Dandelions may just be the best source of easy, seasonal, and amazing nutrition around. Look under your feet and you have a powerhouse “superfood” right at your disposal. Dandelions are nutritious and medicinal from head to toe. Read more about the specific health benefits here.
I eat dandelions for breakfast (roasted dandelion root coffee), lunch (grazing on fresh-picked leaves and blossoms) and dinner (dandelion blossom fritters – incredible)! My favorite herbalist, Susun Weed, in her classic Healing Wise gives this excellent recipe for Dandelion Blossom Syrup that has become a best-seller at the Homestead (this is my adaptation):
4 cups freshly picked dandelion blossoms
4 cups cold water
1/2 organic lemon
1 lb organic cane sugar
Combine blossoms and water in a pot, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Allow blossoms to steep overnight. Strain out the blossoms and add sugar to liquid with organic lemon slices. Bring to a rapid boil stirring occasionally and watching closely until the temperature reaches approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit (I wait for the surface bubbles to grow larger than the size of a quarter, then test the consistency by dropping a spoonful into some ice water. It should hold some shape just like honey). Remove lemon slices and immediately transfer syrup into hot, sterilized canning jars. Follow standard canning procedure, et voila! Amazing, delicious AND medicinal Dandelion Blossom Syurp!
Susun Weed doesn’t delve into the specific medicinal benefits of this recipe except to note that it will lift the spirits and ease muscle cramping. The flavor and consistency are so close to honey it can be used on yogurt, pancakes, granola and in your favorite herbal infusion (especially delicious with Raspberry Leaf).
My favorite part of being in mass production of this seasonal delicacy is saving the candied lemons for myself…I enjoy them peel and all as soon as they’re cool enough to eat! What’s YOUR favorite way to enjoy dandelions?