What! A write-up on pesky weeds! Well, not quite. Dandelions have lots of beneficial properties and were brought to the Maritime provinces specifically for their medicinal properties. They contain vitamin A,B,C, and D; iron, potassium, and zinc.
Just in case you are don’t know what a dandelion looks like, it is a hardy perennial up to one foot tall, the leaves are jagged shaped. Stems have bright yellow flowers on top with lots of ‘mini’ petals.
Starting at the bottom, the roots can be dried and ground to make a coffee-substitute, that is much healthier for you than coffee. The best time to harvest the roots is in the early spring or late fall. The roots are the best tasting then because it isn’t using it up by producing flowers or seeds.
The leaves make great salads, just be careful it is in the early spring, or else the leaves will taste very bitter. Otherwise, they taste just as good as lettuce, and way cheaper.
The flowers can be used for a variety of things, including infused oils. The oil can be used on chapped skin or sore muscles. Or the oil can be used in soaps or salves. My favorite is dandelion salve, that can be used as chapstick, on mosquito bites, and lots of other things.
Hopefully, you will look at those ‘pesky weeds’ differently. Maybe you’ll try some new recipes using them. Here’s one for you to try; Dandelion Bread!