5 Things to know to eat dandelions (safely)

They’re not just for making flower crowns or making wishes. Dandelion are completely edible and come with lots of health benefits. {File Photo}

Just because you can’t buy it at the local grocery store doesn’t mean it’s not nutritious and delicious. The common Dandelion (yeah, that thing in your yard you think is a weed) is rare among edible wildflowers because humans can consume every part.

The wildflower is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Native Americans boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach.

You can make tea with it, eat it raw in salad, or make it into wine. It’s a fresh spring green that’s very versatile. Here’s how to forage it safely:

1 | Make sure they aren’t sprayed. Dandelions are everywhere in spring but not every homeowner and landowner is a fan. Make sure you’re picking dandelions in a spot that hasn’t been sprayed with fertilizer or pesticides.

2 | Clean them thoroughly. Small, microscopic insects often cling to the bottom of dandelion leaves. Swish the green around in a deep pan and cut open the crowns to make sure you don’t have any stowaways.

3 | Start small. Even you’ve never eaten dandelions before it’s best to try a small amount first. Eating too much could spark an allergic reaction or stomach discomfort.

For more information of recipes to make with dandelions, check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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