Dandelion’s are sometimes misunderstood for being an everywhere, invasive weed throughout our landscaping. But this plant has many secrets that some of us may not know.
Dandelions are packed with tons benefits and uses. Here are just a few:
- Reduces blood pressure
- Aids in weight loss
- Fights Cancer
- Aids in digestion
- Cleanses kidneys
- Cleanses Liver
- Reduces blood sugar
- Reduces bad cholesterol
- Mood enhancer
- Natural Laxative
- Rich in antioxidants
- Skin Health
- Rich in vitamins A, D, K, C & B2
- Rich in Iron and Zinc
- And many, many more..
There are many ways to consume dandelions for these health-packed benefits. I’ve decided to harvest them for tea! You can also use the leaves for salads or throw them in with your morning smoothie.
I used a hand weeder to harvest the roots from the ground. These can be found anywhere that sells garden tools.
Mine sees a lot of ground, as you can see above…
You want to make sure you can get most of the root, so I tend to push the leaves back in order to see where the root begins. Then I start working the dandelion out of the ground.
Throw them in a bucket and look for more! They’re never very hard to find in my yard!
Next, it is wise to wash off the dandelions. Always make sure you are harvesting from an area you are CERTAIN has NOT been sprayed with any pesticides or weed killers. Even still, they will need to be cleaned in order to consume without any dirt particles.
Depending on what you intend to use your dandelions for, they will need to dry out. This is when I separate the roots. Grab a pair of trimmers and snip them from the leaves.
Place the leaves out to dry, if you desire to use them for salads or smoothies.
Take a look at your roots – they may still need a scrub down to get the excess dirt washed off. I use an old toothbrush for this process and it works like a gem.
To make tea, they will need to dry out completely. Chopping them up in small pieces (I used a small food processor) and putting them in the oven works extremely well. It also gives them a bit of a roasted flavor, which I love! Throw them in your food processor, then spread them out on parchment paper.
Set the oven at 250 degrees and let them bake. Some recipes call for 2 hours with the oven door opened so they don’t burn up. I let mine go for an hour, periodically opening and shutting the door.
Now they’re ready for the water. I boiled about 4 cups of water and threw them in. I let them boil for about 15 minutes, then simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Strain the roots out, and voila! We have dandelion root tea!
I added cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and honey for a bit more spice. You can also throw in your favorite tea bag and really get a boost of flavor!
I stored my tea in a spare glass jar in the fridge.
You can also put it in the freezer for a 6-8 month shelf life!
Enjoy the benefits of dandelions from your own back yard!!