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Dandelion - about this spring cleanser, a grandmother's recipe & the benefits of wild herbs


Dandelion wakens up vividly my childhood memories! Every spring I would visit my grandmother and go with her into the fields in the fresh morning air, and collect the young leaves of this often unconsidered plant that grows generously everywhere. After the morning's harvest, we would spend a good amount of time in her kitchen, sitting there with a big bowl and sorting through the leaves, cleaning them, and separating the roots from the rest. Meanwhile, we would chat and share some stories with each other.

Finally, when it was time for lunch, she would prepare this typical salad that we are going to share with you today and delight us with this wild spring taste!

Why is dandelion a great plant to harvest and eat?

There are plenty of health benefits you’ll find when looking it up, mainly dandelion is the gift of nature after a long, cold winter where we and our bodies did not move that much. Dandelion is helping to detoxify, it cleanses the liver of excess fat that was stored there, increases intestinal movement, and improves the flow of bile. A very logical herb to support us after winter when everything including our bodies is becoming more active again, isn’t it?

A few tips for collecting your dandelion:

  • Make sure you don’t collect it from fields that are sprayed with pesticides

  • Avoid taking it near the road or ways where dogs might have peed on it

  • For this recipe we use the leaves, best is to collect the smaller, younger leaves and preferably from the plants before they flower, that’s when they are less bitter in taste

  • You can also use the roots (for example for teas) and the flowers (e.g. use the pedals to decorate your salads)

Here is the simple recipe to make your dandelion salad:

  • Clean your collected leaves, remove the roots, wash off the soil, and cut them into small pieces

  • Boil 2-3 potatoes (depending on the quantity of dandelion you have) and mash them with a fork

  • Boil 1-2 eggs until hard, and chop them into small pieces

  • Make a salad dressing with for example oil (6 tbsp), vinegar or lemon juice (3 tbsp), salt, pepper, mustard (1 tsp), and a little bit of creme or yoghurt if you like

  • Mix it all together and enjoy!

(If you like, some people add grilled bacon to it, seems also delicious if you eat meat!)

Some of the reasons why we love eating wild foods:

Wild foods or herbs tend to be full of nutrients, much more compared to farmed ones, and in addition, add a diversity of tastes to our palette. We also like to look at it as not only ingesting the plant itself but also its wildness, its resilience, its purity. It somehow makes sense that also these characteristics of the plant enter into our system and share these nutrients with us. Don’t you think so?

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