The true harbinger of spring, the dandelion. I always get excited, with what seems to happen overnight, when you look out in the yard and it is a flow with perky yellow flowers everywhere. Dandelion season is here!
Of course, dandys bloom all through spring and summer, but they are most profuse in the early spring. They are one of the first flowers to bloom, blessing the bees with their rich nectar after a long winters nap. And this winter was extra-long right?!
It is amazing, the benefits we get from dandelions. Back in the 1800s, people would dig up grass in order to encourage their growth. Being a staple food, and medicinal source.
Dandelions have a wide range of nutritional and medicinal benefits. They are a great source of vitamins A, B, C, and K. They are high in magnesium, antioxidants, and so much more. (Dandelion Uses & Benefits, 2018)
Folk medicine claims the dandelion plant is a powerful blood purifier, addresses digestion-related problems, and prevents piles, and gallstones. The greens provide 535% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which is the most important source of any plant-based food to strengthen bones. Studies show dandelions may play an important part in fighting Alzheimer’s disease by limiting neuron damage to the brain.
Dandelion greens also give the body 112 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin A as an antioxidant carotenoid, which is particularly good for the skin, mucous membranes and vision. A flavonoid called zeaxanthin (together with lutein, another carotenoid) may help shield the retina from ultraviolet rays and subsequent damage, while carotenoids like alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin may help lower the risk of lung and mouth cancers.
Need more benefits? Dandelion greens are high in inulin and pectin, which are soluble fibers that may help your body feel full longer, assist with weigh
t control and maintain optimal cholesterol levels. These greens also contain vitamins C and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron (crucial for generating red blood cells), potassium (to help regulate heart rate and blood pressure), magnesium and manganese. Other nutrients present in dandelion greens include folate, phosphorus and copper.
A 2008 study revealed that extracts of young dandelion leaves may promote an anti-obesity effect because of its supposed strong pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity.
Don’t underestimate the positive impacts of dandelion roots too. A study in 2011 involving the testing of dandelion root extract showed there may be a "kill switch" on leukemia cell receptors by inducing apoptosis. Researchers reported that dandelion root tea didn’t seem to send the same “kill” message to healthy cells. The study concluded that dandelion root extract may prove to be a nontoxic alternative to conventional leukemia therapy. Dandelion root extract may also reduce cancer risk, halting the growth of melanoma cells without inducing toxicity in noncancerous cells — even those cells considered to be drug-resistant. (What Are Dandelion Greens Good For?, 2016)
So, don’t consider the appearance of these cheerful yellow flowers as weeds in your pristine lawn. Dandelions have been shown to have a myriad of benefits and are highly nutritious.
Dandelion Jelly (Tastes Like Honey!)
2 cups dandelion petals (take off as much green as you are able, but don’t freak out about it)
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
1. Cut the green parts off the flower and place the petals in a canning jar. I use a quart jar. Fill the jar, but don't pack it.
2. Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the flower petals. Allow them to cool and then place in the fridge for the night. (this is dandelion tea fyi)
3. Strain the flowers well and squeeze out as much of the goodness as possible.
4. Place into a large pot. If you don’t measure to 4 cups just add a bit of water until you do. Add the lemon juice, and pectin, and bring it all to a boil.
5. Add the sugar and return to a boil while stirring. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and pour into jars. Water bath process for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to start timing at the boil, not before.
7. Make sure you give some to your vegan friends!!! Nana Prepp Out!!!
Dandelion Uses & Benefits. (2018, May 17). Retriev
ed from Boots & Hooves Homestead: https://bootsandhooveshomestead.com/dandelion-uses/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=560099474_20675982_258197
What Are Dandelion Greens Good For? (2016, October 18). Retrieved from Food Facts: https://foodfacts.mercola.com/dandelion-greens.html