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DANDELION

For thousands of years, dandelions have been used medicinally. They have become a staple of many cuisines for almost as long.

Dandelions are found on 6 continents and have been gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties commercially cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia and North America.

The greens are rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and the calories are also minimal. You can use any component of the plant, they are quickly grown, and they are also magnificent.

How To Grow Dandelions Overview

The dandelion leaves are delicious in salads and are an excellent spinach alternative. They also serve well in fresh vegetable dishes. The bacon flavor is the best compliment to dandelion leaves, and their incorporation enhances many soups and casseroles.

The crowns become a delicacy when deep-fried, and after being roasted and ground down, the roots may be used as a coffee substitute.

The flowers have many applications, such as making wine, garden salads, and fried in butter.

The young buds are rich in protein. The delicate and tasty unopened flower buds deliver a snap of green salads.

  • Bury the dandelion seed in drills 18 inches apart in spring, covering it 1⁄2 inch thick. 
  • Thin the plants to around 12 inches apart and encourage healthy, clean cultivation in the summer. 
  • In the colder regions of the world, it could be beneficial to mulch slightly during the winter to keep plants from emerging out of the soil. 
  • Early in the following season, the plants will be ready for use as greens. 
  • They will be significantly enhanced if whitened by placing two boards in the shape of the inverted letter V over the plant. The whitening not only makes the leaves more delicate, but it also removes much of the bitter taste. 
  • Dandelion greens should be boiled in two water baths to remove bitterness.
dandelion are a medicinal plant and make great tea
garden fresh dandelion salad made for lunch

Dandelion Nutrition Information

Raw Dandelion, 1 cup (55 grams)

NameAmountUnit
Water47.1g
Protein1.48

g

Total lipid (fat)0.385

g

Carbohydrate5.06g
Fiber, total dietary1.92g
Sugars0.391g
Vitamin C19.2mg
Choline19.4mg
NameAmountUnit
Calcium, Ca103mg
Magnesium, Mg19.8mg
Phosphorus, P36.3mg
Potassium, K218mg
Sodium, Na41.8mg
Energy (Calories)24.8kcal
Carotene, beta3220µg
Zinc, Zn0.226mg
Iron, Fe1.7mg

Garden Vegetables & Fruits Plant Preferences Profile

Specific Plant Growing Requirements and Information

Dandelion

Full Sun is best

Between the second and fourth year after planting. Blueberries ripen over a period of 6 to 7 weeks

Taraxacum

6 to 12 inches tall

All zones

Growing Dandelion Detailed Growing Information

How to Plant Dandelion Seeds

Dandelions can be seeded outdoors in between four to six weeks before the last frost.  Plant seeds and after they have sprouted up through the soil, thin them a bit so that they become six to eight inches apart. Dandelions quickly reseed themselves, but sometimes in areas where you’d fancy they not grow.

Ideal Conditions for Dandelions

Dandelions like full sun, but in just about any light, they can certainly grow. Since these plants are incredibly robust and tolerant of adverse conditions, it doesn’t really matter what sort of soil they have, whether the drainage is sufficient or anything else in that sense. If you intend on extracting the roots, apply generous quantities of compost to areas where you are sowing.

How to Harvest Dandelions

A few weeks before the leaves are picked, cover the plants with thick, opaque cloth to obscure much of the light that will blanch the leaves, reducing bitterness. The youngest leaves are the least sour and tastiest. During the growing season tender leaves can be picked.

When the blossoms are picked, pick the flowers when they’re bright yellow and young. Using them freshly to try to ensure all of the stems are removed. Put them in a bowl of cold water to keep the flowers from closing after clipping, taking them out just before eating or cooking.

The roots are harvestable at any time. Cut the dried roots into two inches long parts, and roast for about 10 minutes at 300 F. Grind the roasted bits, adding a quarter teaspoon for a fresh taste of your coffee or hot chocolate.

Fried Dandelion Blossoms

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dandelions, fried dandelions
Author: Old Farmer's Almanac

Equipment

  • Deep fryer

Ingredients

  • 25 Dandelion blossoms
  • Cool lightly salted water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  • Pick new dandelion blossoms (ones on short stems).
  • Rinse in cool, lightly salted water.
  • Cut off stem ends close to flower heads, leaving just enough to hold petals together.
  • Roll flowers in paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Make the batter by combining egg, milk, flour, salt, and pepper.
  • Dip flowers into the batter.
  • Drop batter-coated blossoms into deep fryer set at 375 F.
  • Fry until lightly browned.
  • Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with more salt as taste dictates.

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