With the snow long gone and Spring returning with brighter days and warmer temperatures, rolling green fields and emerald lawns are sprinkled with the effervescent dandelion.
But before you pull out the lawn mower, consider what benefits this nutrient-rich sunbeam might add to your diet.
Dandelions are rich in calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, A, C and B complex vitamins and fibre.
With essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients they are well known for fighting inflammation, thereby having a positive effect on pain and swelling.
They are also purported to support strong bones, to help cleanse the liver and keep diabetes at bay.
Dandelion is also an excellent bitter herb that promotes digestion and helps to heal the pancreas.
It is particularly useful for people with a sweet tooth to help manage cravings.
Adding one cup of chopped, raw dandelion leaf added to your salad will give you 539% of the daily allowance of vitamin K which is essential for blood-clotting in response to injury and also for bone health.
How to prepare it
A dandelion’s roots, stem, greens and flower can be consumed either in salads, cooking, infused to make tea or in alcohol to prepare the base for a pretty special cocktail!
Be sure to only pick dandelions that you know have not been subjected to pesticides or any other harmful materials. Some substances can be difficult to wash off so to avoid ingesting them pick only dandelions you know come from a toxin free environment.
For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll be preparing dandelions to create an infusion for a Prosecco Cocktail. You’ll need:
- a sterile glass jar
- a loose jar seal
- 1 cup of washed dandelion flowers
Take the washed dandelion flowers and slice the green base from the flowers. Place the flowers in the sterile glass jar until it reaches approximately one third of the height of the jar. Pour the vodka into the jar over the flowers until the jar is full. Seal the jar and place it in a cool, dark cupboard for 4-5 days. Strain the liquid and refrigerate. Once cool, pour 30ml of your dandelion infusion into an ice-cold flute and top with chilled Prosecco. Decorate with washed dandelion flowers for effect.