always looking for ways to maximize her vitamin and mineral intake from food sources. In fact, I do not use any sort of vitamin or mineral supplement for her and probably never will. Dandelions take center stage in our house during spring and fall (when they tend to be less bitter and more tender).
Dandelion Benefits and Nutrition Profile
Did you know that dandelion leaves, flowers, and roots are all edible? This herb, yes herb not weed, is a powerhouse! Let’s look at all the dandelion benefits based on information provided from the USDA National Nutrient Database:
- Dandelion greens are loaded with calcium. Just one cup of chopped dandelion greens has 103 milligrams of calcium.
- Dandelion greens have a high iron content. One cup contains 1.7 milligrams of iron.
- Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid (beta-carotene) and vitamin C. (Vitamin C also helps facilitate iron absorption.) It also houses vitamins B1, B2, and B6, vitamin E, and is especially abundant in vitamin K.
- Dandelion greens are rich in minerals. Besides calcium and iron, they are a good source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
- Dandelion greens have more protein per serving than spinach. The greens themselves are 14% protein and contain all essential amino acids so it’s a complete protein. One chopped cup contains 1.5 grams of protein.
Unless your child has an allergy to them, dandelions are considered very safe when consumed as a food, even at young ages. (Anyone with an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, or daisy should avoid dandelion). If you are interested in using dandelions medicinally, I suggest that you consult with an herbalist.
What are some of the health benefits of dandelions?
Traditionally, dandelions have been used as a diuretic, to increase the amount of urine in order to get rid of too much fluid. This is not typically an issue for children unless said child has liver problems.
Fresh or dried dandelion herb is also used as a mild appetite stimulant which might be beneficial in a child or adult with a sluggish appetite. It is also known to settle an upset stomach. The root of the dandelion plant may act like a mild laxative and has been used to improve digestion.
A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation which sadly, a lot of us have these day.
How should I prepare dandelions?
First, try to harvest in spring or fall and always do so in a more “wild setting.” Roadside dandelions are chalk full of pollutants and park dandelions are chalk full of animal waste and most likely weed killer. So try to find a field that is off the beaten path a bit.
After a harvest, always soak the dandelions for at least 15 minutes. Just cover them with cool water. Be sure to allow them time to dry. Just spread them out on a towel for about an hour.
Here are two of our favorite Dandelion Flower recipes. I’m pretty boring when it comes to preparing the greens. I either add them to a salad raw, add them to soups, or sauté them in my favorite avocado oil.
Fried Dandelion Flowers & Candied Dandelion Flowers
Fried Dandelion Flowers & Candied Dandelion Flowers (Gluten Free Recipes)
Try these incredibly nourishing fried dandelion flowers. So delicious you will forget you are eating a "weed." So yum!!!! Candied dandelion flowers are a great nourishing treat that packs a whole lot of health benefits. Easy to make and delicious. Kids love them!
For Fried Dandelion Flowers
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup coconut flour or 1 cup flour of choice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Coconut oil
- 30 fresh de-stemmed dandelion flowers
For Candied Dandelion Flowers
- 30 dandelion flowers
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup water
For Fried Dandelion Flowers (Gluten Free)
- Combine the milk, flour, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Stir until a batter has formed.
- Dip each dandelion flower into the batter. I just use my hands but some people like to use tweezers.
- Drop into the hot oil (375ºF) and fry until lightly brown on all sides. This does not take long. A minute or two.
- Drain on paper towels or other absorbent towels.
- Serve this hot or warm. They don’t taste all that great cold.
For Candied Dandelion Flowers
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, heat the honey on low until small bubbles begin to form.
- Stir in the water and turn the heat to medium-low.
- Heat the mixture until small bubbles form again.
- Remove honey mixture from heat.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a slotted spoon, dip each dandelion flower into the honey mixture and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes. You want the honey to harden but do not want the flowers to burn. You have to stand there and really watch it.
- Allow to cool then remove from the baking sheet.
- Store in airtight containers in a cabinet.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 2 pieces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
This nutritional information was auto-generated based on serving size, number of servings, and typical information for the ingredients listed. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, please calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients and amounts used, using your preferred nutrition calculator. Under no circumstances shall the this website and the author be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the given nutritional information. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
I’m sure those of you who are new to the world of “is it a weed, no it’s a herb” are hesitant to tackle dandelions. Maybe even some of the more experienced weed-eaters (hahaha) don’t really know the full range the dandelion and its uses.
SaveSources for this article include:
Janet Roberson says
Dandelion is one of my favorite herbs…I can’t imagine a spring tonic and cleansing tea or salad without it!
I love Ginger! I had an herb box before and LOVED it so I know I would love the Dandelion box as well. My daughter would have so much fun with it, too.
Tania J says
Favorite herb…I don’t have one–yet. I think an herb box is a great way to get started trying herbs.
I’m relatively new to the whole herbal mindset, but love learning about them, especially the ones I can forage for.
Susan Roragen says
My current favorite is thyme. But like rosemary equally. And sage. And cilantro. And…and…and…lol. Would love this herb box to learn even more about herbs and have always wanted to try dandelions!
I am a newbie to herbalism as well. After being sick for 14 years, I found a TCM doc who finally found the cause of my health issues. I have been under his care for 9 months and am so close to being a 100% cured. I am determined to learn about herbalism. I just finished the Taste of Herbs class and am thankful that I able to afford this class. I highly recommend this class to anyone. Thank you for hosting this giveaway
Sorry, my favorite herb is Astragalus. I use it on my bone broths for immune support. I would love to win the surprise box because I want to know more about dandelion.
I’ve always loved Tarragon. I’m fascinated by Dandelion and heard it was a healthful herb, but I didn’t realize that it was a powerhouse!
Cheryl Rahkonen says
My favorite herb is nettle that I use to make tea. I mix it with other herbs like horsetail and make tea also. I am curious about the Dandelion Herb Box and I would love to try eating the flowers and greens of the herb. I did not know it was such a great addition to the diet. I will definitely be looking for dandelions now.
I love mint! its so refreshing in water and juices!
Danielle F says
My favorite herb is probably milk thistle for it’s liver support/detox ability and I love dandelion for the same reason, so that’s why I’d love to win this box!
Cheryl Platts says
I would have to say my fav is Goats Rue. See I was taking prescription meds for HBP about 10-12 yrs ago (I had an undiagnosed thyroid problem – Hashimotos and auto immune dis-ease) when suddenly I was told I had diabetes. I was insensed and my research indicated it was caused by one of the meds I was on. The drug they wanted to put me on could NOT be taken with my thyroid med and after looking at the side effects I decided there HAD to be something else. My Dr. wasn’t very happy but I stopped taking the BP meds and ONLY took my old fashioned natural dessicated thyroid med. They tried to frighten me into going back to pattented meds but I chose to go natural. I learned that Goats Rue had been used to control high blood sugar for generations and it had no side effects and I could still take my thyroid meds. When I was originally diagnosed with diabetes my blood sugar was over 300. Within 6 months of my own diet and herbal regimine it was in the 90’s & 100’s and I was listed as pre-diabetic.
I also use dandelion for my HBP in stead of prescription diuretics. Unlike the prescription meds there have been no side effects and I don’t have to worry about potassium depletion.
Herbs are also great for pets too but you have to research carefully to make sure what you can and can’t give to which pets. Cats don’t always tollerate what dogs can and visa-versa
Terri S says
I think peppermint ia my favorite herb right now. I would like to win the Herb box because it sounds wonderful, and I am looking to learn more about herbs. Thanks for the giveaway.
Anne Perry says
My favorite is thyme. I’d love an herb box to grow for medicinal use as well as for cooking.
Parsley because it’s so versatile. I’d love to try this because I love cooking with herbs.
Amber G. says
I do not have one particular herb that I value above others. I find use in them all. I would like to win the Dandelion box so that I could learn more about their medicinal properties.
I have made Dandelion wine in the past and am looking forward to trying more things with dandelions
Don’t really have just ONE favorite herb, but I really love lavender! I would love to win this box because I am trying to learn more about uses for herbs in everyday life.
because I haven’t tried it before
I would love to try the dandelions.
Waad Radhi says
Camomile is my favourite and I would love to win as dandelion is one of the best herbs for detox
Debbie D. says
My favorite herb is ginger and I am new to the herbal thingy so it would be nice to win.
Suzie G. says
Favorite herb at the moment is rosemary. It’s so easy to grow and the smell never fails to make me happy. Have many other favorites, depends on my need which herb is my current favorite. 😉
Sara M says
I would say that Red Raspberry Leaf is my favorite herb because of the great things it does for the female body.
I would like to win the dandelion herb box because I really don’t know much to do with dandelions, and I feel like this herb box might be helpful for me to do something with them.
sarah auzina says
My favorite herb is lavender. I’d love to win this to incorporate more dandelions in my diet. Thanks for hosting!
Lara Baumann says
Don’t really have a favorite but I have enjoyed dandelion for a while now. Would love to win this box! It sounds super cool to have it all in one place and ready to make stuff!
thanks I do love dandelions!
Enjoy dandelion wine, sauted flowers and am anxious to try they honey roasted.
I would love to have this. I keep looking at dandelions but I am having a hard time picking and eating them. I have been making tea with nettles but I purchased them online.