Before mowing my yard (rife with weeds), I decided to harvest the leaves from all the dandelions. I've been eating them now for a week and love them! Are dandelions weeds? Yep. Are they nutritious, free, dark leafy greens? Yep. You can also pay for them, if you'd rather have someone else grow them, yet since they choose to populate my yard, I harvested them.
That's a photo of the dandelion greens I just ate with dinner. Sauteed them in coconut oil and added two cloves of garlic and four chopped dried figs. YUMMY! Dandelion greens are bitter, so adding something sweet, like figs, prunes, pear, apple, makes them smoother.
Why eat dandelion? (info from incrediblesmoothies.com)
1) High in calcium: 1 cup of chopped dandelion greens has 103 mg calcium
2) Rich in iron: 1 cup = 1.7 mg iron
3) Low in calories: that same cup boasts a low calorie count of only 25
4) High in antioxidants: contain vitamins A & C and loads of beta-carotene
5) Ultimate detox: said to cleanse the liver. Many detox recipes call for them.
6) Loads of minerals: Contain copper (10% RDA), manganese (8% RDA), phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium (5% RDA each).
7) Contain 14% protein: Contain ALL amino acids so is a complete protein. One cup as 1.5 grams protein.
8) Multivitamin green: Contains the following vitamins: A, C, B1, B2, B6, E, and K.
9) Health benefits: Dandelion greens are said to reduce the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and stroke.
10) Anti-inflammatory: The anti-inflammatory properties may benefit those with asthma and other inflammatory diseases.
As a side note: if you use chemicals on your yard, you should not eat the dandelion greens that sprout there. I refuse to use those nasty chemicals, which leads to a plethora of weeds, yet also means my dandelions are truly edible. Additionally, if you have dogs, you will not want to eat any dandelions that grow in the areas where the dogs relieve themselves. 'Nuf said.
So what do you think? Are they weeds? Or nutritious, free, dark leafy greens?